8 Feb 2021

The “Peacemakers”?

Dexter Van Zile, Christian Media Analyst for CAMERA, is a terrific researcher and writer. His work, and that of his colleague, Tricia Miller, is critical in understanding not only the evangelical issues involved in the Middle East, but also mainline and Catholic.

The last several years have seen a string of documentaries purporting to show a balanced view of the elusive search for peace in the region, particularly between Israelis and Palestinians. I’ve written extensively about such left-wing propaganda efforts as “Little Town of Bethlehem” and “With God On Our Side.” These films were hatchet-jobs that did untold damage to Israel.

Now comes a film, a rare film in this genre, that challenges those other narratives. Filmmaker Todd Morehead has produced “Hope in the Holy Land.” In it, he interviews people who know firsthand about anti-Semitism in the West Bank. Van Zile writes about it for CAMERA:

“Maybe we have turned a corner with ‘Hope in the Holy Land’ produced by the Philos Project and set for release in May 2021. This film, produced by Todd Morehead and Justin Kron, does something that some Christian filmmakers such as Porter Speakman, Jr. and Jim Hanon and writers like Bruce Fisk and Gary Burge have a tough time doing — confronting the misdeeds of Palestinian leaders and the profound obstacles to peace inherent in Palestinian society.”

For example, an Israeli friend of mine has had encounters with Burge, formerly of Wheaton College. It seems the good professor likes to take college students to the region and bash Israel. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

After taking legitimate issue with a couple points in Morehead’s film, Van Zile makes an excellent point:

“That being said, the movie does a particularly good job of countering the theology offered by ‘Peter’ by including testimony from Evangelical theologian Gerald McDermott, who demolishes Palestinian Liberation Theology as anti-biblical. McDermott does this in the scene after which ‘Peter’ indicates that the book of Exodus is not canonical for Palestinian Christian Liberation Theologians. Even with its problematic treatment of the battle of Deir Yassin, ‘Peter’s’ testimony coupled with McDermott’s response highlights the how Palestinian Christians manipulate scripture to suit their ideological and political agenda.”

This is fascinating. Did you catch that, that Exodus is “not canonical”? That’s astonishing. It means that whenever left-wing Palestinians don’t like something in the Bible (which would be most if not all the Hebrew Scriptures), they simply sanitize it from their experience. I once spoke with a highly placed person at Bethlehem Bible College (or, Liberation Theology U.) and he told me that they simply “don’t like” the land promises to the Jewish people. Their Bible is considerably smaller than ours, I can assure you.

Morehead also makes the important point that the Palestinian people themselves are like the rest of us: some good, some bad. It is important to differentiate between them and their evil leaders. Many among the population simply want to live in peace.

Morehead’s film goes a long way in presenting a (finally) balanced view. Kudos to him and to Philos Project for spotlighting these issues. And as usual, make CAMERA one of your first stops every week for news about Israel.



1 Feb 2021


Not even a clown like Joe Biden can unravel one of President Trump’s centerpieces of achievement: the realignment of the Middle East.

Now comes word that a Moroccan delegation is bound for Jerusalem. This is surely as astonishing as Anwar Sadat’s visit to the Holy City in 1977. Morocco you’ll recall jumped onboard the train carrying the UAE and others.

According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, a delegation will work to “create several work groups to discuss mutual cooperation concerning water, energy, investments and tourism.” This comes after a Friday conversation between Benjamin Netanyahu and the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI.

Morocco, perched on the northwest tip of Africa, is an important new partner for the Israelis. The country has a population of 37 million and is 99 percent Muslim! Deep State types like Brookings (along with leftist media) are quick to try and find any tiny negative; remember, they have a vested interested in undoing the marvelous achievements of the anti-globalist Trump.

One of the benefits (motivations) for the Moroccans is international recognition of their sovereignty over the Western Sahara.

And here is a Brookings negative wave for the whole affair:

“Partial normalization has triggered outrage from some of Morocco’s neighbors and will likely upset many of its citizens; indeed, 88% of surveyed Moroccans said they would oppose diplomatic recognition of Israel, and 70% viewed the Palestinian cause as one that concerns all Arabs (according to the 2019-2020 Arab Opinion Index). While this discontent may not translate into immediate contestation, it will taint citizens’ view of the regime and may shift state-society relations in the long term.”

Don’t be too sure though that diplomatic cocktail sippers in Washington really know what the average Moroccan thinks. I remember reading once a comment from an Israeli diplomat describing the Syrian regime’s insistence that “Syrians” demand the return of the Golan Heights:

“In a totalitarian regime, no one knows what the populace thinks.”

That’s a fair point and one to keep in mind as this nascent regional cooperation. Indeed, if normalization takes root, everyone benefits.

Except the terrorists.

However, there is also this:

“Immediately after Trump’s announcement, the royal cabinet issued a press release discussing a phone call between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and King Mohammed VI — who is incidentally the chairman of the Al-Quds Committee (a committee under the auspices of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in charge of discussing and implementing resolutions related to the Arab-Israeli conflict). The implication of this phone call and the communication around it is that the Palestinian issue remains an important matter to the Moroccan regime and that ties remain strong between the two parties. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has claimed Morocco’s position on Palestine has not changed; it continues to support a two-state solution and to promote negotiations between both sides that would lead to definitive peace.”

Those of us in the RR family always have to have the long, prophetic view. Plenty of passages in books like Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel (among others) tell us that in the end, Israel will have no friendly superpower backing it, and in fact will be devoid of friends.

I personally see the Palestinian issue as the end-times trigger to war over Jerusalem, so it makes sense that this gang of criminals (PLO) will continue to agitate both on the ground and diplomatically around the world. We have to be honest and see that the Gulf States cooperation with Israel is probably purely for pragmatic reasons. It will take generations for people’s hearts to change, if they do.

Too, the malevolent actions of Biden and the gang of criminals that run Washington will continue to agitate grievances of the Palestinians. And this is a non-partisan issue in DC; both Republicans and Democrats have worked mightily to ruin peace in the Middle East. They won’t stop doing that.

Still, let us look at this latest diplomatic achievement as something akin to Egypt and Jordan. At least for a generation, those countries have not been at war with Israel.

And even one life saved is cause for celebration.