Knesset Christian Caucus blasts Hamas

Shtern: Hamas victory a declaration of holy war against Jews and Christians.

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
January 30, 2006 18:37
2 minute read.
yuri shtern 298.88

yuri shtern 224.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

 
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The landslide Hamas election victory in last week's Palestinian parliamentary elections is a declaration of religious holy war against both Judaism and Christianity, the head of the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus said Monday. "The establishment of 'Hamastan' run by radical Islam which is openly anti-Jewish and anti-Christian, and not just anti-Israeli, is a [declaration of] religious holy war against both our faiths," said Caucus Co-Chairman MK Yuri Shtern (Israel Beitenu) at the monthly meeting of the parliamentary lobby.

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The hawkish Jewish parliamentarian told a gathering of Christian representatives to the Holy Land that the upset Hamas victory represented not just a physical danger to Israel and the western world comparable to what happened in Europe seventy years ago, but a spiritual and religious threat to Judaism's and Christianity's "civil beliefs, religion and faith." The highly-politicized meeting of the increasingly-influential cross-party parliamentary lobby, which marked its second anniversary this month and usually prides itself on its apolitical stance, was dominated by the shock Hamas victory. "As Christians we should see the Hamas victory not as a threat against Israel and Jews but against us as well," said Rebecca Brimmer, the International President of the Jerusalem-based 'Bridges for Peace,' a pro-Israel Christian organization which has worked closely with the caucus in promoting Christian-Jewish relations around the world. Brimmer urged the Christian world not to miss the "handwriting on the wall," which she said was reminiscent of 1930's Nazi Germany. "First they come for the Saturday people, and then they come for the Sunday people," she said. In an unusually broad mix of Christian leaders, black-hooded representatives of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Mission, the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Orthodox Patriarch sat in the crowd together with the Evangelical Christian leaders in the Holy Land who regularly frequent the monthly event, which has become de rigueur for Jerusalem-based Christian supporters of Israel. The parliamentary lobby, which includes 14 Knesset members from seven political parties across the political spectrum, has come to epitomize Israel's newfound interest in garnering the support of the Christian world in the 21st century, especially the largely pro-Israel Evangelical Christian community around the world. Hamas, which is the largest and most powerful of the Palestinian terror organizations and advocates Israel's destruction, has carried out scores of suicide bombings over the last five years of Palestinian violence, killing hundreds of Israeli civilians. "As the rise of radical Islam looms over us, it is no coincidence that Jews and Christians are coming together around the world in an unprecedented burst of activity," said caucus director Josh Reinstein.

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