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Canada’s Unholy Alliance By: Brigitte Gabriel
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, November 07, 2005

[This article was co-written with Dr. Keith Roderick, Jerry Gordon and Ted Belman] [1]

Shame on KAIROS [2] for endorsing the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Center of Jerusalem (Sabeel)[3] conference in Toronto.

KAIROS, Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, is a Canadian coalition of 11 mainline Churches and agencies and is financially supported by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).  It purports to unite churches and religious organizations in a faithful ecumenical response to the call to follow the precepts of Micah 6:8:  "do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God".

Sabeel was founded by Anglican Canon Naim Ateek[4] of Jerusalem in 1989.  It espouses Marxist leaning liberation theology in the service to the Palestinian cause.  Naim Ateek, ali Abuimah[5] of the Arab American Action Coalition, Baylor University Jewish Studies scholar Marc Ellis[6] and other Sabeel acolytes devote themselves to promoting hatred of Jews and Israel.

Sabeel[7] describes itself as "an ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians", which "hopes to connect the true meaning of Christian faith with the daily lives of all those who suffer under occupation, violence, discrimination, and human rights violations" and " encourages Christians from around the world to work for justice and to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

There is nothing wrong with identifying with those who suffer and working for justice.  In fact it is laudable.  But to assume that justice requires solidarity with the Palestinian people or is furthered by it is another thing. Furthermore, it is a travesty to assume that that suffering is due to the Israeli occupation -- rather then to Palestinian violence.  To do so is to ignore the Charter of the Palestinian Liberation Organization or of Hamas, both of which call for the destruction of Israel.

Sabeel demonizes Israel and whitewashes the Palestinians.  In so doing it uses classical antisemitic theological themes while ignoring Palestinian terrorism, corruption, lawlessness and oppression of Christians.  Sabeel is really an instrument for the destruction of Israel.

Canada’s financial support for KAIROS and indirectly of Sabeel, is in conflict with its declared support for “evenhandedness” and puts into question its bona fides.

Based on previous Sabeel gatherings in the U.S. this fall, Canadian attendees[8] at the KAIROS sponsored events can expect to see bizarre anti-Semitic imagery at these conferences. Witness the Torah in Jewish synagogues as the repository of helicopter gun ships leaping from the parchment scrolls aimed at Palestinians portrayed as the Crucified host.  This is Christian heresy.  They can also expect to hear anti-Semitic attacks.

Dr. Charles. McVety President of Canada’s Christian College, unlike mainline Church members of KAIROS, was clearly incensed by the funding when interviewed by Canada Free Press[9] .

"It is outrageous that the Liberal {Martin] government would support a group that would call for divesting from Israel with $2.9 million of Canadian taxpayers’ money and side with the Palestinians."

Dr. McVety is not alone in his outrage.  Stockwell Day, MP, Official Opposition Foreign Affairs Critic, has written the Minister of Foreign Affairs requesting information and a response concerning the CIDA funding support for KAIROS.

In advance of the conference, Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Canada-Israel Committee, dismissed the Sabeel gathering as “a nothing conference… the momentum for divestment is petering out in the United States.”[10]  He should have at least waited for the conference to conclude.

On the other hand, Ruth Klein of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights said the conference “definitely sends out a morally repugnant message, which is the delegitimization and demonization of Israel.  It does not take into account developments on the ground.”[11]

What is not  petering out is the demonization of Israel in which endeavor the Sabeel conference has a major part.

In slavish adherence to the biased and anti-Semitic view of Sabeel, KAIROS has supported economic divestment by church endowments from companies doing business with the Jewish state of Israel for what it considers “morally justifiable” reasons.[12]  Such initiative is no more “morally justified” then attacking Israel as the root of all evil and ignoring the oppression by Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular of their fellow Christians.

Witness this comment from the KAIROS website drawn from the Canada Free Press article[13].

"Investment in such companies enables the government of Israel to sustain the ongoing violation of human rights of innocent civilians and "continuing such investments, once the facts are brought to our attention, constitutes deliberate condoning of the evil practices”.

There is no context.  There is no acknowledgement of the terror which necessitates Israel’s actions.  But there is a rush to condemn these practices of self defense as “evil”.  It reflects their broader view of the past, namely,  “The State of Israel was established in 1948 on 78% of historic Palestine leading to the displacement of most of its Palestinian inhabitants who became refugees. Since 1967, Israel has occupied the Palestinian territories – the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. This area constitutes approximately 22% of historic Palestine and has a population of almost four million people. During this period, Israel has consistently refused to implement United Nations Resolutions and International Law. Israel stands in violation of over 60 UN resolutions and has been protected by a United States veto over 30 times.” This view is shared by many liberal churches as exemplified by their divestment resolutions.

