Watchdog: Anti-Israel Bethlehem Conference Funded by U.S., U.K., Netherlands
JNS.org – The U.S., U.K., and Dutch governments are helping to fund an upcoming conference called “Christ at the Checkpoint,” which attempts to sway Evangelical Christian opinion against Israel and whose themes have anti-Semitic undertones, according to a new report by the watchdog group NGO Monitor.
Christ at the Checkpoint (CATC) is a biennial event held in Bethlehem, organized by the Bethlehem Bible College and the Holy Land Trust. This year’s conference is scheduled for March 10-14. The stated goal of CATC is to “challenge Evangelicals to take responsibility to help resolve the conflicts in Israel-Palestine by engaging with the teaching of Jesus on the Kingdom of God.” Yet CATC includes a heavy emphasis on replacement theology, which teaches that the Christian church has replaced Israel or the Jewish people regarding the plan, purpose, and promises of God. Adherents of the theology believe that the Jewish are no longer God’s “chosen people.”
According to NGO Monitor’s report, the National Endowment for Democracy, largely funded by the U.S. Congress, has given $232,300 to the Holy Land Trust from 2006-2012, while the British government has given ₤15,000 ($25,078) to the Holy Land Trust through the U.K. government’s Middle East and North Africa Conflict Pool.
Two Dutch charities that receive subsidies and grants from the Dutch government—Cordaid (Catholic Organization for Relief and Development) and Kerk in Actie—also have ties to the Holy Land Trust.
“Direct and indirect funding to the organizers of Christ at the Checkpoint is mystifying and deeply concerning to us,” Yitzhak Santis, Chief Programs Officer and “BDS in the Pews” Project Director at NGO Monitor, told JNS.org.