Canadians Friends of Sabeel held a conference recently at a church in a quiet area of Vancouver. The Jewish Defense League of Canada is very concerned about Canadian Friends of Sabeel, and for good reason. They were there to protest the event.
A Canadian Friends of Sabeel conference held recently in Vancouver was, in essence: Anti-Israel & Anti-Semitism Cloaked in Pro-Palestinian Propaganda.
What is Sabeel?
According to Wikipedia: Sabeel (Arabic for ‘the way’ and also ‘a channel’ or ‘spring’) Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center is a Christian liberation theology organization based in Jerusalem. It was founded by Palestinian Anglican Rev. Naim Ateek, former Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem.
Sabeel, which advocates “morally responsible investment,” has been described by its critics as promoting an anti-Israel agenda, including divestment from Israel. It has also been accused of using antisemitic rhetoric. The Rev. Canon Dr. Richard K. Toll, chair of Friends of Sabeel—North America, denies those allegations, writing that “the state of Israel is not above criticism and needs to be challenged when its policies are wrong. And its policy of occupation is wrong.”
Toll also claims that Sabeel “consistently condemns anti-Semitism in all its ugly forms.”
Peace, Love and Terror
The name of the conference, held April 23-25 in a quiet Vancouver area known as Kerrisdale, was: Seeking the Peace of Jerusalem: Overcoming Christian Zionism in the Quest for Justice.
Their website stated: “Don’t miss this highly important gathering that will challenge the false teaching that undermines the biblical message of love, mercy, and justice present in the insidious form of Christian Zionism pervasive in our own traditions that remains silent in the face of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”
I joined the protest organized by the Jewish Defense League (JDL). On Friday, we gathered outside the church in Vancouver where the conference was being held. I’d never actually been to a protest like this before, so I stood back and observed.
JDL had their group, and some Christian Zionists came out as well. A number of the Christian Zionists were from Christians United With Zion and the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem, Vancouver Chapter.
During a break, members of the conference came out of the church and began engaging some of us outside in an exchange. To my dismay a number of the attendees of the conference were mindlessly parroting Hamas propaganda that had been “reported” by the mainstream media during the war last summer, such as, Israel killed thousands of civilians during the war and the people of Gaza suffer due to Israel’s policies.
No mention was made by the group attending this conference that Hamas started the war last summer first by kidnapping and murdering Israeli teens; that they shot rockets into Israeli territory aiming at civilians, which many times were shot from schools, mosques and other public areas within Gaza; or the fact that they use their own people as human shields, which was documented. Hamas built no bomb shelters for their own people but spent millions on terror tunnels.
When our group of protestors tried to bring these issues up, they were simply dismissed. In no way will they hold Hamas, a designated terror group, responsible for any actions that happened during the recent war with Israel.
Canadian Friends of Sabeel is yet another anti-Israel front group disguised as a Palestinian human rights organization. One of their main agendas is to turn Christian Zionists against Israel by proclaiming that this is a false and insidious biblical teaching, thus undermining the Jewish historical, religious, cultural and legal claims to the Land of Israel. Far from promoting a biblical message of love, mercy, and justice is their support for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which they promote on social media. PFLP is recognized by the US, Canada and the EU as a terrorist organization.