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Press Statements

The ICEJ’s Feast of Tabernacles has a New Home – The Jerusalem Pais Arena

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is pleased to announce that our annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration will have a new home this coming October 10-15, as we will be moving the week-long event to the brand new Jerusalem Pais Arena, near Malha mall.

For the past 33 years, the ICEJ has hosted its Feast gathering in the Jerusalem Convention Center, drawing thousands of Christians each year for a dynamic celebration of this biblical festival when the nations are welcomed in Jerusalem. This year, however, the ICEJ’s Feast will be held in the ultra-modern Pais Arena, which was inaugurated last week by Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat.

With 11,600 seats on eight levels, along with special seating galleries and executive boxes plus a massive center LED screen, Barkat described the Arena as “the most advanced, state-of-the-art venue of its kind in the Middle East.”

Mayor Barkat has been particularly encouraging about moving the Feast of Tabernacles to the new Arena, offering the Christian Embassy the privilege of hosting the first major international gathering in the new facility.

Coming on the heels of the recent Gaza conflict, the ICEJ’s Feast 2014 will also be a huge statement of solidarity with Israel by the thousands of Christians expected to show up for the festival.

“Our move to this new facility in Jerusalem is a very exciting development which will allow us to further grow the Feast of Tabernacles,” said Dr. Jürgen Bühler, ICEJ Executive Director. “We believe that in the years to come, this new hall will be filled every Sukkot with even more pro-Israel Christians from around the globe. So this is a thrilling moment for the city of Jerusalem and for our ministry.”

This year’s Feast schedule includes the traditional Israeli Guest Night, when the event is opened up to thousands of Israelis to enjoy a musical program geared for a Jewish audience. On Tuesday evening, 14 October, Israelis can enjoy their first experience in the new Arena along with their Christian friends from around the world, featuring special performances by Israeli and foreign artists.

For more information, contact:  David Parsons, ICEJ Media Director; Email: david.parsons@icej.org; Cell:  052 381 6214

ICEJ Statement on the U.N. Recognition of Palestine

Last year, the Palestinian Authority failed in its bid for international recognition of a unilaterally declared Palestinian state through a vote in the United Nations Security Council, which is the proper body to take such binding decisions.

So this year the PA turned to the UN General Assembly, seeking its approval of a resolution upgrading its status to that of a non-member state, the maximum status which the UNGA can confer without Security Council approval. Given the built-in majority support already enjoyed by the Palestinians in the General Assembly, that resolution passed today by a wide margin.

The PA insists this resolution is meant to preserve the two-state solution and further the search for peace in the Middle East. Yet they deliberately submitted this decision for approval in the General Assembly on 29 November, the anniversary of the adoption of the UN Partition Plan for Mandate Palestine in 1947, an historic compromise which the Arab states immediately rejected.

Today’s move by the Palestinians is once again a rejection of peace and accommodation with Israel, much the same as in 1947. It marks a continuing refusal to come to terms with the right of the Jewish people to a state in their ancient homeland.

More specifically, the Palestinians are seeking a way to statehood which does not require them to also recognize Israel as a Jewish state or to conclude an agreement with Israel which ends the conflict and all its related disputes.

This enhanced status as a non-member state will now allow the Palestinian leadership to broaden their strategic campaign of challenging Israel’s legitimacy throughout the myriad of UN forums, including the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

By passing this decision today, the majority of nations in the UN General Assembly are rewarding the Palestinians for their obstinate refusal to engage in direct bilateral negotiations with Israel, and thereby setting back the search for peace.

They are also undermining respect for international law and signed agreements between the parties, such as UNSC resolution 242 and the Oslo accords. Russia was a signatory to the Oslo agreements, while the European Union has served as a broker of subsequent agreements and disputes between the parties, but their solemn obligations have been ignored and even discarded in the decision made today.

This makes it all that much harder for Israel to trust the international community when it comes to third-party guarantees concerning the safety and future of the Jewish state.
 


