Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sabeel Founder Ateek: Hamas preaches "liberation theology"

Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, the founder and head of the purported Christian peace group called Sabeel, has reportedly given his blessing to Hamas. According to Michelle J. Kinnucan, Ateek made a pro-Hamas statement at a Friends of Sabeel conference in Birmingham, Michigan. (Read here. WARNING: the linked website may contain hate speech. Links in the blockquote were preserved from the original post.)

During the course of his introductory remarks, Ateek ... noted that Hamas and Sabeel came into being in Palestine at roughly the same time in response to the First Intifada. While taking pains to distance himself from Hamas on the issue of violence, the Rev. Dr. Ateek characterized Hamas as an Islamic "liberation theology movement," drawing applause from some in the crowd of about 250...

(Ateek) called upon the mostly Christian lay people and clergy present to "stand in solidarity with us." He also declared that the "all" of the 4-7 million Palestinian refugees "have the right to return" to Palestine ... (and) said he supported "divestments, boycotts, anything that is nonviolent" as means to exert pressure on Israel...

Ateek also referred to himself as the leader of the movement which he called "The Palestinian Theology of Liberation." (His leadership role in a movement which includes Hamas will undoubtedly come as news to Hamas.)

Ateek was the keynote speaker at the pro-Palestinian conference which took place in September at the First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Other speakers included Anna Baltzer, Ilan Pappe, Don Wagner, Joel Kovel, Chris Hedges and Phyllis Bennis. (Read here and here.)

Several of these speakers are Jews who have made careers out of anti-Israel activism. For example, according to her website, Anna Baltzer has given more than 500 anti-Israel speeches or radio interviews between May, 2005 and the present. That works out to more than 12 presentations per month on average. (Read here.) She is invariably billed for these events as representing a Jewish perspective.

Grain of salt alert: the author of the blog post which reported on Ateek's statement concerning Hamas, Michalle J. Kinnucan, has a history of publishing anti-Semitic innuendo, as discussed here. The website on which her piece was posted, called "Zionists Out of the Peace Movement", has a long record of anti-Jewish polemics, including promoting demonstrations outside a local synagogue during services (read here). The blog's motto reads: "The main purpose of this blog is to expose Zionists subverting the peace movement, especially in Michigan. 'Progressive Zionism' is to Zionism what 'progressive Nazism' would have been to Nazism."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ateek not only believes in liberation theology but in, to be more precise, Palestinian replacement theology. And, that, in turn, is based on a strain of neo-Marcionism. Jews, you will note, do not fair well in Marcionism.

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