Saturday, August 19th | 27 Av 5777

Close

Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

Subscribe
June 24, 2012 12:35 am

Kairos USA’s Scapegoat for Palestinian Suffering

avatar by Dexter Van Zile

Email a copy of "Kairos USA’s Scapegoat for Palestinian Suffering" to a friend

A Catholic procession on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem (2006). Photo: Darko Tepert.

Another group of Christian peacemakers has issued yet another statement about the Arab-Israeli conflict. The authors of this document state their goal is to “respond faithfully and boldly to the situation in Israel and Palestine.” Apparently in the lexicon of the folks who wrote this document – a group that calls itself “Kairos USA“ – “situation” is another word for “conflict” or “war” and “responding faithfully and boldly” means focusing the eye of Christian judgment on Israel and its alleged sins like the Eye of Sauron looking for the holder of the One Ring on the slopes of Mount Doom.

Unlike Sauron, the folks who wrote this document found what they are looking for – a scapegoat upon which they foist all the blame for Palestinian suffering. This can be seen in the visual rhetoric offered by the group’s website, which shows pictures of the security barrier and juxtaposes them with pastoral images of the Holy Land. The implication is obvious – Israeli security measures are a blot on the Holy Land.

Just to give you a sense of how distorted the text is, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs accurately reports that the 8,000-word document does not include the word Hamas.

No honest discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict can proceed without addressing Hamas’ desire to destroy Israel and the violence it has perpetrated to achieve that goal. To have a conversation about the Arab-Israeli conflict without mentioning Hamas is like talking about World War II without mentioning the word Nazis or the Cold War without mentioning Communism.

Related coverage

September 19, 2016 6:32 am
0

Israel Is High on Medical Marijuana

JNS.org - Google CEO Eric Schmidt believes Israeli entrepreneurs succeed because they challenge authority, question everything and don’t play by the rules. “The...

About the best thing that can be said about the text is that it laments the suffering of long-dead Jews at the hands of their long-dead anti-Semitic murderers. Christian oppression of Jews, the authors acknowledge “culminated in the attempted extermination of the Jewish people in the heart of Europe in the mid-20th century.”

Confronting modern-day expressions of anti-Semitism in the Middle East of the 21st century, however, is beyond the prophetic imagination the people who wrote this text. In the minds of Kairos USA, pointing out Muslim and Islamist anti-Semitism is an act of “Islamophobia.” Pretty ironic coming from people who remind us that not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic.

Kairos USA bills its document as a response to another document, this one issued by a group of Palestinian Christians in December 2009. This previous document, typically referred to as Kairos Palestine is a reworking of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic themes that have been invoked by Arab Christians against the modern state of Israel for decades.

For example, the document imposes a higher standard on the Jewish state by asserting that the Holy Land on which it is located has a “universal mission.” The document then uses the notion of a universal mission to assess Israeli policies while ignoring the misdeeds of its adversaries a pass.

The Kairos Palestine Document also asserts that “If there were no occupation, there would be no resistance, no fear and insecurity.” Given that Israel has been attacked from nearly every bit of land from which it has withdrawn since the 1990s, this is simply ridiculous, but this hasn’t stopped the people in Kairos USA from stating “we affirm the validity and accuracy of this analysis.” This isn’t analysis. It’s wishful thinking.

One interesting aspect of Kairos USA’s statement is how easily its critique of Christian Zionism and Israeli policies can be adapted to critique Muslim doctrine and Islamist ideology regarding non-Jews and the modern state of Israel. The authors state that “Theologies that privilege one nation with political entitlements to the exclusion of others miss a central tenet of the Gospel and inspire increased conflict.”

This seems like a pretty good critique of the Muslim doctrine that calls for the subjugation of non-Muslims in Muslim majority societies and the Islamist ideology that calls for Israel’s destruction. But don’t try telling that to the authors of this document because that’s Islamophobia. The central insight of the document – that religious doctrine matters, can only be used to assess the behavior and beliefs of Americans, Israelis, Christians and Jews – not Muslims and Arabs.

The authors obliquely concede that there has been a “radicalization of Islamic identity” but then assert this radicalization has been fueled by Israeli injustice against the Palestinians, beginning in 1948 and intensifying in 1967 and thereafter.” What the authors fail to acknowledge, however, is that there were Palestinian leaders who were willing to make peace with the Palestinians prior to the 1948 War, but these leaders were killed and marginalized by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who during and after World War II helped introduce Nazi hostility into the Middle East.

The underlying message of the Kairos Document is that Christians in the United States and in the West really do not have to take Muslim and Islamist hostility toward Jews and Israel seriously until after the Israelis figure out a way to make peace with the Palestinians.

It is a fantasy, but maybe it is an improvement from what we’ve seen in the past. In previous epochs, Christians looked for, and found, manifold excuses to murder Jews. These days, they are not looking for excuses to murder Jews, but merely excuses to ignore hostility and violence toward Jews when exhibited by their neighbors in the Middle East.

Apparently, in the moral universe of these Christian peacemakers, the move from perpetrator to bystander is a step up, a move toward redemption.

Who knew?

