Christians' collective consciousness must stop the planned peace conference in Paris on January 15-17, and prevent the presumably intended UN Security Council (UNSC) vote on a Palestinian State as a 22nd Muslim state, in the midst of the one Jewish State. We need to ensure that there will be no capitulation to the Islamization of the Middle East and Europe. We need to ensure that the Old City of Jerusalem, the heart of Judaism for more than 3,000 years and the seat of Christianity for 2,000 years, will not be allowed to be Islamic as part of what would soon be an Islamic state, and very likely a terrorist one. In such a state, all polls show, the next vote will be to install the terrorist group Hamas. That would mean the eventual destruction of all Judeo-Christian heritage, as we have been seeing throughout the Middle East.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 13 October 2016 gave preliminary approval to a resolution that denies Jewish ties to its most holy religious sites: the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. The vote in Paris could firmly establish the Temple Mount as a Muslim place. Since UNESCO's rewriting of history, by renaming ancient Biblical sites Islamic, such as Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem, even though there was no Islam until the seventh century (hundreds of years later), Muslim guards on the Temple Mount already attempt to impose UNESCO's revisionist agenda. On January 1, 2017 the Waqf (an Islamic trust to preserve whatever has ever occupied by Muslims for Allah, forever) forced the eminent Israeli scholar of archaeology, Professor Gabriel Barkay, not to use the word "Temple Mount" but the Muslim word for the place. After Israeli police intervention, Barkay continued his talk using the abbreviation "TM." He refused to behave like a dhimmi (second-class, "tolerated" citizenship for non-Muslim minorities).
A similar event in October 2016 took a different direction. Visiting the Temple Mount, Cardinal Marx and Bishop Bedford-Strohm, the preeminent Catholic and Protestant representatives of the German Churches, respectively, accepted orders and removed their crosses. After huge protests in Germany against the banning of the cross on the Temple Mount, the Cardinal Marx apologized. Bishop Bedford-Strohm, in contrast, did not apologize but blamed Israeli security -- an allegation Israel rejected.
The Paris conference could well make the Temple Mount Judenrein and Christenrein [free of Christians and Jews] and accelerate dhimmitude in Europe.
An aerial view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and much of Jerusalem's Old City. (Image source: Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia)
For 3000 years, Jewish history says that "Jerusalem is built up like a city that is united together" (Psalms 122:3). Ever since, Jerusalem has been the undivided capital of the Jewish homeland. Neither relentless terror, nor multiple wars, nor cynical boycotts against the Jewish State have succeeded in destroying Israel's history. In a rough move, however, the Paris peace conference and a subsequent Security Council vote could accomplish just that: the end of Jewish history in its homeland. Based on the Hamas Charter that denies Israel's right to exist, the vote could complete eliminating Jewish -- and Christian -- history and replacing it with Islam. It would terminate Israel, the only thriving, beautiful, prosperous, and truly democratic country in the Middle East. It would end freedom of worship, which Israel guarantees for people of all religious faiths, from around whole world. It would end the inspiration for Judeo-Christian culture and for the faiths of Jews, Christians, and, yes, of Moslems, which Israel provides.
What drives Western politicians to be servants aiding the destruction of Judeo-Christian culture in the Middle East and Europe? Why does the Paris peace conference prepare for the destruction of the Jewish State, while Christians are murdered in Muslim countries in historically unparalleled numbers? Why are millions of Christians kept in the dark about the intended destruction of their birthplace on the Temple Mount from where, on Pentecost, the disciples of Jesus were empowered to carry the faith to the whole world? Not a few answers point to greed for might and money. It might be one of the Christians' last chances to rescue and honor the Judeo-Christian patrimony, which has been built with love and faith and passed on through many perils over millennia.
Christians of this age are grateful to Israel for enabling the biblical faith, more than ever, through numerous archaeological findings on the Temple Mount, in the City of David, in Qumran, on Massada, in Beersheva, in Bethlehem, in Tekoah, in Ariel, at the Jordan river, in Jericho, in Capernaum, Megiddo, Nazareth, Tel Dan, and a hundred other biblical places in the Land of Israel.
For this, Christians will not be silent when all these places will be voted to go to those who will destroy them -- as they destroyed Palmyra, Antioch, Nisibis, Nineveh, and in late 2014 Iraq's oldest Christian monastery, St. Elijah, leveled by the Islamic State. It was reported how ISIS seized the Christian site, forcing the Christians to convert to Islam, paying a special tax or be killed. This is the reality familiar to Christians and Jews in the Middle East for more than a millennium.
The Judeo-Christian culture is based on history transmitted in Holy Writ. That needs to be addressed in public, on social media, in print media, on television and radio -- on all media. The streets of Paris must hear the protests against the attempted rewriting of history at the peace conference and any subsequent Security Council vote. Such protestors are like "a man who would built up the wall and stand in front of God in the gap on behalf of the Land" (Ezekiel 22:30) -- so that the only bastion of democracy, the very defender of Christianity, the last keeper of Judeo-Christian heritage in the Middle East and Europe will continue to prosper.
Rev. Dr. Petra Heldt is Director of the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity, Jerusalem.