By Tom Compton
How can one start to describe the events, emotions and encouragements experienced at the 2012 Occupy AIPAC event in Washington, D.C., timed to coincide with the annual meeting of the most powerful foreign lobby in the United States, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Occupy AIPAC was organized by the fearless ladies of Code Pink and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a coalition of over 350 activist organizations around the U.S., dedicated to fighting for peace and justice for Palestinians in Israel and around the world.
We had them outnumbered! There were about 300 Occupy AIPAC challengers compared to the reported 13,000 attendees and speakers at the AIPAC convention that included the President of the United States of America. The “Occupiers” know that might does not make right. It was amazing to meet such a diverse cross section of people… from a Palestinian college student studying in the US to a Jewish man who woke up a few years ago to the injustices being committed against the Palestinians by the Israeli government. The cause to stop another war, this time against Iran, or maybe, Syria, first, had a unifying effect.
The tone of the conference was set early when Cindy Corrie, mother of Rachel Corie, who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes, spoke. Cindy said that she had decided to come to the conference at the last minute because she needed to be energized. Well, it’s safe to say that all the attendees were energized by Cindy Corrie. Later on, we were fortunate to personally speak with Cindy Corrie, who continues to fight for justice for her slain daughter and the Palestinians. That was very inspirational!
The conference was jammed packed with interesting speakers, workshops and demonstrations in front of the AIPAC convention at the Washington DC Convention Center and the White House while talks between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel were going on. Our organization, We Hold These Truths, joined in with the Occupy AIPAC demonstrations, but on Sunday morning, March 4, we conducted a vigil in front of a large Christian Zionist church in the DC area.
Millions of Christians are influenced by Christian Zionism that demands the belief that the modern state of Israel is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and that even questioning the actions of Israel will constitute a sin against God.
In fact, some Christian Zionists preachers pray for war. Our four minute YouTube video demonstrates this: “John Hagee With Benny Hinn: Praying For War In The Name of Jesus.” This new form of “Christianity” flies in the face of the traditional beliefs held by Christians that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and his teachings like, “Blessed are peacemakers,” Love your neighbor as yourself” and “even love your enemies” should guide his followers. Typically, Christian Zionists support wars in the Middle East to protect Israel.
It’s very encouraging that numbers of people opposing the Israeli occupation are going and becoming more effective.
– Tom Compton is an American follower of Jesus who is one of the founding directors of We Hold These Truths. WHTT’s miss is to challenge evangelical Christians in America and around the world who cling to the idea that the modern state of Israel is a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and that Christians must do nothing to hinder Israel, no matter what Israel does. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at [email protected].