For Media Inquiries Contact:
David Parsons –Media Director, ICEJ

ICEJ Statement on Israel’s actions in Gaza

Yesterday, Israeli leaders ordered the IDF to finally take concerted action against the repeated launching of rockets and mortars from Gaza into southern Israel, including more than 120 rockets which landed inside Israel since Saturday alone. The current IDF operation, called Pillar of Defense, comes after Hamas and other radical Islamic militias in Gaza had escalated their missile fire into the Negev region on three separate occasions in the past month, each episode ending in very fragile truces brokered by Egypt.

Where this military confrontation will lead is difficult to assess at present. So far, Israeli air forces have successfully targeted the top Hamas military commander in Gaza and destroyed the terror militias longer-range Fajr-3 missiles, yet still another 250 rockets have landed inside Israel in the past 24 hours. The Israeli public has been told to be prepared for an extended conflict and IDF ground forces are being mobilized to enter Gaza if the rocket fire does not cease.

No doubt, Hamas has been emboldened to risk war with Israel by the recent rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, especially considering that Hamas constitutes the Palestinian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood. Displaying its loyalty to Hamas, Cairo has already recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv and Egypt’s top government leaders and senior clerics have condemned the “Israeli aggression” in Gaza without any reference whatsoever to the incessant rocket fire into Israel.

The Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference are now joining Egypt in urgently demanding that the United Nations Security Council take action against Israel. None of these organizations have displayed a similar urgency or will to stop the on-going bloodbath in Syria, where Arabs have been killing Arabs in massive numbers for over 20 months, resulting in more than 30,000 deaths. Yet, they deem the act of Jews defending themselves against Arab terror militias to be an outrage worthy of immediate condemnation and punishment.

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is fully committed to helping needy Israeli citizens who have fallen victim to these rocket attacks from Gaza. We ask that you:

Injured Israelis3) Give generously to the ICEJ’s “Israel in Crisis Fund”, which we are now using to meet urgent needs among those communities most impacted by the current violence. We have long-established partnerships with local Israeli charities and social workers in the areas now under fire and already are receiving numerous requests for urgent help. An ICEJ-sponsored relief team of nine volunteers is already on the ground providing food, clothing, first aid kits, blankets, toiletries and shelter to those affected by the hostilities. This humanitarian assistance has already reached families in the building and neighborhood of Kiryat Malachi where three Israelis were killed in a direct Kassam rocket hit this morning.

Please get involved in this relief effort by donating today »

 

1) Pray earnestly for the safety of innocent civilians on both sides, as well as a swift resolution to this latest conflict which will ensure that the Hamas rocket threat is finally removed from over southern Israel.

2) Speak out on Israel’s behalf to your local communities, media and government leaders, especially to defend Israel’s right to safeguard its citizens.


For Media Inquiries Contact:
David Parsons –Media Director, ICEJ

ICEJ to Church Leaders: Denouncing Israel does nothing for Peace

Mainline church leaders who systematically demonize the Israeli security forces while whitewashing the record of those committed to her destruction do little to promote true peace in the Middle East says the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) – the world’s leading Jerusalem-based evangelical ministry.

The comments by the ICEJ’s USA Director, Susan Michael, were made in response to a letter written to the US Congress by fifteen mainline church leaders alleging human rights violations by Israeli troops and calling for an investigation of American military aid to the country.

“They would do us all a service if they would begin to address the real issues of the day like the endemic persecution of Christians in the Muslim world, the atrocities of the Syrian government against their own citizens and the threat to global peace and stability posed by a nuclear-armed Iran,” countered Michael in response to the October 5th letter by leaders of the Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the National Council of Churches. 

