Christian Charitable Support of Israel
Connecting the Dots on Seemingly Far Flung Current Events
November 18, 2007
the recent federal trial in Dallas against
a Texas-based Islamic “charity” accused by the U.S.
government of material aid of the Palestinian terror group
Hamas, one particular piece of evidence was especially intriguing
to me. Rarely has stronger “smoking
gun” evidence been brought to light in the United
States concerning the schemes of radical
Islamic entities to operate under cover on U.S.
soil than the transcript of the 1993 Philadelphia
particular quote from the transcript that grabbed my attention
demonstrated how Christian charity had been a deterrent
to terrorist influence on the Palestinian street. The quote
also demonstrated how charity is indeed a tool of great
value with the power to influence the politics of the Palestinian
people towards the terrorist agenda of Hamas.
Not only did Christian charity help impoverished Palestinians
in the early 1990’s, but it also decreased the influence
Hamas could gain over Palestinians. There have been some important changes in the territories
since then, namely a mighty exodus of Palestinian Christians
to western nations.
Yet two recent news items beg Israel-supporting Christians
to heed the clear Macedonian call
of Christian Arabs in Palestinian territories to, “Come…and help us.”
Wherever indigenous Christian ministries
are operating in the Middle East in that very place is a restraining presence of the Lord
against the influence of the Islamic terrorist agenda.
One way to fight terror is to support the indigenous Christian
ministries of the Middle East. Where the Christian presence has been removed, there is
where terrorists have gained full influence and control
over the people of that land. And, if we do not involve
ourselves in the plight of indigenous ministries then we
are throwing persecuted believers to the wolves….and the
wolves are counting that.
While we are called to respond to Palestinian Christians
at the same time we are forewarned that the Middle
East is no place to enter with naďve presumption. To “be
wise as serpents and harmless as doves” in Christian support
in Israel requires more than
just a willingness to go or to fund.
It is far better and safer for all concerned to give
into to the indigenous ministries already operating on the
ground than it is to attempt to go in and set up your own
independent ministry operation. Those non-citizen ministries that
do not submit first to the local ministries are in fact
endangering the local ministries. Some of the local
ministries end up paying with their lives for the unwillingness
of foreign ministries to submit to the local believing spiritual
cannot just come into the Middle East
doling out benefits in the name of the Lord and expect no
spiritual repercussions. This is one of the facts from
the recent news story about threats against Palestinian
Pastor Isa Bajalia that has not yet gotten enough notice in Christian
our desire to do a good thing in the name of the Lord, we
should heed the counsel of those who live and minister every
day in the region. We must let the indigenous ministries
set the agenda and not usurp their spiritual authority in
the locality. There is no better way to say this than: “Fools
rush in, where angels fear to tread.” Our naďve arrogance
has been very costly to the citizen believers in Israel and the Palestinian
territories. We must stop jeopardizing their safety by
not following their lead in local ministry efforts.
West Bank and Gaza are particularly high danger areas for ministers
of the gospel. We recently witnessed that fact in the murder
of Christian Arab Rami Ayyad who ran the only Christian
book store in Gaza.
Israeli ministries had been sending out prayer requests
for many months for their Palestinian Christian brothers
who were under great threat in the Gaza and the West Bank. Rami
Ayyad was especially mentioned many times as threats against
him grew following the bombing of his Palestinian Bible
Society book store. For the six months afterwards, Rami and his employees lived almost daily with threats until
the threats were finally made good in his kidnap and murder.
Bajalia on the West Bank also faces daily
death threats and knows he could end up just as dead as
Rami Ayyad. When things like this
don’t create a strong international Christian outcry, persecutors
are emboldened to continue and even increase.
and other Christian Arabs have committed to hold their place
in a hostile neighborhood to minister the gospel to their
neighbors. Rami paid with his
life. These believers, along with their Jewish believer
counterparts in Israel who also suffer religious persecution,
are truly fulfilling the Revelation 12:11 prescription
for overcoming the enemy: “And they overcame him by
the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death.” They
stay to minister the gospel to their people.
incidents should motivate us to increase our active support
of the Christian Arab ministries in both the West Bank and
Gaza, as well as throughout the Middle
East, and among Messianic Jewish Israeli ministries who
also suffer threatening religious persecution. Our support
should be expressed in monetary support as well as in prayer.
