To the UK Baptist Missionary Society
21 October, 2010
To: BMS (UK) “Engage” Magazine Editor
Re: Recent Alex Awad Article on “Christians in Palestine”
I direct a Christian missions and evangelistic ministry operating in several countries including Israel among both Arabs and Jews.
This past week our Bible shop and coffee bar outreach to the Arab community in Galilee was attacked by Islamic terrorists with stun grenades injuring one of our staff, Tino, an Arab Christian brother. Our work in the West Bank is directed by another Arab Christian brother, Pastor Najeeb, who has a family but of whom we recently learned has a Fatwa (an Islamic religious death order) placed on him for evangelizing Muslims. We have witnessed Hamas closing down the Christian book shops in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority a Christian TV station in Bethlehem last April, all of which the Israeli authorities allowed to operate. We are therefore confused by the Awad article lauding the friendship between Arab Muslims and Christians.
As with a number of Arab Christians including Salem Khaleem, Masoub Yosef (son of the founder of Hamas who is now a Christian), Joseph Fara, and a host of Arab Baptist pastors such as Yosef Oudi from Kfar Yosef and Shmuel Rin Said, we join with these Arab brethren in thanking God for Israel, the Israeli government, the Israeli army, and the Israeli police because without them our Arab brothers, evangelists, and missionaries and their converts would be dead.
With nearly all of the Evangelical pastors martyred in Iran, the illegal possession of the New Testament and establishment of churches illegal in Saudi Arabia, 3.4 million Christians exterminated in open genocide in Sudan in the last 14 years, and brethren in prison in even moderate Islamic countries such as Egypt and Jordan only for the crime of becoming Christians, we indeed thank God for the one country in the Middle East that protects the human rights and religious freedom of our Arab brethren in Christ, and that country is Jewish Israel. Ironically, this one nation in the Near East giving freedom to Arab Christians is the one who is kicked in the highly biased article you published with the false allegation of an ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Israel against Arab Christians. It was rather Israel who absorbed the Christian refugees from southern Lebanon when they were driven out of their homes by Islamic Hizbollah. Why don’t you print the truth instead of such revisionist propaganda not befitting the Name of Christ?
Not to offend him personally, but I debated Alex Awad in the UK on TV several months ago (the debate is still on You Tube here) and as you can witness for yourself he is an exegetical incompetent who was unable to present any academically credible arguments theologically for his supercessionist position. How can he teach students at Bethlehem Bible College what he clearly does not know himself? That institution is a front for one-sided political pseudo-theology and your visiting lecturer from Sterling Baptist church will not help it.
By definition, an indigenous people group cannot be called an “occupying presence”. An Apache cannot “occupy” Arizona, nor a Maori “occupy” New Zealand. How then can a Jew “occupy” Jerusalem, Bethlehem, or Jericho when independent of Scripture archaeology proves categorically that they are indigenous?
Even if you choose to ignore the prophetic teaching of Jesus on a national restoration of Israel to Jerusalem (Luke 21:24, Matthew 23:38-39, Zechariah 12:1-10, etc.) should you not as a Christian publication at least address historical fact allowing both sides of an issue to be put across and exercise the fairness and integrity to allow a responsive article to be published? (Proverbs 18: 17)
In 1968 Yasser Arafat called Jordan “Palestine” and in 1970 King Hussein of Jordan called Jordan “Palestine” (as did the UN, The League of Nations, and the British government up until 1948). During the British Mandate HM the Jews of that region were called “Palestinians” ““ 30,000 of them serving as volunteers in the British Palestine Legion under Montgomery. From where, please, does your article get its “Palestine”? Until 1967 West Bank Arabs called themselves “Jordanians” and from 1948 until 1967 the West Bank and East Jerusalem plus Gaza were in the hands of Arab Muslims. If they wanted a second Palestinian state in addition to Jordan why did they not simply create one when they had nearly 20 years to freely do so?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) of the UN, in everything from reduced infant mortality to decreased unemployment to increased longevity, the standard of living of West Bank Arabs increased 320% under the Israelis and 370% in Gaza.
I lived in there, we operate there, and the article you publish does not tell your readers the truth. Christ does not want Christians to do this.
Your article states fallacies as fact while ignoring the true plight of persecuted Arab Christians. Do common sense as well as fairness and Christian principle not demand that both points of view be comprehensively presented?
Moriel urges our readers globally to contact the Baptist Mission Society (UK) with their disapproval at this hypocritical bias:
BMS World Mission
PO Box 49
Didcot, Oxfordshire , UK
Sincerely In Christ,
James Jacob Prasch (Rev)
Director of Moriel Missions