The letter which was issued late in the day on the eve of the Sabbath in the midst of the Jewish holiday season of Sukkot, prompted angry and articulate responses from Jewish leaders, including the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), and the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Rabbis (RA).  It also led to the cancellation of an annual Christian-Jewish leaders’ summit which was to have been held October 22-23 in New York. The so-called Jewish-Christian Roundtable was launched in 2004 in the wake of liberal Protestant movements to divest from companies doing business with Israel.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse,” says Michael who has been actively involved in promoting greater dialogue between the Jewish and Christian communities in the US for over thirty years.  “The whole point of the New York meeting was to ease the tension with these denominations. But what this letter revealed was that many of their leaders never had any intention of abandoning their one-side Israel-bashing agenda, no matter how factually inaccurate and counterproductive it has proven to be.”

“Millions of Christians in these mainline churches do not support this type of ongoing demonization of the Jewish state, especially by church leaders who refuse to acknowledge the ongoing rocket-fire and terrorist attacks being carried out against ordinary Israelis on a daily basis,” Michael continued. “It is time that those who claim to represent the cause of Christ take stances that may actually help peace rather than simply condemning Israel for her efforts to defend her civilians.” 

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is headquartered in the Israeli capital, with branch offices and representatives in some 70 nations, and a reach into more than 125 nations around the world. Its primary mandate is to serve as a “ministry of comfort” to Israel and the Jewish People worldwide, as a means for Christians to finally redress the lingering grievances which the Jewish people have against us due to the tragic history of Christian anti-Semitism.


NOTES

For more background on this issue see: Dexter Van Zile, ‘Mainline American Christian “Peacemakers” against Israel’ November 5, 2009, published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:

See also: ICEJ Response to 'Open Letter' to American Christian Zionists, October 2011
 


For Media Inquiries Contact:
Michael Hines
–Media Director, ICEJ USA

Juha Ketola to serve as ICEJ International Director

As part of the continuing transition to new leadership within the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, we are pleased to announce that the current Chairman of our Board of Trustees, Rev. Juha Ketola, has been appointed to serve as the ministry’s new International Director. He takes over this key position from Dr. Juergen Buehler, who is now serving as the Executive Director of the worldwide organisation.

Rev. Ketola has been a pastor and travelling evangelist in his native Finland as well as in Canada for many years, and took over as National Director of the ICEJ’s Finnish branch in 2005 from its founder Dr. Ulla Jarvilehto. He was elected Chairman of the international board last year and will now move on to the daily task of overseeing the ICEJ’s global network of more than 70 national branches.

“Juha has hands-on experience as a pastor and now as a branch director, as well as serving on our international board”, said Dr. Buehler. “These qualifications will serve him well as he joins our permanent staff in Jerusalem and begins overseeing our national branches worldwide.”

“We clearly see God’s guidance in this decision and we know that Juha is the right person for this position”, Buehler added.

In addition, the Grafted Young Adults department of the ICEJ will be welcoming a new director, as Jani Salokangas, also from Finland, will come take over from Liesl Maas in coming months. Jani is a talented and dedicated youth minister who has been increasingly involved in Grafted tours and activities in recent years. Jani will fill a strategic position which will serve as a link between Israel and young Christians worldwide.

Liesl Maas helped launch this special outreach to the young generation back in 2003 and built Grafted into a vanguard expression of Christian Zionism among young adults. Both Liesl and her husband Bram Maas will remain involved in the ministry from their new home in the Netherlands.

Profile: Juha Ketola
Rev. Juha Ketola has been in the full-time ministry since 1985, serving as a pastor and an evangelist in his native Finland as well as in Canada. He is a graduate of the International Bible Institute of London Kensington Temple in England and an ordained minister with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and Finland. Since the summer of 2000, he has been ministering as an itinerant preacher, holding church meetings and gospel outreaches in various countries while also sharing about God’s plans concerning the modern-day restoration of Israel. He has been speaking at events for the ICEJ since 1996. Currently, he serves as Chairman of the ICEJ International Board of Trustees and as the National Director of ICEJ-Finland. Juha Ketola and his wife, Kati, have three children and two grandchildren. They will take up residence in Jerusalem in coming months.
 

