Friday, February 28, 2014

Will the State Dept. Now Join "Christ at the Checkpoint"

Some of you may have followed my blogging on Shaun Casey, as well as those of EOZ.

The State Department faith fellow who came to the Holy Land but somehow, missed the religious Jews residing there.   (See other activities here, for example, and a Jewish rabbi involved)

I have been updated (anonymous thanks) to this report:-

...Bethlehem Bible College was honored to receive a visit from Dr. Shaun Casey, the Special Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.  Dr Casey was accompanied by his Policy Advisor, Ms Liora Danan, [formerly Director of Special Projects, Middle East Program at University of California at San Diego, and stints at Center for Strategic and International Studies, USCD, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom]

and his Cultural Affairs Officer, Ms Rachel Lesley. [Lesley has been in previous assignments in Saudi Arabia (2006-2007), Syria (2004-2006), studying advanced Arabic at the State Department’s language school in Tunisia and prior to joining the Foreign Service, she was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Egypt.  And she was also the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Manama, Bahrain]  Here she is

The President of Bethlehem Bible College, Rev Dr. Jack Sara together with members of the college leadership team, Dr. Bishara Awad, President Emeritus, Dr. Munther Isaac, Mr. Jamal Ateeq and Ms Nisreen Nassar, met Dr. Casey and his officers and together they discussed issues of importance to Palestinian Christians, and in particular, the role of the Palestinian church in politics and in the peace process.  They also talked at length about the up-coming Christ at the Checkpoint Conference and the impact that such an international event can have in promoting peace.
...At the reception following the tour, Dr. Casey said how pleased he was to have been able to visit the College and promised Dr. Sara that he would keep in touch.

"Promoting peace"?
That "Christ at the Checkpoint Conference"  (next one is March 10-14, 2014) is pure anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and promotes misrepresentations of Judaism as well as Christianity.  As my interlocuter expressed it,

I’m waiting for a Christ at the Shuk conference

My GraphicZionism comment to this photo:

and this



Received this:

To whom it may concern,

I am saddened and frustrated to hear that Special Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, Dr. Shaun Casey, on his recent visit to Bethlehem, was discussing the "Christ at the Checkpoint" (CATC) activities. Those activities have in the past included anti-Israeli and borderline anti-Semitic 
misrepresentations of Judaism. What is most objectionable is that that Israel-bashing deflects from the addressing of real problems facing Palestinian Christians, a part of the wider harassment and persecution facing Christians throughout the MidEast. Dr. Casey is actually harming those he is meant to protect..

Dozens of bylines from news media such as the The New York TimesWall Street JournalB.B.C., TelegraphGlobe and MailDaily MailNew York Post etc talk about actual, researched reasons for Christian flight from the Holy Land. (



Posted: 28 Feb 2014 07:10 AM PST
Earlier today I wrote that the State Department said that Shaun Casey, the head of the State Department's Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, had met with Jews, Christians and Muslims on his recent, unannounced visit to the West Bank. At the same time Yisrael Medadfound a third meeting that Casey had with a virulently anti-Israel Christian group during his trip.

Since them I found that Casey also visitedEpiscopal Bishop Suheil Dawani in Jerusalem. Dawani was once accused by Israel of illegally transferring Jewish-owned lands to Arabs but it does not appear that he was ever tried for this, so I don't know if the accusation was withdrawn or placed on a back-burner.

I have also discovered that Casey visited Muslim leaders - on the Temple Mount.

In a move considered precedent-setting, and the first of its kind since the occupation of Jerusalem, Assistant Secretary of State for Interfaith Affairs Sean Casey met in the dome inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque with Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab, Chairman of the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib al-Tamimi, Director General of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Dr. Yousef Natsheh, Director of Tourism and Antiquities in the Islamic Waqf
According to Sheikh Tamimi [Casey] was informed of all Zionist violations related to Al-Aqsa Mosque from the incursions of settlers and abuses of Zionism and breaches.

He said: 'We have provided a detailed explanation of the conditions of Jerusalemites of uprooting and Judaization and blocking of buildings and the demolition of homes, confiscation of land and interfering with the freedom of worship and access to the holy places of all the Palestinian territories.'

The Waqf religious leaders told the assistant secretary to convey the message clearly to the American administration, especially about the violations of the occupation and carried out by extremists against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which may lead to religious conflicts all over the world if the mosque is damaged or if the state of Jordan and the Islamic sovereignty is stripped from the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy sites in Jerusalem.

... In turn, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State said he wants the city of Jerusalem to have safety and security and stability, and "I will truthfully convey what I heard from all of you to the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry."
I am not certain, but I do not believe that Ambassador Dan Shapiro ever crosses the Green Line from the Tel Aviv side. I see no evidence so far that Casey ever went to the Israeli side of the Green Line - every single meeting we've seen so far was in the "eastern" part of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Maybe he arrived from Jordan.

Still trying to find any Jews he might have visited. But judging from what we've seen so far, the only Jews he might deign to visit are "Rabbis for Human Rights."

By the way, I also see that he made a visit to the West Bank in 2011 as part of a Methodist delegation.

So far, nothing I am seeing about Casey is instilling confidence in this new office that he heads.

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