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The Daily TIP: Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theorist Speaks at Christian Anti-Israel Conference in Oklahoma City

Posted by Tip Staff - October 16, 2018

Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theorist Speaks at Christian Anti-Israel Conference in Oklahoma City
Australian PM Promises Closer Ties with Israel, Considers Embassy Move to Jerusalem
Tablet Magazine: Anti-Zionism Is Not a Progressive Value
Large IDF Medical Delegation to Participate in Major European Rescue Exercise

Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theorist Speaks at Christian Anti-Israel Conference in Oklahoma City

A Christian conference which promotes the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, called “Christ at the Checkpoint” (CATC), is hosting Rev. Stephen Sizer, a well-known anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist who blamed Jews for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, JNS reported on Monday.

The event, which is taking place in Oklahoma City this week, is part of the organization’s concerted effort to challenge Christian Zionism and erode support for Israel within Christian communities in the United States. The conference is held every two years in Bethlehem, but this year organizers have decided to hold the conference in the U.S.

In 2015, the Church of England banned Sizer from speaking, writing, tweeting or blogging on the Middle East, after he posted a link on Facebook to an article entitled “9/11 Israel did it” adding the comment that it “raises so many questions.” The vicar was later ordered by the church to “cease all preaching, teaching and leading of services,” after breaking his pledge to refrain from commenting on Israel, and is now retired from the church. In 2014, Sizer infuriated Jewish community leaders by taking part in a Holocaust denial conference in Iran which was dubbed an “anti-Semitic hate-fest.”

Luke Moon, the Deputy Director of the Philos Project in New York, told The Tower that “The goal of Christ at the Checkpoint is to undermine Christian support for Israel. Having attended the last four CATC conferences in Bethlehem this one is proving to be the worst.”

He added that “The organizers have gone too far in hosting Stephen Sizer…The positive relationship between Christians and Jews is at an all-time high and it’s conferences like this one that seek to drive us back to the days of antagonism and distrust—and I will fight hard against that.”

Writing in The Tower Magazine in April 2014, Moon observed that “leaders and participants of Christ at the Checkpoint have grown to be increasingly astute regarding American Evangelicals and how to persuade them of their anti-Israel narrative.” Moon warned that “arresting this threat will be a challenge,” adding “It is simply not enough to warn Evangelical churches of the danger. They need to be equipped with the knowledge necessary to combat the lies with facts and understand the modern state of Israel.”

Australian PM Promises Closer Ties with Israel, Considers Embassy Move to Jerusalem

Newly-installed Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for closer ties with Israel and said that he would consider moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem at a press conference Tuesday.

At the joint press conference held with Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Morrison, who became Prime Minister in August, addressed three aspects of Australia's ties to Israel.

After noting Australia's improving defense cooperation with the Jewish state, Morrison said, "we share serious concerns about potentially destabilising behaviour in the Middle East when it comes to the activities of Iran." In this context, the prime minister said that Australia would review its approach to the nuclear deal with Iran "without prejudice.“

Specifically, Morrison vowed that Australia would make "an assessment of the IAEA and other agencies’ advice on Iran's compliance with the agreement and on whether the JCPOA can meet our long-term objective of preventing Iran from having the capability to develop nuclear weapons."

The prime minister also said that in light of Australia's growing cooperation with Israel in military affairs, he proposed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "that we appoint defence attaches in each of our embassies of Australia in Tel Aviv" to enhance that collaboration.

The most-reported news of the press conference was that Morrison said that Australia would consider moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

He noted that he was leaning towards accepting the advice of former Australian Ambassador to Israel David Sharma that by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, "you are actually aiding the cause for a two state solution." Morrison observed that "not a lot of progress has been made" on the two-state solution under the current assumptions. He added, "and you don't keep doing the same thing and expect different results."

Tablet Magazine: Anti-Zionism Is Not a Progressive Value

Carly Pildis, identified as a political organizer and advocacy professional, argued that anti-Zionism violates the Jewish right to self-determination and has no place in progressive politics, in an essay published on Sunday in Tablet Magazine.

The problem with anti-Zionism is that it "ghettoizes Jews from the rest of the justice movement, putting a wall around us that separates us from other marginalized people." Those who engage in anti-Zionism deny Jews the same equality that progressives champion for other "historically oppressed people."

Identification of Jews with Zionism, Pildis wrote, is strong. Polls show that over four-fifths of American Jews between the ages of 18 and 29 view "caring about Israel" to be an important part of being Jewish.

"The demand that Jews discard a key element of our liberation, culture, and identity to join a social justice movement is anything but progressive," Pildis argued. "It is a radical silencing and rejection of core parts of our history and identity as an oppressed people."

Although "progressives can and should debate Israeli government policies, and American government policies," they "must not impose litmus tests for Jews or disregard the historical Jewish experience of marginalization, oppression, and mass murder—and they must acknowledge Jewish self-determination in our indigenous homeland as a human right."

In a similar vein, Josh Block, the president and CEO of The Israel Project recently told the Beth Am Congregation in Los Altos Hills, California, that "progressive ideals have been hijacked by anti-Semites."

Large IDF Medical Delegation to Participate in Major European Rescue Exercise

A large delegation from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Medical Corps landed in Bucharest, Romania this week to take part in the Seism 2018 (Earthquake 2018) international exercise in cooperation with the European Union.

Seism 2018 involves all parties responsible for leadership, coordination and response at the local, regional and national levels in case of a major earthquake.

The Israeli team includes 36 doctors (including one born in Romania), 21 nurses, 13 medical assistants, two pharmacists, seven paramedics, a psychologist, a veterinarian, a physiotherapist, five x-ray technicians, four lab technicians, four biologists, a medical clown, a rabbi and seven kitchen staffers in addition to 90 active and reserve soldiers.

They brought their 10-tent mobile field hospital – named the best in the world by the United Nations and the first field hospital ever to achieve a Type 3 World Health Organization rating. It encompasses an emergency room, intensive-care unit, 50-bed hospital unit, surgical theater, imaging department and laboratory, and is fully equipped with medicines and medical devices. Col. (res.) Dr. Ofer Merin is in charge of the hospital.

“This is the largest operational exercise that has been attended so far by the IDF Medical Corps and is helping to strengthen cooperation between the IDF and the European Union. We are taking part in Seism 2018 to improve the work of the corps in its effort to save people’s lives,” said delegation head Col. Dr. Hagay Frenkel, who appears in this video about the effort.

The IDF field hospital has been deployed in real-life disasters such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal. Israel is one of 17 countries approved by WHO for sending medical disaster relief teams abroad. Other countries contributing personnel and/or equipment to Seism 2018 include Austria, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Moldova, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland and Norway.

(via Israel21c)

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