German Christians to mark 70th anniversary of Wannsee at Yad Vashem

On Thursday and Friday of this week (19-20 January 2012), the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem will be hosting a high-ranking delegation of German and Austrian Christian leaders representing some 30 Protestant denominations and Evangelical ministries for a series of events marking the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, the infamous meeting of Nazi officials which decided upon the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.”

The two-day gathering in Jerusalem will be highlighted by a wreath-laying ceremony at Yad Vashem’s Hall of Remembrance to honor the Jewish victims and survivors of the Holocaust, followed by addresses by Israeli cabinet minister Yuli Edelstein and other dignitaries. The delegation of 70 prominent pastors and ministry leaders also will pay a visit to the Knesset, meet with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, hold a special prayer service at the Western Wall, and attend a memorial concert at Mishkenot Sha´ananim featuring performances by the noted German Christian Music Academy of Stuttgart.

The Wannsee Conference was held on January 20, 1942 at a lakeside villa outside Berlin and was attended by 15 high-ranking Nazi bureaucrats who set in motion the implementation of a plan to eradicate the Jews of Europe. The meeting was convened by Reinhard Heydrich, assistant to deputy Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler, who led a discussion on methods to be used for the systematic, industrial murder of all Jews within Germany’s reach. A chart compiled by Adolf Eichmann for the Wannsee Conference listed all of the estimated 11 million Jews of Europe and northwest Africa as potential targets.

“The Nazi officials who deliberated at Villa Wannsee over their ghastly plans for exterminating European Jewry were all well-educated, with at least half of them holding doctorate degrees. Some were also the sons of Protestant ministers, yet not one of them raised any moral objections to this heinous plot,” noted Dr. Jürgen Bühler, the Executive Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. “We are here to continue the repentance of our nation for this enormous crime by those who committed mass murder in the name of a wicked ideology. The Church in Germany still has so much more to do to amend for our deafening silence in those dark days.”

The high-level delegation from Germany and Austria will be representing some ten million Germans and Austrians from the Protestant, Evangelical, Charismatic and Pentecostal streams of Christianity. The dignitaries include:

Rev. Ingolf Ellßel, Chairman of the Pentecostal European Fellowship
Rev. Siegfried Tomazsewski, European Director of Christ for all Nations
Claus Philippin, President of International Christian Chamber of Commerce-Germany
Hannelore Illgen, representative of the Federation of Pentecostal Churches in Germany
Rev. Gerry Klein, Director of the Bible College at Bad Gandersheim
Karl-Heinz Geppert, Director of the Aki Liebenzell Communities
Martin Baron, prominent Christian Businessman and Author
Karl Klanner, National Director of ICEJ-Austria
Gottfried Bühler, National Director of ICEJ-Germany
Dietmar Kern, Board Member of Initiative 27 January, Christians for Israel-Germany
Friedemann Meussling, Director of the Christian Music and Art Academy of Stuttgart

***************************
Press are invited to cover the following events:
Thursday, 19 January
17:00 – Special Reception and Concert at the Konrad Adenhauer Conference Center, Mishkenot Sha´ananim, with German Christian leaders and local Holocaust survivors (in partnership with Helping Hands Coalition).

Friday, 20 January
11:15 – Wreath laying ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem, followed by addresses by Israeli Cabinet Minister Yuli Edelstein, Rev. Ingolf Ellßel, Chairman of the Pentecostal European Fellowship, and other dignitaries (in partnership with the Christian Desk at Yad Vashem).

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
David Parsons, ICEJ Media Director
Cell: 052-381-6214
E-mail

***********************************************

HISTORIC BACKGROUND ON THE WANNSEE CONFERENCE

The Villa Wannsee
The Villa Wannsee

On the 70th Anniversary of the infamous Wannsee Conference, German Christian leaders will be gathering in Jerusalem to honor the Jewish victims and survivors of the Nazi genocide and to condemn the rise of neo-Nazism.

