Friday, June 17, 2011

Non-Violent Palestinian Christians Living in a Culture of Hate

In this blog I've previously mentioned Palestinian Christian, Sami Awad.   Awad is the executive director of Holy Land Trust. The mission statement of HLT is stated on its website:
Through a commitment to the principles of nonviolence, the Holy Land Trust seeks to strengthen and empower the Palestinian community in developing spiritual, pragmatic and strategic approaches that will allow it to resist all forms of oppression and build a future that makes the Holy Land a global model and pillar of understanding, respect, justice, equality and peaceful coexistence.
Sami claims to be deeply committed to the principles of non-violence as a way to deal with the Middle East conflict. Yet he fails to ever condemn his own Palestinian brothers who endorse a violent solution to peace with the Israelis.  In other words, peace will come when Israel is destroyed.


In his lecture at the 2010 Christ At the Checkpoint conference, Mr. Awad describes an opportunity he was given to tour several Nazi death camps including Auschwitz. This experience was part of a retreat provided by Peace Maker Circle International. They bring people from all over the world to allow them to experience the tragedy that happened to the Jewish people as well as other ethnic groups in Auschwitz.

Sami tells of an experience he observed which he shared in the lecture, an experience he also shared in the evangelical produced film The Little Town of Bethlehem, a film that takes the viewer into the heart of the Israel/Palestine conflict but with a strong Palestinian twist.

Here is what the Holy Land Trust director tells the audience in his lecture about his experience at Auschwitz;
we witnessed hundreds of young Israelis (12‐16 years old), come to visit the place in tours organized by Israel. They would wear big Israeli flags on their back and walk on the railway in Birkenua singing nationalist songs. They would take the tour of the site and then sit in circles similar to what we were doing, and then the Israeli guide would begin talking. 
At this time you imagine how important it is for the guide to tell these children how important it is that something like this does not happen again. Something else was happening. 
These guides were telling the children, “You see what happened to your grandparents, great‐uncles, and great‐aunts? Well this is not over. You are living in that same threat and if given the opportunity, Palestinians, Muslims, Arabs will do the same to you.”

The point of Awad's observation is that Israeli children are growing up in a culture of fear and hate. Awad continues:
Then this 18 year old is handed a machine gun, thrown at a checkpoint in the West Bank that has nothing to do with providing any security for Israel and is now told, deal with the new “Nazi”…. Fear is planted in their heart from day one.
The irony of Awad's observation is that he ignores how deeply embedded is the culture of hate among Palestinians.

Here in a video called Hamas Kids Play the viewer is shown what the land of Israel is up against as Palestinian children are taught from a young age that terrorism is acceptable and part of the Palestinian mindset.



In this video we observe Palestinian children dressed as suicide bombers and displaying bloody hands. Again, Sami Awad, the director of the Holy Land Trust has hypocritically leveled his attacks of violence against Israelis while ignoring the violence that is so much a part of his own Palestinian culture.

If Awad, a Palestinian, is truly a Christian for non-violence, then why is it that he and his other non-violent supports fail to confront the violence in the Hamas controlled entity of Palestine?
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2 comments:

Joseph W said...

What happened when I met Rev. Sizer at his screening of With God On Our Side:

http://seismic-shock.com/2010/11/09/with-god-on-our-side-screens-in-manchester/

Louis Lapides said...

Joseph W: Thanks for the link to your article on Seismic-Shock. As a messianic Jew, I am clearly struggling with holding a sincere Christian love for Palestinian Christians who deliberately distort their own history and the terrorist culture of their own people and put all the focus on Israel. I don't want to put a big plastic Christian smile on my face confessing love while inwardly, I am angry at the deception propagated by Sizer and Awad and others. Can you recommend a balanced group of Jews and Palestinians who are willing to look at the ME history and be honest about the truth. I would also love to publish your critique of With God on Our Side on my blog with your permission.