CAMERA Counters Anti-Israel Bias in the Christian World
Dear Christian Leader,
Tricia Miller of CAMERA's Partnership of Christians and Jews was recently a guest on the podcast, Shoulder to Shoulder, with Israeli Rabbi Pesach Wolicki, Executive Director at Ohr Torah Stone's Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding & Cooperation and American Pastor Doug Reed, Lead Pastor of Bridge of Hope Church in Youngstown, OH. The topic of this important interfaith discussion was, "Fighting Anti-Israel Bias in the Christian World." The podcast can be heard on Spotify, Apple podcasts or Google podcasts.
As all of you who follow the Partnership's work know, anti-Israel bias in the Christian world is an ongoing problem that needs to be countered by all concerned Christians on a regular basis. The Christian anti-Israel narrative is rooted in false theology and erroneous historical and legal arguments - all crafted for the purpose of delegitimizing Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State in the ancient homeland of the Jewish people.
In the interest of equipping you to refute Christian anti-Israel bias, here are a few facts you can use to expose spurious theological, historical and legal talking points used against the Jewish State.
Christian opposition to the existence of Israel is most often based in a fallacious theology known as replacement theology, which is the belief that Christians and the Church have replaced Jews and Israel in the purposes of God. According to this belief, God has no more use for the Jewish people and there is no reason for their continued existence.
If God is truly finished with the Jewish people, then the covenant He made with Abraham beginning with the promises made in Genesis 12 – a covenant that included the promise of a specific land – is no longer valid. The problem with this belief is that the Bible refers many times to the covenant made with Abraham and his heirs through Isaac and Jacob as a berit olam, an everlasting covenant. So, in order to believe in replacement theology, you have to explain – one way or another – why an everlasting covenant is not really everlasting.
If God’s everlasting covenant isn’t really everlasting, then the promise of the particular land that was included in that covenant is no longer valid. For believers in replacement theology, this means that the re-establishment of a Jewish State in the land God promised to Abraham is illegitimate.
The problem with this argument is that the covenant with Abraham is in fact everlasting and the future promises for Israel and the Jewish people are emphasized over and over from Genesis through Revelation.
ERRONEOUS HISTORICAL ARGUMENTS
There is a Palestinian Christian version of replacement theology that is used to undermine Christian support for the Jewish State that also makes use of rewritten history in the attempt to delegitimize Israel's existence. This version replaces Jews in the purposes of God through the claim that Palestinians are the indigenous people of the Land.
According to this belief, the Jews who now live in Israel are of European descent and only appeared in the Land in the 19th century. Of course, this assertion denies millennia of Jewish identity and historic connection to the Land, as well as multiple extrabiblical historic sources. It also ignores the vast amount of archaeological evidence that testifies to Jewish life in the land for well over 3,000 years.
One of the logical outcomes of the false claim that Jews have only been present in the Land for a couple of hundred years is the identification of Jesus as a Palestinian. After all, how could Jesus be Jewish if there were no Jews in the land when he was born there?
This outrageous attempt to deny Israel the right to exist through a combination of false theology and rewritten history delegitimizes the right of Jews to live there now. BUT it also results in the elimination of Christian history, and the delegitimization of the Christian faith. This is because our heritage as Christians begins with a Jewish Messiah and Jewish disciples who lived in that land. The Christian faith is absolutely dependent on its Jewish roots, as Paul made so clear in his letter to the Romans.
Christians who understand what is at stake here must regularly and vigorously counter such a false doctrine, created to deny Jews their biblical and historical heritage in their ancient homeland!
Enemies of the Jewish State routinely argue that Israel's existence is in opposition to international law. The truth is quite the opposite!
In 1920, in the aftermath of World War I, the Principal Allied Powers - who were invested with the authority to supervise the breakup of the defeated Ottoman Empire - met in San Remo, Italy. During the conference, the sovereign right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel was codified in international law, based on the recognition that the land of Israel is in fact the native land of the Jewish people.
This international forum passed what is known as the San Remo Resolution and declared their goal to “reconstitute the ancient Jewish state within its historic border.” Through their acknowledgment of the historic connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel, those responsible for the San Remo Resolution recognized that Jewish settlement in the land was not new but was an appropriate resettling of Jews in the ancient Jewish homeland where Jews had lived continuously since ancient times.
As international lawyer Howard Grief, author of The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law, explains, “The San Remo Resolution converted the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, from a mere statement of British policy expressing sympathy with the goal of the Zionist movement to create a Jewish state, into a binding act of international law that required specific fulfillment by Britain of this object in active cooperation with the Jewish people.”
The intent to restore the Jewish people to their homeland was ratified by a unanimous vote of The League of Nations, which entrusted Great Britain to fulfill the mandate that recognized the Jews’ legal right to settle, as one area, anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. It is important to note, that in spite of the historic failure on the part of Great Britain to fulfill its intended role, the San Remo Resolution has never been superseded by any other legally binding document.
In other words, Israel's right to exist is legitimate according to international law!
CAMERA IS LOOKING FOR A NEW CHRISTIAN MEDIA ANALYST!
Would you, or someone you know, like to work on behalf of Israel in a full-time capacity?
CAMERA is currently seeking a Christian Media Analyst to expand the Partnership's work in countering misinformation about Israel broadcast by churches, para-church organizations and news outlets that serve the Christian community throughout the world. This person will help monitor, and when appropriate, counter misinformation targeting all Christian communities while focusing on efforts to promote anti-Israel propaganda in the American Evangelical community.
- Monitor Christian news outlets for misinformation and work with other CAMERA researchers to counter this messaging.
- Monitor, and counter, anti-Israel propaganda and theology promoted by Palestinian Christians in Western church environments.
- Work to promote an accurate understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israeli and Jewish history and the status of Christians living in Muslim-majority environments among Christians.
- Work with Christians to counter anti-Israel propaganda in their faith communities, with an emphasis on the Evangelical community.
- Submit articles detailing problems associated with Christian anti-Zionism.
- Review and effectively refute anti-Zionists texts targeting Christians.
- Attend conferences as either a speaker or researcher as budget allows.
- Interact with donors and supporters to promote CAMERA’s mission.
- Network with Christians from the Middle East and promote their story to Christians in U.S.
- Provide content for the CAMERA website and for its affiliated website, CAMERA’s Partnership of Christians and Jews.
- Four-year degree in a relevant field – Middle East Studies, politics, theology, or church history.
- Demonstrated interest in Christian/Jewish relations.
- Strong writing and research skills.
- Journalism experience a plus.
- Ability to work productively in a team setting.
Location: CAMERA National Offices in Boston area.
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.
Send resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls, please.
Email subject line: Christian Media Analyst