The infamous Wannsee Conference took place at a lakeside villa outside Berlin where, on January 20, 1942, a small group of 15 senior Nazi bureaucrats set in motion the implementation of the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.” This involved a plan developed by Reinhard Heydrich, assistant to deputy Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler, to systematically murder not just those Jews under Nazi occupation, but all of the estimated 11 million Jews of Europe and northwest Africa.

The passing of 70 years since Wannsee comes at a time when Germany has been shocked by news of the arrest of a militant neo-Nazi terror cell which is suspected of a string of racist murders and bank robberies across the country over the past decade. Chancellor Angela Merkel has described the exposure of the radical right-wing gang as a “disgrace” which has brought “shame” on the nation.
In this context, German Christian leaders have come to Jerusalem on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Wannsee Conference to deliver a critical message to the world that the abhorrent evil of Nazism represented by the cold and calculating decision taken at this gathering must never be allowed to rise again. They will also be honoring the Jewish victims and survivors of the Holocaust at a special series of events at Yad Vashem and at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

The dark legacy of Wannsee

The Wannsee Conference was a meeting of 15 senior Nazi officials held at a plush villa on Lake Wannsee just outside of Berlin on 20 January 1942. The meeting was convened by Reinhard Heydrich to inform the administrative heads of various government departments with some level of jurisdiction over the Jews that he had been appointed as the chief executor of the “Final Solution to the Jewish question.”

In the course of the meeting, Heydrich presented a plan, presumably approved by Adolf Hitler, for the deportation of the Jewish populations of Europe and French North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) to German-occupied areas in eastern Europe, and the use of the Jews fit for labor on road-building projects, in the course of which they were expected to eventually die. According to the recorded minutes of the Wannsee Conference, any surviving remnant would be annihilated after completion of the road projects. This initial plan was soon altered as subsequent events unfolded during the war. When Soviet and Allied forces began pushing back the German lines, Nazi leaders decided to accelerate the extermination process and most of the Jews of German-occupied Europe were sent to death camps or concentration camps, or killed where they lived. Nonetheless, the Wannsee Conference stands as the clearest single evidentiary proof on which the entire Nazi leadership can be indicted for a collective genocidal plot to eradicate all of European Jewry.

In the months leading up to Wannsee, German forces invading the Soviet Union had made rapid advances to the gates of Moscow and a euphoric Nazi leadership began to discuss how to deal with the four million Jews of Eastern Europe which had fallen under German control. Shedding any moral restraints, Hitler and his chief lieutenants, Herman Göring and Heinrich Himmler, deliberated over the most practical “solution” to the “Jewish question.” Although no written order by Hitler to exterminate all Jews has ever been found, certain comments he made around this time made it clear he wanted to rid them from his realm. Based on this understanding, Göring gave written authorization to Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), to “make all necessary preparations” for a “total solution of the Jewish question.”

At that moment Heydrich was directing the Einsatzgruppen, the roving Nazi death squads which were already slaughtering tens of thousands of Jews in the newly conquered Soviet territories. He viewed his task as ascertaining and then overseeing a more efficient method for exploiting Jewish labor on the way to working and starving them to death.

But then in late 1941, the Soviets launched an effective counterattack outside Moscow, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the United States joined the fray, and the Nazi hierarchy realized the war would last longer than expected. There would not be enough supplies to feed everyone in the conquered Soviet territories, so discussions turned from the “evacuation” of Jews to their “extermination.” It is likely that a decision was made at around the time of the stall outside Moscow. On December 18, Himmler met with Hitler and afterwards noted in his appointment book “Jewish question – to be exterminated as partisans.” Heydrich had originally invited the administrative heads to a meeting on December 9 to discuss the logistics of his plan for deporting Jews to forced labor camps. But the meeting had to be postponed, as several invitees were called away last minute to a symbolic gathering of the Nazi party’s top echelons to formally declare war on America. Now armed with different marching orders, Heydrich rescheduled the meeting for January 20, 1942 at a lakeside estate in a suburb of Berlin. His primary aim was to bring together representatives of all affected departments to explain the mechanics of a revised plan he was personally commissioned to oversee by the highest authority of the Third Reich. Heydrich’s six-week postponement gave him an opportunity to broaden the original objective from deportations to one fixed on carrying out the ‘Final Solution.”