When threats are being leveled against the indigenous ministries,
we should be politically active in expressing our concerns
to the powers that be.
Christians who support Israel are really missing
the boat if persecution of believers—whether Jewish or Arab—is
not even on our radar! Real “national suicide” is by
spiritual definition any nation that allows the faith in
Jesus to be fully extinguished. If we love Israel,
we will take notice of what is happening to believers
Gaza and the West
Bank and come to their aid in every way possible. Surely
God will be more pleased with this than with our mere political
activism for Israel.
Many Messianic Jewish ministries in Israel
have relationships with the Christian Arab Palestinians
ministries who, out of necessity for their safety, are not
well known outside of Israel. Anyone serious about supporting these
ministries can write me and I will put you into contact
with ministries that act as conduits to effective Palestinian
ministries. Write GodHears@israelprayer.com and please
provide me with your full name, address, phone number and
the name of your pastor and church.
few years ago, some Israeli government leaders were actually
encouraging Christian ministries to share the gospel with
Palestinians (‘Just don’t share with Jews,’ they carefully
qualified). They did so because they recognized that Christianity
was effective against Islamic radicalism. The faith of
Jesus transformed Palestinians so that Israeli government
leaders desired more Christian sharing of the gospel among
Palestinians. They saw that where Jesus reigned, peace
Christian charities and support of the indigenous Palestinian
Christian ministries has never been more important than
today when the numbers of Christian Arabs in the territories
has decreased. Those who have stayed to declare the gospel
to their people deserve our help by way of our prayers,
political activism on their behalf and also by material
support and funding.
Christian charity among the Palestinian people could fill
the vacuum that has been left by the corrupt secular leadership
and the violent religious leadership that has so let down
the common Palestinian. Isn’t that what we’ve been saying?
Jesus is the answer.
terrorists use charities
Back to the evidence from the terrorism
trial conducted in Dallas this past
summer: The quote in a transcript that caught
my attention came from an FBI secretly taped strategy meeting
of radical Islamic representatives operating under cover
in the United
1993 Philadelphia Meeting was a ‘road map’ for how radical
Islam could forward its agenda without being detected
and identified in the United States. Among the topics on the agenda
was the network of charities that would facilitate the Islamic
agenda to disrupt any advances in the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict following the signing of the Oslo Accords earlier
One of the reports by these Islamists on “zakat” or ‘charities’
operating in the Gaza and West Bank on the behalf of Hamas
interests, brought forth interesting insight into how Hamas
used charities to influence political favor on the Palestinian
street. This is important because Hamas represents the
Islamist religious position that no peace deal can be struck
Since the days of Yassar Arafat
there has been a secular Palestinian position that
negotiations with Israel
are legitimate and the religious Islamist position
that no negotiation with Israel is legitimate. There is no right to exist
for the Jewish State of Israel in the Islamist view.
Even though the secular Palestinian Authority which Arafat
presided over and the Fatah party
which endorsed the rule of Mahmoud Abbas, are both weak on
acknowledging Israel’s right to exist, they have kept a
door open to negotiations with Israel. Whether as simply
a ploy by Palestinian leadership used against international
diplomatic efforts to negotiate a solution to the conflict,
surely there are those on the Palestinians streets that
would welcome an end to the conflict that keeps them in
a pit of poverty—the choice of their leaders much more than
the fault of Israel.
