Evangelical Christians Rally Against Occupation as Palestinians Gain Support

'Christ at Checkpoint' Focuses on West Bank Injustice

Wall of Injustice?: Tory Devries, right, of Santa Barbara, Calif., walks next to the Israeli-built separation barrier in Bethlehem.
Wall of Injustice?: Tory Devries, right, of Santa Barbara, Calif., walks next to the Israeli-built separation barrier in Bethlehem.

By Daniella Cheslow

Published March 16, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 4)

The wall in Bethlehem is part of a separation barrier that Israel has built since 2002 in response to a wave of Palestinian attacks. Palestinians point to its many departures from Israel’s pre-1967 border to loop deep into the West Bank, which they say amounts to a brazen land grab.

On the day the Forward visited the conference, there was no discussion of Islamic threats to Israel, although other reports quoted Ron Cantor of Messiah’s Mandate who said “no terror, no wall.”

Christ at the Checkpoint is both the evidence of a growing skepticism among young Christians toward this Israeli policy, and a vector for its growth.

The meeting in Bethlehem has raised hackles within Israel’s government. Earlier, Yigal Palmor, the chief press officer for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was quoted denouncing the conference as “an unacceptable and shameful act.”

“Using religion for the purpose of incitement in the service of political interests stains the person who does it with a stain of indelible infamy,” Palmor was quoted in the English language publication Israel Today.

America’s evangelical leadership has a long history of staunch support for Israel. And some of its major leaders directly oppose the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, held as gospel by Washington, Jerusalem and mainstream American Jewish leaders.

But Ennis – and many other Christ at the Checkpoint attendees – took pains to say she was simply trying to get a more evenhanded view and to open a discussion in her church.

“There’s a good portion of our clergy and elders who still don’t think we should partner with certain [Palestinian] groups here to aid in the conflict,” she said. “We need to help people specifically, and not just by supporting armies, as we have traditionally been supporting the U.S. and the Israeli army.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.