Eichmann
Adolph Eichmann

The ministries represented included Interior, Justice, the Four Year Plan and Occupied Eastern Territories, as well as the Foreign Office, the Reich Chancellery, and the head of the Gestapo. Heydrich’s right-hand man Adolph Eichmann was to take the minutes.

In preparation for the conference, Eichmann had drafted a list with the estimated numbers of Jews in the various European countries, both those under direct Reich control or occupation as well as those countries that were allied or client states, neutral, or at war with Germany. In total, Heydrich’s plan targeted an estimated 11 million Jews in Europe and parts of northwest Africa under the control of the Vichy French.

Heydrich opened the conference by explaining that “after appropriate prior approval by the Führer, emigration as a possible solution has been superseded by a policy of evacuating Jews to the East.” But he added that this would only be a “provisional” solution, as “practical experience” was already being collected for the “future final solution of the Jewish question.”

Holocaust deniers claim that the Wannsee Conference decided on no more than the “evacuation” of the Jewish population of Europe to the east, with no reference to killing them. In fact, Heydrich made clear the ultimate fate intended for the evacuees:

“The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly consist of the most resistant portion, have to be treated accordingly, because it is the product of natural selection and would, if released, act as the seed of a new Jewish revival.”
 

Heydrich
Reinhard Heydrich

Heydrich’s meaning would have been obvious to the conference attendees, as they were all educated men well versed in Nazi terminology. At least eight of the fifteen participants held doctorate degrees. No one raised any moral objections. At most, several sought clarification on whether mixed Jews were to be included.

Heydrich went on to say that in the course of the “practical execution of the final solution,” Europe would be “combed through from west to east.” Afterwards, Eichmann sent copies of the conference minutes, styled the “Wannsee ,” to all the participants. It was not until 1947 that a copy of the minutes was found by an American prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials. The Wannsee minutes, however, do not mention killing. These omissions were not fully understood until the interrogation and trial of Eichmann in Israel in 1962. Eichmann told his questioners that towards the end of the meeting cognac was served, and that after that the conversation became less restrained.

“The gentlemen were standing together, or sitting together,” he said, “and were discussing the subject quite bluntly, quite differently from the language which I had to use later in the record. During the conversation they minced no words about it at all... they spoke about methods of killing, about liquidation, about extermination.”
In his recorded minutes, Eichmann summed up these chilling words in one bland sentence: “In conclusion the different types of possible solutions were discussed.”

Wansee Protocol
The Wannsee Protocol

Christian Leaders' joint-response to 'Just Peacemaking' letter

CHRISTIAN SCHOLARS & LEADERS’ RESPONSE TO:
An Open Letter to America’s Christian Zionists’ published by
Fuller Seminary’s ‘Just Peacemaking Initiative’
 
(download pdf version)
 

October 26, 2011
 

We, the undersigned Christian scholars and leaders, wish to express our deep concern about the narrow theological and political perspectives that were expressed by two of our evangelical colleagues in their “Open Letter to America’s Christian Zionists’. While we appreciate the concern for the Palestinian people exhibited by the authors, we are disappointed that those who term themselves “just peacemakers” would make such a one-sided and simplistic portrayal of a very complex situation. Few situations in history have been as complex and difficult as the Arab-Israeli conflict and true peacemakers will doubtless decry injustice, inhumanity, and loss of life in both the Israeli and Palestinian communities.

The authors of the “Open Letter” demonstrated a lack of balance when they expressed their own uncritical support for the Palestinians while blaming Christian Zionists for “uncritical support” of Israel. Any analysis that does not recognize failed Palestinian leadership and the clearly antisemitic stance of most of their supporters is unacceptable. To bring Christian Zionists into this one-sided blame game obscures the real issues.