1993 Philadelphia meeting transcript also demonstrated what role Christian
charities in Palestinian areas had been able to play to
decrease the influence of the public toward the Hamas terrorist
was amazed when on at least four separate days during
the trial both prosecutors and the defense read from
the following section of the transcript dealing with Hamas
charities [page 4 of Government Exhibit http://www.txnd.uscourts.gov/pdf/Notablecases/holyland/08-27-07/0160059.pdf]:
“This is one of the problems which are not solved; the
affiliation of the
organization with exposed people [exposed as Hamas operatives], so, when a problem
happens with the man, a problem happens with the organization.
“I mean, the Islamic Sciences & Culture Society used
to have a research center which was the nucleus for a huge
research center until the person in charge [of it],
Sheik Jamil Hamami, was arrested and this
became an obstacle and a hindrance for the development of
“We have a school and a kindergarten and some orphan sponsorships
in that region. But, unfortunately, our institutions
are very few because they have over 100 Christian
institutions in the Bethlehem
active presence of Christian institutions in the Bethlehem
region actually kept Hamas from gaining a stronger following
among the people.
Much has changed since 1993 when this meeting to discuss
how to most effectively proceed in America.
The transcript provides the minutes of the brainstorming
that took place to set up an extensive infrastructure in
support of their homeland causes and to increase Islamic
support in the U.S.
One of the major changes is the decrease of Christian Arabs
from Palestinian-controlled territories. Throughout the
late 1990’s Christian Arabs were flooding out of the country
in a mass exodus as a result of increased persecution of
Christian Arabs that continues to this day. Today there
are far fewer Christian institutions operating in the region.
We have to ask ourselves why there is not greater outcry
among Christians with a strong focus on Israel. There is a definite
ripple effect detrimental to Israel
when the light of the gospel grows dimmer in the Palestinian
During the Intifada of the late
1990’s, Christian Arab residences became the favorite choice
of Hamas snipers from which to pick off Israeli citizens.
It literally killed two birds with one stone: Hamas snipers
could pick off a mother and her baby on a nearby Jewish
residence balcony, then when the IDF returned fire, the
home of an innocent Christian Arab family bore the brunt
of Israel retaliation. These terrorist home invasions
of Christian Arabs were common in that time frame and Hamas
got out mileage every which way, including lots of bad press
turned against Israel for returning fire
on the home of Christian Arabs.
This same disregard for human life—even of their fellow
Palestinians—is seen continually as Islamic terror groups
routinely choose sites to fire from that will demand tough
choices from Israelis to return fire, such as upon a civilian
home or even a school for small children. This is a common
practice of Middle Eastern terror groups. It is what our
troops are up against from Al Qaeda in Iraq,
or the Israelis were up against in their retaliation attack
of Hizballah in Lebanon.
It is the current tactic Palestinian terror groups in Gaza
utilize when firing on the civilian community of Sderot, Israel.
See the latest proof in a video online at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, which shows a terrorist cell launching mortar
shells from an elementary school for boys in Beit
Hanoun in the Gaza Strip. This twisting
of circumstances and disregard for all human life in a powerful
factor in radical Islam.
charities are also a powerful factor in the deterrence of
the radical Islamic agenda, so I was amazed that the HLF
jury heard the quote above read to them many times. I was
surprised because it testified to the fact that Hamas used
charities to gain influence among the people and where Christian charity and presence was most
active, the Hamas influence was most restrained! I
thought for sure the jury would catch that, but since
they didn’t we need to!
Christian charity organizations operating in Palestinian-controlled
areas can actually REDUCE the influence of Hamas charities
over the Palestinian people. It is a no brainer:
people who are desperate for help will feel a lot more kindly
toward those that help them materially than towards those
gives charity in order to keep their agenda alive which
is to keep all peace negotiations with Israel dead in the water.
That is why the IDF is currently ramping up for wave of
terror attempts surrounding the Annapolis meetings. Whenever a run at negotiating
peace is initiated, the Islamist terror groups attempt to
quash it with deadly terrorism against innocent civilians.
charities, on the other hand, seek to bring the Prince of
Peace into the hearts and lives of individuals, rescuing
them from demoralized and destructive lives. It should
be simple enough for us to discern the difference in the
motives of charities for darkness and charities for light.