This is such a biased and inaccurate view of the facts that it would be laughable were it not so dangerous and misleading.  Suffice it to say that in 1948, Palestine as it was then known was held on trust by UN mandate for the “close settlement of the Jewish people”.  This mandate originally included Jordan.  When Israel declared itself pursuant to the UN General Assembly resolution, eight Arab countries attacked it.  Israel managed to defeat them and armistice lines were agreed upon.  In 1967, these same Arab countries massed for attack, which itself was an act of war, and Israel’s response lead to their  resounding defeat and in the occupation of what was then referred to by the UN as the “territories”.

KAIROS ignores these Arab wars of aggression and puts forward a false notion that “historic Palestine” is connected to the “Palestinians” and that historically these lands are “Palestinian territories”.  Judea, renamed “Palestine” by the Romans after the destruction of the Jewish Temple two thousand years ago, was occupied by both Jews and Arabs, throughout the period of the UN Mandate.  The name “Palestine” related to the Philistines of old and not the “Palestinians” of new.  The notion that there was a “Palestinian people” did not come into being until after 1967 even among the Arabs.

As for UN Resolutions and International Law which it alleges Israel refuses to implement, certain facts should be made known.  The UN is a discredited organization that is a tool of the oil dominated Arab world which has a horrible record on human rights and is run by brutal dictators.  Even so the resolutions of the General Assembly have the force of recommendations only as do the resolutions of the Security Council unless passed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.  Israel is not in violation of any such resolutions.  If the notion of “international law” were so clear and Israel’s violation thereof so real it would have long been taken to court and convicted.   But it isn’t on both counts.  But this doesn’t stop the Arabs and their Christian friends from declaring them guilty before proven guilty.

The Presbyterian Church USA and several lesser liberal Protestant denominations in the U.S., members of the WCC, have passed resolutions endorsing divestment at their synods or general assemblies over the past two years following the Sabeel proposals.  The Episcopalians and other liberal Protestant denominations have temporized or held back from pushing divestment for now[14].

KAIROS supports this punitive action while not uttering a whisper about the plight of tens of millions of Christians in peril from radical Islam throughout the Middle East, Sub Sahara Africa, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

Where was KAIROS when raging mobs of Muslim Brotherhood members broke windows, stabbed nuns at St. Michael’s Church in Alexandria?  The riots left four dead, over 80 wounded and seven churches defaced[15].  Under Islam’s Sharia law Christians and Jews are subjugated to an inferior status in society.  Presently millions of Christians throughout the Near East are so affected.  A comparable system would be the notorious Jim Crow Laws in the U.S. that subjected African-Americans to discrimination and humiliation.

Where was KAIROS when three Christian teenage girls in Sulawesi, Indonesia were  beheaded by rampaging Muslims?[16]  Central Sulawesi and Puso has been the site of horrific sectarian warfare between Muslims and Christians since 2001 and 2002 when over 1,000 were killed?

Christians, animists and Black Muslim Darfurians, considered slaves by Arabs in the Sudan, were slaughtered in the millions in a two decade jihad officially over, but in fact still going on?  Where was KAIROS?  Where is KAIROS?

Where were KAIROS and Anglican Canon Naim Ateek, leader of Sabeel, when a Muslim “honor” killing was followed by a Muslim pogrom in a Palestinian Christian village in the West Bank, sacking and burning houses and assaulting men, women and children?[17]  Nowhere.

Where were these “good Christians” while Palestinian Christians were being reduced from 80% of the population of Bethlehem to less than 20% by Muslim ethnic cleansing? Where were they when Muslim terrorists invaded and desecrated the Church of Nativity.

Where was  KAIROS, last year when The Government of Canada  violated international conventions on torture and deported several veterans of the Christian South Lebanon Army to imprisonment, torture and death at the hands of the Syrians in Lebanon?[18]

KAIROS and Sabeel are part of the problem and not the solution. They exacerbate rather than ameliorate. Both KAIROS and Sabeel have duped Canadians and Americans into focusing on the plight of Palestinians rather than the plight of Christians. They promulgate the view that the problem in the Middle East is Israel’s “oppression” rather than Palestinian terror.  The true victims in the Middle East are Christians and Jews who are the ones  KAIROS should be supporting.

