Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Palestinian Christians in a Big News Week

If you have seen the video that has been appearing in Jewish circles of Palestinian Christy Anastas about how it is Palestinians and not Israel that is responsible for the most egregious violations of human rights against Palestinian Christians, then here are some background things you may not be aware of.

First thing you need to know is that it was the Jerusalem Institute of Justice that ‘broke the story’ of Christy as they shared the platform at a conference on Palestinian Human Rights week at Uppsala University in Sweden. 

JIJ’s Calev Myers also spoke at the Swedish Parliament addressing Palestinian Human Rights violations.

You can access many fascinating videos from JIJ time in Sweden at the JIJ channel on YouTube, including this Q&A session with Mati Shoshani moderating and Calev Myers, Christy Anastas and Eli Hazan fielding questions from the Swedish students. 

Second thing you need to know is that Christy Anastas appeared along with her mother, Claire, in a 60 Minutes segment by Bob Simon about Christians in the Holy Land in 2012.  That segment was universally denounced as dishonest and misleading by Israelis, Jews and many Christians.  During her talk at Uppsala University, Christy directly contradicts the story Bob Simon told in his 2012 smear of Israel, as CAMERA also did in 2012 here

CAMERA put out an alert sharing Christy Anastas backstory and the video of her talk at Uppsala University, making mention that it was the Jerusalem Institute of Justice that first put up the video but later pulled it off YouTube.  Christy shot a new intro and outro to wrap-around her talk at Uppsala, and it was re-posted to YouTube by the Emmaus Group, a Christian group in the UK that draw attention of mistreatment of Christians in Muslim-majority settings. 

Clearly Christy wanted her talk on the web despite the death threats, so I contacted Calev Myers at Jerusalem Institute of Justice to see if there was anything I didn’t know that factored in to JIJ pulling the video.  I suspected that they pulled the video out of concerns for the death threats.  Calev confirmed that the information Christy shared was correct, and that JIJ had taken the video down because of the death threats to not only Christy but also the Anastas family.

Christy has been given asylum in the UK (still not a safe place from Islamists) and her family members  still live in Bethlehem.  Pray for them. 

Christy says in the Uppsala video that she was Christian by birth but one day she read the Bible and she became a different kind of Christian.  One that recognizes, for instance, as the Times of Israel reports, “I believe God has given this land to the Jews as an everlasting covenant.”

Like many Palestinian Christians, Christy’s family rejects what Christy now believes and speaks about Israel and the source of so much of the human rights violations of Palestinians.  This is not unusual from Palestinian Christians – some of whom are fearful for their own safety but also from some who are nominally Christian (born into a Christian family but not with a living faith relationship). 

Some get incensed over anyone making that distinction, but it is a reality that is never clearer than on ground in the disputed territories where denominationally-Christian Palestinians relate more to Islamists than to the international Church of believers in Jesus. 

This is also a distinction that CAMERA noted in their 2012 article about certain Palestinian speakers of the Christ at the Checkpoint conference.  In fact, I would recommend those who are interested in the recent controversy over Messianic Jewish participation in the CATC conference in 2014, read CAMERA’s report which contains many honest quotes from Palestinian Christians about the rock & the hard place they occupy.

The facts of matter and the truth are always important for honest people of faith to lay hold of. There are many resources in this short article to educate even those who do not know what the issues are.


Pray also for "Son of Hamas" Mosab Hassan Yousef.

Did you know when Abbas claimed that Hamas would recognize Israel, it was Mosab's father, an imam who is a spiritual founder of Hamas, who said , Oh no we won't! Hamas will never recognize Israel's right to exist.

One of the striking things that came out of the evidence of the Holy Land trial is how at the secretly wiretapped meeting of Islamists in America in a several day gathering in 1993, is how the men grappled with how to present themselves to appeal to the U.S. public without appearing to their own followers to be caving into core principles like never abandoning the cause of destroying Israel.  

When President Abbas threw out this claim that Hamas would recognize Israel simply as a political neutralizer of Israel saying a unity PA-Hamas govt ended any hope for a peace process, it was Sheik Hassan Youseff, speaking as the SPIRITUAL authoritative voice of Hamas who said what Hamas was going to do. 

I was reading Sunday in Barry and Batya Segal’s Jerusalem News Network email about this and my eyes locked on the name Hassan Youseff quoted from a UK newspaper, The IndependentIf you will remember, this is the father of Mosab Hassan Youseff, who is known as “The Green Prince” in Israel.  His book, “Son of Hamas” about his ten years as a spy for Israel was made into a movie which won awards a few months ago at the Sundance Film Festival. 

Could father and son be any more far apart?  Mosab was not a Christian at the time he was spying for Israel, but he saw in prison that Palestinians afflicted Palestinians more than Israelis did.  When he was released from prison he became a valuable asset for Israel’s counterterrorism because he wanted to stop terror attacks.  Later Mosab’s pursuit of justice and truth led him to become a Christian as well.

This week we have a Palestinian daughter and a Palestinian son who went against everyone they hold dear in order to stand in the truth.  Their influence cannot be truly measured. This is a clear call to pray for Palestinians to love the truth and follow it to the ultimate truth who is Yeshua/Jesus.