Not only do these scholars exclusively blame Israel for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but they actually go so far as to justify Iran’s nuclear build-up and plans to annihilate Israel as being in response to “sinful” Israeli policies rather than a manifestation of sinful and antisemitic Iranian ideology. Then, they characterize evangelical Christians who support Israel as being sinful as well.

The authors of the “Open Letter” are right to be concerned for the justice of the Palestinian people, but they are clearly wrong to blame fellow evangelicals instead of the Arab leaders who are more committed to the eradication of Israel than to bettering the lives of their own people. Justice will only come to the Palestinians when their leaders lay aside their ideology of hate and negotiate peace with Israel.

Christians, particularly evangelicals, support Israel for a wide range of theological and political reasons while recognizing their role as “peacemakers” who are supporting the Jewish people whose ancestors experienced centuries of injustice and violence that was often supported and carried out by leaders and people who purported themselves to be Christians.

We, therefore, encourage our evangelical colleagues who authored the “Open Letter to America’s Christian Zionists” to undertake a truly academic study that is serious and balanced by engaging both sides of these historical, political and theological issues before issuing such one-sided attacks on both Jews and fellow Christians in public forums.

We also concur with the conclusions reached in the well-balanced “Response by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem,” and we commend this document to all Christians.

Signed,

Dr. Tony Crisp

Executive Director, Center for Holy Land Studies
Tennessee Temple University

Dr. Kenyn Cureton
Vice President for Church Ministries
Family Research Council

Dr. George Giacumakis
Director, Museum of Biblical & Sacred Writings, Irvine, CA;
Professor of History, California State University, Fullerton

Dr. John D. Garr
President, Hebraic Heritage Christian Center

Dr. R. Hollis Gause
Professor, NT and Theology
Founding Dean and Director, Pentecostal Theological Seminary

Dr. H. Dean Haun
President, Tennessee Baptist Convention Pastors Conference
Executive Board, Tennessee Baptist Convention

Dr. Jack W. Hayford
President, The King’s University Los Angeles

Dr. Richard Land
President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Southern Baptist Convention

Dr. John Swails
Director, Center for Israel and Middle East Studies
Oral Roberts University

Mark Tooley
President, Institute for Religion and Democracy

Dr. Joseph Umidi
Professor of Practical Theology
Regent University School of Divinity



View the detailed ICEJ Response to the ‘Open Letter’ at: www.icejusa.org/openletter »

ICEJ Response to 'Open Letter' to American Christian Zionists

 ICEJ Response to an 'Open Letter to America’s Christian Zionists’ published by Fuller Seminary’s ‘Just Peacemaking Initiative’ & The New Evangelical Partnership for Common Good

 View Detailed ICEJ Letter & Statement of Response »

 

Left-leaning evangelical scholars have demonized fellow Christians for supporting Israel, in the name of ‘social justice,’ while espousing poor theology and a general disregard for the history and larger context of the Arab-Israeli conflict – according to the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

On September 19, Fuller Theological Seminary’s ‘Just Peacemaking Initiative’ published ‘An Open Letter to America’s Christian Zionists’ by Dr. David P. Gushee of Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology and Fuller’s Dr. Glen H. Stassen. It has subsequently been promoted by the New Evangelical Partnership for Common Good on whose board both professors serve.

“In this document the authors claim, amongst other things, that Christian Zionists are not only sinful but produce sin and will be the cause of any upcoming war against Israel including a nuclear attack by Iran,” said ICEJ Interim Executive Director, Dr. Jürgen Bühler at the launch of the ICEJ’s detailed 4,000 word theological response.

The ICEJ’s USA Director, Susan Michael, who co-authored the ICEJ response emphasized that the initial 'Open Letter' was seriously flawed on multiple counts.

