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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 27, 2009 / 6 Menachem-Av 5769

Anglican priest disgraces authentic Christianity

By Dexter Van Zile





Dexter Van Zile, a JWR reader (and lifelong Christian) asks what type of god inheres in the so-called peacemaking ministry of Anglican Priest Naim Ateek, founder of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Anglican Priest Naim Ateek is making the rounds in support of his most recent book, A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation (Orbis, 2008), in which he falsely accuses Israel of perpetrating a "slow and creeping genocide" against Palestinians — who have one of the fastest growing populations in the world.


Apparently, leveling false accusations at the Jewish people and their homeland is not enough to get one barred from polite society in 21st century America.


So much for history progressing in an upward spiral.


In February, Ateek, founder of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, appeared at churches in Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.


And on July 18-20, Ateek appeared at a number of venues in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. In addition to appearing in churches, Ateek appeared for the first time before a congregation of American Jews — at the Kadima House in Seattle.


The centerpiece of Ateek's Puget Sound tour was his June 20, 2009 appearance on Weekday, a radio show hosted by Steve Scher and broadcast on KUOW, an NPR station in Seattle. During his radio appearance, Ateek returned to a persistent theme in his writings: the notion that the god described in some of the Hebrew Scriptures is a primitive, violent and territorial god who cares only about Jews.


During the interview, during which Scher lobbed softball questions, Ateek described Palestinian liberation theology as a way of helping people understand "how the Bible has been abused by Jewish religious extremists and Christian Zionists [who are] using the Bible against the Palestinians."


According to Ateek, "people quote from Genesis that G-d has given the land to the Jewish people. So the land is given by God so they have a divine right to the land and the Palestinians have no rights. They need to go. It is the wrong way of interpreting scripture. Palestinian liberation theology comes to really help people understand that the message of the Bible is not about a god who is a person concerned about a piece of land here or there, but a god of justice, a god of peace, a god of compassion."


During the interview, Ateek stated that some books in the Hebrew canon — most notably Daniel and Jonah — offer a critique and an alternative to this "exclusive, bigoted god who says I'm gonna go with you to war, I'm gonna kill your enemies."


Scher, who did not raise concerns about Ateek's use of anti-Jewish polemics from the New Testament against the modern state of Israel, also failed to address a central question that needs asking: What type of god is propounded in Ateek's so-called "peacemaking" ministry?


It's an obvious question given Ateek's criticism of the exclusive and bullying god that he says Jews and Christian Zionists use to justify Israeli policies.


Ateek, who condemns belief in a god that would direct its blessing exclusively toward the Jewish people, propagates the agenda of a god who directs its judgment and anger at Israel, especially its Jewish inhabitants. Ateek does not openly confess allegiance to such a deity — in fact he denies doing so. Nevertheless, his commentary about the Arab-Israeli conflict provides a resting place, an ark, for just such a god.


For example, during his appearance on Weekday, Ateek asserted that the "Today the Jewish people are not suffering. They are the oppressors. … They can be relieved from their suffering if they do justice. I think part of the suffering of the Jewish people, or Israeli, I mean — not Jews I mean because there are still more Jews outside Israel than there are Jews there — they can have greater security. Israel doesn't want peace. That's part of the problem and Israel wants to get rid of the Palestinians and that's unfortunately what has been happening. So Israel can relieve itself from so much suffering if it does justice in that sense."


On this score, Ateek accords Israel with the power to unilaterally bring an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict through concessions and peace offers. In Ateek's logic, the fact that Palestinians have engaged in persistent acts of violence against Israel is proof of Israeli intransigence — not Arab rejectionism. Exactly who wants to get rid of whom in the Middle East?


For Ateek, Israel's offer at Camp David in the summer of 2000, its acceptance of the Clinton Parameters the following winter, its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and Olmert's 2008 offer to withdraw from 93 percent of the West Bank are meaningless. Despite these and other concessions and withdrawals, Ateek regards violence against Israel as Israel's fault.


In sum, nothing Israel does is good enough for the god who animates in Ateek's sermonizing, and very little of what the Palestinians have done wrong is worthy of divine judgment, or even a benign admonition.


For example, on October 5, 2000, soon after the beginning of the Second Intifada, when a real peacemaker would be calling for calm and for an end to violence, Ateek issued a statement that portrayed Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount on Sept. 28 as a "violation" and a "desecration" and asserted that "It was right for our Palestinian Muslim brothers and sisters to stand up in the defense of their holiest place, al-Haram al-Sharif, when it was being threatened and desecrated."


On its face, "standing up in defense of their holiest place," seems like a pretty benign affirmation of nonviolent action, unless of course one takes into account the fact that five Israelis had been killed by Palestinian violence in the two weeks before Ateek issued this statement.


While Ateek gives close scrutiny to the theology of Christian Zionists and Jewish extremists, he gives light treatment to the theology motivating Muslim violence against Jews and the Islamic refusal to accept the notion of a sovereign Jewish state. His painstaking exegesis of the Hebrew scriptures and repeated invocations of Christianity's universalism — which are invariably targeted at Jewish beliefs and policies — testify to a god obsessed and offended by the Jewish refusal to accept Christianity, and silently indifferent to a Muslim intolerance toward Jews.


Muslim theology regarding the land and the Jewish people plays a significant, if not dominant, role in fomenting violence against Israel in the Middle East, but neither Ateek nor the group he leads, Sabeel, address these subjects in a meaningful way.


One question that Scher could have asked of Ateek is why he spends such a disproportionate amount time condemning Christian Zionists, who have never blown up a bus, and the small number of Jewish settlers whose violence toward Palestinians, while condemnable, does not even come close to the misdeeds perpetrated by groups like Hamas and Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade against Israelis.


The story Naim Ateek tells about the Arab-Israeli conflict, cloaked as it is in the language of Christian peacemaking, attests to the existence of a deaf, dumb and blind god who would use Muslim and Arab violence against Israel as a scourge against the Jewish people.


Such a god is not worthy of worship.


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Dexter Van Zile is the Christian Media Analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. Comment by clicking


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© 2009, Dexter Van Zile