Witness the suicide bombing by an operative from Palestinian terror group, Islamic Jihad recently in the Israeli coastal town of Hadera that caused the deaths of five innocent civilians, injuring and maiming more than two dozen others.[19]  Dexter Van Zile of the Boston-based David project heard Michael Tarazi, legal advisor to the Palestinian Authority at the Sabeel Conference in Denver discuss the status of the Arab/Israeli conflict.[20] At his presentation, Tarazi suggested terror groups play a legitimate role in the conflict when he said, "If I see Abu Mazen cracking down on Hamas, I'll ask what you are doing that for?" This is what KAIROS supports when it sponsors the Sabeel conference in Toronto and when it supports divestment.

What is “liberating” about the KAIROS and Sabeel programs?  On the contrary they enslave gullible liberal Western Christians into believing that identifying with their cause will bring them spiritual and social justification.

This is the shame of  KAIROS; the alliance with Naim Ateek of Sabeel and his hateful program, while ignoring the persecution of Christian minorities under daily oppression by radical Islamists. 

This is the shame of the Government of Canada; extending financial support for an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel cabal which flies in the face of Canadian foreign policy.


[1]   The Rev. Canon Keith Roderick, D.D. is Secretary General of the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights, the largest umbrella organization defending the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in the Islamic world.. Dr. Roderick is also the Washington Representative of Christian Solidarity International. Ms. Gabriel is a Lebanese Christian Arab, former news anchor for World News in the Middle East and founder of American Congress for Truth (ACT).  Mr. Gordon is a former U.S. military intelligence officer, and board member  of  ACT, Ted Belman is editor of ISRAPUNDIT.


[2] KAIROS Home page: www.kairoscanada.org.


[3] Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center of Jerusalem Home Page: www.sabeel.org 


[4] Catholic New Times: Naim Ateek, apostle of non-violence, visits Canada: Palestinian pastor calls for divestment ... www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0MKY/is_17_28/ai_n6362682


[5] Democracy NOW! archive.webactive.com/pacifica/demnow/dn20011114.html


[6] Baylor University || Office of the Provost || Marc Ellis: www.baylor.edu/provost/index.php?id=001145 - 14k


[7] Sabeel, ibid: www.sabeel.org 


[8] Canadian Friends of Sabeel ; www.sabeel.ca

[9]  “Taxpayer-funded church coalition calling for divestment of Israel,”  Judi McLeod,
Thursday, October 27, 2005, Canada Free Press: http://www.canadafreepress.com/2005/cover102705.htm


[10] “Conference on Divesting in Israel cause of Concern,” Ron Csillag, The Canadian Jewish News, October 27, 2005: www.cjnews.com/viewarticle.asp?id=7648


[11] The Canadian Jewish News, ibid: www.cjnews.com/viewarticle.asp?id=7648



[13] Canada Free Press, ibid: http://www.canadafreepress.com/2005/cover102705.htm

[14] “Threat of US church divestment over Israel eases,” Michael Conlon, Reuters, October 13, 2005: today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=domesticNews&...

[15]  News Release: Copts Release Video of Mass Rioting, Destruction of Churches and Bibles

Fear impending ethnic cleansing of Christians in Egypt”,  International Christian  Association, American

Copts Association, October 27, 2005: www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/008724.php


[16]Three Indonesian girls beheaded By Tim Johnston , BBC News, Jakarta, October 29, 2005: www.jihadwatch.org/archives/008755.php


[17] “ A Tale of Two Palestinians,” Jerry Gordon, FrontPage Magazine, September 14, 2005: www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=19470


[18]  Canada deports Israeli allies, allows strippers Lebanese vets likely face prison, torture or death from Hezbollah”, Aaron Klein, WorldNetDaily, December 24, 2004: www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42086

[19] “Suicide Bomber Rocks Hadera Market,” Haaretz, October 28, 2005: www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/638602.html -


[20]Tarazi, PA legal Advisor Justifies PA Terror Groups  at Sabeel  Denver Conference,” Jerry Gordon, Israpundit,  October 23, 2005: www.israpundit.com/archives/2005/10/tarazi_pa_legal.php

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Brigitte Gabriel is the author of the NYT best seller, They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It. She is the President of ACT! for America.org.

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