“Not only does it demonstrate a flawed understanding of biblical justice, but a degree of theological inconsistency and historical ignorance that are deeply troubling in professors of such high standing in such respected evangelical institutions.  Their one-sided approach of blaming Israel and her supporters while ignoring the transgressions of the other side will never lead to peace and only feeds injustice and hatred of Israel.”

"Our response is written from the vantage point of being located ‘on the ground’ in Jerusalem from where we have been engaged in the issues raised in this ‘Open Letter’, as well as with the various people groups involved in those issues for over three decades,” added Dr. Bühler.

“Our support for Israel does not mean that we think Israel is perfect, or that we blindly support all of her policies.  But if we want to help bring true justice to the Palestinian people then we need to be honest and admit that their problem is not Israel but their own corrupt leaders who seek the goal of eradicating Israel.”

View the detailed ICEJ Response to the ‘Open Letter’ at: www.icejusa.org/openletter »

Palestinian petition for Statehood at the UN

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is deeply concerned with the Palestinian Authority’s petition for recognition of a state of Palestine at the United Nations Opening Assembly next week, and especially with the broad international acceptance this reckless and ill-conceived unilateral move is receiving.

While the exact language of the anticipated resolution for statehood is still uncertain, it is clear that the PA has chosen a dangerous path for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and even more so given the volatile political climate in the region. Both the stability of the Middle East and the integrity of the international order are at stake in this looming decision. Neither is worth risking in such a hasty and irresponsible manner, especially since Israel is fully prepared to discuss the very issues at stake directly with the PA in good faith and at any time.

Members of the international community are well aware that the accepted framework for resolving this conflict was set up in UN Security Council resolution 242, which was then expressly adopted as the basis of the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, the Oslo peace process entered in 1993, and the subsequent Roadmap and Annapolis negotiating formats. The Palestinian leadership agreed to this course for achieving a final peace settlement with Israel only through bilateral talks when they signed on to the Oslo Accords, which specifically prohibits either party from seeking to unilaterally alter the status of the disputed territories in the interim. The United States, European Union, Russia and the UN itself have all witnessed and/or formally adopted these guiding principles and must uphold them now or forfeit important moral and legal standards that define the modern global order.

The Middle East Quartet has demanded that for Hamas to gain a legitimate voice in the search for peace, it must – among other things – respect past agreements signed by the PLO. Yet now, key players within the Quartet itself are prepared to breach their very own pre-condition for being considered part of the circle of peace. By voting for a premature, unilateral Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines, they are trampling on their own reputations for reliability and fairness.

More than 70 nations have been admitted as member states of the UN since the events of June 1967, with some of these nations arising out of very long and bitter conflicts. So gaining UN membership is not that difficult. But it should be made impossible when the bid for membership is actually designed to reignite and prolong a conflict or to eliminate another member state. Sadly, that remains the Palestinian aim at this time.

 


Dr Juergen Buehler serves as ICEJ Interim Executive Director. For more information please contact David Parsons in Jerusalem - or for USA-based media enquries contact Michael Hines or the ICEJ USA office on (615) 895-9830.

Tragedy in Norway

It is with horror that we read the reports of the needless killings in Norway. Even more disturbing is the fact that the assailant apparently described himself as a Christian and supporter of Israel.


To commit acts of evil of this nature in the name of God or any religion is just totally unacceptable and evidence of a deluded mind. Christians who support Israel all over the world and who are related to our great movement, which incorporates more than a hundred countries, condemn this crime in the strongest manner.

To take innocent life in the name of some religious/political agenda is totally abhorrent.
 
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, together with its  Norwegian Director, Leif Wellerop, and Branch in Norway, join with the Nation of Norway in sorrow and prayer at this very difficult time. We can only trust that the God of Heaven will bring comfort and peace to the families who have lost precious loved ones.

We have yet again called our global movement to prayer and Norway will be in our hearts and minds as we call upon the throne of God to bring real peace to our broken world.
 
 

Malcolm Hedding.
ICEJ Executive Director

 

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