21 October 2007

22 October 2007 - Who's Tutu hanging out with?

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe writes about Naim Ateek, one of the clerics in charge of next weekend’s anti-Israel hatefest at the Old South Church in Boston. Ateek’s name is featured right under Tutu’s on the official conference program. Does Tutu know what this man believes? Jacoby makes it fairly clear:

“Just as critics of the United States are not necessarily anti-American bigots, critics of Israel are not necessarily biased against Jews. But Sabeel and Ateek's denunciations of Israel have included imagery explicitly linking the modern Jewish state to the terrible charge of deicide that for centuries fueled so much anti-Jewish hatred and bloodshed.

“‘It seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him,’ Ateek has written, envisioning ‘hundreds of thousands of crosses throughout the land, Palestinian men, women, and children being crucified. Palestine has become one huge Golgotha. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily.’

“In a sermon titled ‘The Massacre of the Innocents’ Ateek similarly condemned the ‘modern-day Herods’ in Israel - a reference to the evil king who the New Testament says slaughtered the babies of Bethlehem in an attempt to murder the newborn Jesus. In another sermon, Ateek portrays Israelis as having ‘shut off the Palestinians in a tomb . . . similar to the stone placed on the entrance of Jesus' tomb.’

“In Ateek's metaphorical telling, in other words, Israel is guilty of trying to murder Jesus as an infant, of killing Jesus on the cross, and of seeking to prevent his resurrection.”

Ateek’s chairing a panel discussion—right after the interfaith service—entitled “The Apartheid Paradigm: A Challenge to Promoting Justice.” It “examines the moral issues of confronting and dismantling apartheid-like policies in Israel-Palestine.” Evidently old-style antisemitism is “moral.”


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