“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

MIDEAST: Christians: Hamas win will bring Israel, evangelicals closer

THE VICTORY of the militant Islamic Hamas in last week’s Palestinian election will likely strengthen the relationship between Israel and evangelicals, Israeli parliament members and Christian leaders said yesterday.

THE VICTORY of the militant Islamic Hamas in last week’s Palestinian election will likely strengthen the relationship between Israel and evangelicals, Israeli parliament members and Christian leaders said yesterday.

A Hamas-led government could threaten access to holy sites and the well-being of Christians in the holy land, Israeli parliament members and evangelical leaders warned in a meeting sponsored by the Christian Allies Caucus, a group of 14 Israeli parliament members seeking to mobilise Christian support for the Jewish state.

Evangelical Christians are among the strongest supporters of Israel in the U.S., but some are uncomfortable with their extreme stance, opposing any Israeli pullback from the West Bank or Gaza or compromise with the Palestinians.

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson caused a stir in Israel by implying that the massive stroke Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered on Jan. 4 was divine retribution for his pullout from Gaza last summer. Robertson later apologised.

NO CONTACT

Israel has said it would have no contact with a government led by Hamas, which rejects Israel’s right to exist and has sent dozens of suicide bombers into Israel, killing hundreds.

At the meeting, Christian representatives said a Palestinian government led by Hamas will galvanise Christian support for Israel.

When Fatah was in power, it was more complicated for many evangelicals to understand they should side with Israel, because Fatah was a partner to interim peace accords, said David Decker, of the Covenant Alliance, an arm of the Christian Allies Caucus seeking to set up pro-Israel groups in parliaments around the world, including the U.S. Congress.

“Most of the civilised world understands that Hamas is bad,” Decker said. “So this makes it very clear (Israel) is the one trying to make peace and (the Hamas-led Palestinians) are not.”

It is no longer simply pleasant for Evangelicals and Israeli leaders to work together, said Rebecca Brimmer, president of Bridges for Peace, an Evangelical Christian organisation that helps Jews immigrate to Israel.

“We must not forget we have joint enemies,” Brimmer said.

Evangelicals and parliament members said it didn’t matter that Hamas was elected democratically.

OPENLY A HOLY WAR

“It’s openly a holy war against both our faiths,” said Yuri Shtern, a hawkish member of Israel’s parliament and chairman of the caucus. “And they (want to) keep the most important Christian holy places in their hands. This is a death threat to our civilisation, to our religions.”

However, Bishop Arif Shirvanian of the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem, was more optimistic about Hamas.

2016-10-24T07:29:54+00:00 February 4th, 2006|Categories: News|