Home Page

carol gould

Join our email list for updates.




We hope that you'll feel our website is worthy enough to contribute a few pounds to the bandwidth bills.



Christian Pilgrims are Thriving in Israel
Last uploaded : Wednesday 23rd May 2012 at 00:43
Contributed by : Carol Gould


22 May 2012


Recently I found myself in the company of a young American woman and a Lebanese activist, both of whom were supporters of the March on Jerusalem, a recent protest movement against the Jewish State’s policies that urges the world to boycott anything and everything Israeli.

I come across people who hate Israel all the time and have learned not to become irrational and aggressive when innumerable ‘crimes by Israel’ are thrown at me. Long ago I supported the Labour government of Yitzhak Rabin. Despite the 2000-2001 Intifadah, the slaughter and disembowelling of Israeli reservists Vadim Norzich and Josef Avrahami in Ramallah on 12 October 2000 ( the same day al Qaeda bombed the USS Cole) and subsequent terrorist attacks I continue to support the road to peace. The Netanyahu regime is perhaps the most right-wing in Israel’s history.

But I will not be told in no uncertain terms that ‘Christians may not enter Israel’ and that ‘Christian shrines of interest are slowly being eliminated by the Israeli authorities and soon there will be no Christian sites left in Israel.’ This is the accusation hurled at me in my encounter with the two activists. I tried in vain to convince them this was a scurrilous tale but they laughed their heads off.

Later at home I decided to do some research. Were they right? Am I living in a parallel universe? Do I harbour a utopian view of Israel that no longer has any basis in truth?

I Googled ‘Israel Destroying Christian Shrines’ and the pages that appeared were all about ‘Christian Shrines in Israel.’ I tried and tried to find something about the Netanyahu government eradicating shrines but there was nothing there. Nothing.

What I did find were articles about the massive number of Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land in recent years. According to the CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) ‘they traveled from the Mount of Olives into the Holy City behind a white donkey, recreating the biblical account of Christ's triumphal entry.’ In the approach to Holy Week 2012 the Israeli tourist authorities were expecting 125,000 visitors just over Easter weekend alone. In recent Christmases Israeli hotels have been full. My not-so-religious Christian neighbours go to Eilat every Christmas to scuba dive.

The idea that anti-Israel activists are adding yet another string to their ‘Zionism is racism’ bow by suggesting that Christianity is being annihilated by the Jews is ludicrous when set against the scenario in Muslim countries. The situation in Nigeria is a potent example of a Christian community being threatened with total defeat at the hands of the ubiquitous Boko Haram, a violent terrorist group. Coptic Christians have been under increasing attack in Egypt in the past year. In February Christian visitors to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem were stoned; Jews and Christians are regularly detained for praying or carrying the Bible within the walls of the Temple Mount, activities forbidden by the Muslim authorities and enforced by Israeli police. So it follows that if Christians ARE persecuted inside Israel it is because the Muslim authorities are asking Israel to enforce their restrictions.

Christian pilgrimages to Israel are a daily event for believers worldwide. Tours are being organised throughout the year; the idea that Israel is trying to eradicate a major source of income is absurd. There are countless companies arranging these trips, the most notable of which is WalkWhereJesusWalked.com, a subsidiary of the Israel Government Tourist Office. The meticulous restoration of Christian sites as well as their maintenance is a hallmark if Israeli concern for preservation of history; I have witnessed it myself. Worldwide Christian Travel brings thousands of visitors to Jordan, Turkey, Israel and other countries with biblical connections. The list goes on and on.

The idea that Jews are trying to exterminate any last crumb of evidence of Christian history in the Holy Land is yet another calumny being promulgated by those whose hatred of Israel knows no bounds. When they are not slandering the tiny country they are promoting boycotts of Israeli goods but as I sit here writing my article I am eating turkey salami from Israel, clementines from Israel, biscuits from Israel, matzot from Israel… all bought in London. The boycott is not working, and neither is the propaganda perpetrated by the people I mentioned at the opening of my article. If indeed Israel were to be destroyed by one of her hostile neighbours the places so dear to Christian pilgrims would be wiped off the map. As long as Israel survives Christians will be welcomed. The idea that they are reviled is a fiction of gargantuan proportions.

http://www.walkwherejesuswalked.com/?gclid=COGP3vCFlbACFQ8htAodYV6M2g .


Read more Editorials    go >>



Web Design - Web Designers
© current viewpoint .com

All Rights reserved.
No copying of any text or images allowed in any form digitally or otherwise,
without the prior written consent of the copyright holders.