Those who love the truth will not be fooled by the
motives of terrorist-praising and terrorist-connected charities.
But there are many undiscerning donors so
charity is exactly what got Hamas, the terrorist
group, elected in their first democratic elections in Palestinian
areas. It takes more than an election to transform a terrorist
group into a political party though and the proof is easy
enough to see in the out of control violence that has almost
more secular-oriented Fatah cronies who rose to power after Arafat’s death were
still tied to the abuses of international funding that has
poured into the Palestinian Authority and never used to
help the Palestinian people as intended. PA leadership
pocketed the riches and left the Palestinian streets in
continuing impoverishment. The international community
never stopped the funding process even with reams of evidence
as to what abuses were taking place. There was never accountability
brought to bear on the Palestinian Authority and the reason
is the international community did not want to close the
door on the only Palestinian party who could be a negotiation
partner for peace with the Israelis. To acknowledge that
there was no partner was to call it irresolvable. No one
wants to deal with the hell that call would unleash.
the abuses continued until the Palestinian people were totally
fed up with no one looking out for their interests. The
Palestinian Authority was never held accountable by the
international community for its abuse of international funds
or its broken agreements with Israel. This is why Hamas
saw the opportunity to gain greater influence than the Palestinian
Authority by infiltrating existing, and opening new, charities
within the West Bank and Gaza with funds
raised in the U.S.,
and Europe through donations. They
rightly saw that the key to the hearts of the Palestinians
was to improve their lot in life.
charities, especially the most important ones, were set
up often by those with blood ties to the top leaders of
Hamas, as is the case of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief
and Development. Yet, the relatives who ran these charities
were as careful as possible not to be directly linked to
Hamas. To operate on the soil of free democratic nations,
these organizations need plausible deniability about raising
funds for Hamas. They could not afford to be “exposed” as
working on behalf of Hamas, or any of the other Islamist
terror organizations. Together, in the year the Oslo Accords
were signed, they put together a strategic framework in
Philadelphia for ensuring the true nature of their
work was kept undercover. Political correctness in many
of the bureaucracies of the U.S.
government and within the media has kept this Islamist U.S.
network under cover.
1993 Philadelphia meeting transcripts
are proof positive that U.S.
based Islamist groups developed a plan to exploit the freedoms
of the United States for the goals
of Hamas and other Islamic terror groups. This strategy
session to develop an undercover network in the United
States predates the designation of
Hamas by the United States
as a terrorist organization, which contrary to the faulty
and dangerous reasoning of some, is no indication that they
were not terrorists before being designated as such by the
The 1993 Philadelphia meeting transcripts
may be “old evidence” but that certainly does not negate
the fact that terrorist groups planned a U.S.
network and brainstormed ways they could avoid detection
and exposure. The plan was to disguise their activities
through the use of charity fronts within the United
States to further the goal of terrorist
groups sworn to overthrow every attempt at peaceful
negotiation between Palestinians and Israel. Only a fool would ignore the clear evidence
that there was a plan forged in 1993 that it is still being
worked today on our soil. This not only imperils Israel,
but it also imperils U.S. citizens because as the saying
goes, If you lie down with dogs, don’t be surprised when
you get up covered in fleas.
of the media did not attend the HLF trial in Dallas
and has not reviewed the evidence presented in the trial.
All they have done is assemble
a few quotes from few experts and pieced together a nice
summary report that reinforces what they already believed
was the case. Don’t confuse them with the evidence.
I am not so optimistic that the average Israel-supporting
Christian will be any more inclined to read through the
entire transcript of the 1993 Philadelphia
meetings or review the government evidence against the HLF
defendants, but I do believe that many will see that there
is a valid correlation between Hamas charities increasing
Hamas influence among Palestinians.
