By Mark Tooley (@MarkDTooley)
The Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI), a collaboration of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine, has released its special “Christmas Message.” And this year’s holiday season is apparently all about bashing Israel. “The birthplace of Jesus Christ has become an open-air prison,” they complained with Christmas cheer.
JAI is chiefly about disseminating anti-Israel advocacy through Christian and relief groups worldwide to “influence decision-makers and prompt actions that contribute to end Israeli occupation and all its violations of International Law.” JAI was founded in 1982 after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, in response to terror attacks from there by Palestinian groups. As a Christian group, JAI might laudably advocate spiritual reconciliation. But its chief ministry seems to be demonizing Israel without acknowledging ongoing terror by groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
This year’s “Christmas Message” from JAI amply illustrates its political and spiritual emphases. There is no mention of opposing terror or working for peace, just opposing Israel. Recalling the Nativity of Christ, JAI grimly notes that the fields where Shepherds first heard of Baby Jesus are now witness to “harassment, imprisonment, and land confiscation,” making hope difficult.
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