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • jeb stuart

    Surely in the near future the phrase, “nothing good comes from Chicago” will be accepted as a truism. It makes me suspicious that this organization is centered a few doors down from J street. In fact, Kairos USA goal does not seem Christian at all, they appear to be another group that is devioted to pacifism and are willing to compromise too much, in my opinion and spiritual sense, I believe they are making false psoitives to achieve a higher good. Perhaps they are misguided because they think there is an imbalance in how the west has recently come to view the ugly side of Islam, and I also wonder if their leaders have been co-opted by fables generated in Egypt and other Muslim Brotherhood outlets that 9-11 was a Bush CIA initiative. It remains to be seen how much genuine love this group has that we might know them or if they are just another group that mistakes tolerating tyranny like radical Islam as necessary demonstrations of Christian faith. One might suggest that at least they are not directly attacking Jews. But if the Israeli border comes down in the manner they prescribe it will have the same effect.

  • jeb stuart

    Surely in the near future the phrase, “nothing good comes from Chicago” will be accepted as a truism. It makes me suspicious that this organization is centered a few doors down from J street. In fact, Kairos USA goal does not seem Christian at all, they appear to be another group that is devioted to pacifism and are willing to compromise too much, in my opinion and spiritual sense, I believe they are making false psoitives to achieve a higher good. Perhaps they are misguided because they think there is an imbalance in how the west has recently come to view the ugly side of Islam, and I also wonder if their leaders have been co-opted by fables generated in Egypt and other Muslim Brotherhood outlets that 9-11 was a Bush CIA initiative. It remains to be seen how much genuine love this group has that we might know them or if they are just another group that mistakes tolerating tyranny like radical Islam as necessary demonstrations of Christian faith. One might suggest that at least they are not directly attacking Jews. But if the Israeli border comes down in the manner they prescribe it will have the same effect.

  • jeb stuart

    Surely in the near future the phrase, “nothing good comes from Chicago” will be accepted as a truism. It makes me suspicious that this organization is centered a few doors down from J street. In fact, Kairos USA goal does not seem Christian at all, they appear to be another group that is devioted to pacifism and are willing to compromise too much, in my opinion and spiritual sense, I believe they are making false psoitives to achieve a higher good. Perhaps they are misguided because they think there is an imbalance in how the west has recently come to view the ugly side of Islam, and I also wonder if their leaders have been co-opted by fables generated in Egypt and other Muslim Brotherhood outlets that 9-11 was a Bush CIA initiative. It remains to be seen how much genuine love this group has that we might know them or if they are just another group that mistakes tolerating tyranny like radical Islam as necessary demonstrations of Christian faith. One might suggest that at least they are not directly attacking Jews. But if the Israeli border comes down in the manner they prescribe it will have the same effect.

  • kevobx

    The state of Israel will not acknowledge Esau, why? How can God, love one twin, and hate the other, the elder twin? What did Esau do, that Abraham sweared not to do? (Genesis 24:37) Esau married a Canaanite & the tribe of Judah, black people followed him Esau afterwards (Genesis 38:2). The Synagogue Jews (Revelation 2:9) forgot about Jacob’s mother Rebekah, her brother was son of Bethuel the Syrian. Remember, Joseph owns Esau birthright *1st Chronicles 5:2* And synagogue Jews hate Joseph and love virgin Mary (Jeremiah 11:9), sounds like Isaac and Rebekah favoritism. Blessings and favor is one thing, but grace and truth is salvation.

  • I’ve read many discourses from groups, Christian and otherwise, that at least seem well-intentioned, even if wrong-headed. The Kairos group seems very wrong-headed, but not at all well-intentioned; they seem as melevolent toward Jews as are Muslims and their apologists.

    After reading the documents and watching the videos on their websites, I do not think they are what claim, as they seem to hate Biblical Christians as much as they do Jews.

    They deny what I know to be true, that Palestinians are the authors of their own misery, that terrorist Hamas is the aggressor, that Palestinians simmer their own children in hatred and train them for murder, that only in Israel do Muslims and Christians enjoy freedom, and that the West bank is not occupied but owned by Israel.

    The idea that the Middle East would be a great place if only there were no Jews (what I derived from their statements) is a dangerous one, an idea echoed by both Muslim terrorists in the Middle East and CAIR operatives in the USA, as well as the majority of liberals seeking scapegoats.

    For others to call these hate-mongers Christians is a mistake; for Kairos to call themselves Christians is an affront to those who actually follow Christ’s teachings without twisting His words. For anyone to call them “Peacemakers” is to misunderstand their real message. They advocate a one-sided peace that can only be achieved through death. Christians should give these Jew-hating Muslim-loving end-of-days cultists a wide berth.

    • lisa

      Amen, Ralph.

    • John

      Ralph. I doubt you are a Christian given your hate filled rant against real Christians following the teachings of Christ. The Kairos USA group are aligned with Kairos Palestine and Kairos South Africa. They know what they’re talking about, they are dealing with what is happening on the ground in Israel /Palestine.

      You need to pray and reflect on what you are saying and perhaps learn the real truth on the ground. Bearing false witness against your neighbor is a sin against God and His commandents, as is worshiping false gods like you are.

Algemeiner.com