Arab Christian community in Palestinian-controlled areas
is in a fight for their lives. They live under threat for
their witness of the gospel. Christians can help, and in
helping, the influence of Hamas can be lessened.
that Hamas as been elected and has caused ever spiraling
violence and chaos to threaten the entire population of
Gaza, many on the
Palestinian streets realize they made a mistake in electing
a terrorist group to represent them in government. This
is a horrible time for Palestinians, but an incredibly opportune
time for Christian investment into indigenous Palestinian
ministries. Let’s not miss this kairos
time to be involved.
The Threat to Palestinian Christians
Not Limited to Hamas-run Gaza
but also Fatah-run West Bank
Palestinian Pastor Vows
to Continue, Despite Ongoing Threats
efforts to help his people have led to numerous death threats.
Because another Palestinian pastor was recently murdered,
he takes the threats seriously.
Ellis Journal Chretien
November 17, 2007
have to take the threats seriously,” says Pastor Isa
Bajalia, an American-born Palestinian
who founded a ministry in Ramallah
known as Middle East Missions. “Rami
Ayyad once sat in my place and thought they probably won’t
do anything,” he notes. Rami Ayyad, the manager of Gaza City’s only Christian
bookstore, was abducted and killed in early October. The
attack came six months after his Palestinian Bible Society
bookshop was bombed, and nearly daily threats of violence. No arrests have
been made in his killing.
Threats triggered by Christian medical team
not grasping the threat: “The group was very bold in the way they prayed and witnessed,
and somehow the word got back to the Palestinian Authority,”
says Pastor Isa. “We have to
use wisdom in ministering to people of other faiths – and
not be offensive,” he says. “At the same time we have a
sovereign mandate in Mark 16 – The Great Commission.”
I was threatened in Ramallah
Bajalia said he was treated with respect, but some suspicion,
by the locals, and viewed as an outsider coming in with
a foreign concept. The pastor said the threats began about
two months ago after a group of church workers were seen
praying on behalf of Palestinians.
will do to you what Hamas did to Fatah
in Gaza," Bajalia said the Palestinian
security official warned him. Bajalia,
who has a vision problem, said he was also told that in
addition to his eye problems he would not be able to walk
for Annapolis while looking toward Teheran
Ben-David Analyze This column
for the Jerusalem Post November 8, 2007
the increased tension on the Palestinian side among members
of their negotiating team, and the attempts by Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
to maintain some kind of relationship with a Hamas that
absolutely rejects the goals of Annapolis. And there's the disclosure that a recent joint report by
Military Intelligence, the Mossad
and the Shin Bet Security Agency predicts that "even
if understandings are reached in Annapolis, the chance of
implementing them in the field is almost zero,"
because Abbas and the PA are too
weak to do so even in the West Bank, let alone in a Hamas-controlled
…."Why is Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice spending her remaining time in office banging her head
against the Israeli-Palestinian problem?" ….
It's about building the so-called "coalition of
the moderates" against Teheran, and doing it around
an event focused on an issue they supposedly all agree about,
a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
setting up political movement to challenge Fatah,
Hundreds of Palestinian business people and professionals,
led by an influential billionaire, launched a new political
Thursday, reflecting growing disillusionment with Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party. .…Billionaire
businessman Munib al-Masri,
73, inaugurated his "Palestine Forum" …. Supporters said he would convert the new
group into a political party and field candidates in the
next Palestinian election. …Recent polls have shown that
about a third of the people have no faith
in either party. Al-Masri said
he plans to step into that breech, emphasizing the economy,
education and welfare programs for the needy as well as
reuniting the West Bank and Gaza.
dragging Hamas down
For the first time since its forces took
full control of the Gaza Strip five months ago, Hamas appears
to be facing a major crisis that is likely to undermine
its credibility and status among Palestinians. … The
infighting among the top brass of Hamas is taking place
as the economic and humanitarian crisis in the Gaza
Strip continues to escalate, prompting many Palestinians
to question the Islamist movement's ability to change the
situation for the better.