28 thoughts on “Christian Zionists Bring ‘The Word,’ and Higher Education to Israeli Palestinian Heartland – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Another article by Jonathan Cook from July 31 on a related topic:
    “Israeli army recruitment plan aims to incite Christian-Muslim tension”
    Extract: “A Christian in Nazareth whose brother is an official in the defense ministry announced the establishment of a Christian-Jewish party (….). The movement, which also runs an enlistment to encourage Christians to serve in the army, has paired with far-right Jewish group, Im Tirzu”.

  2. I read good things about the Pope Pope Francis. Perhaps he could find it within his “brief” to call Christians to a consious and conscientious examination of their relations with Israel. I think Francis would not be a cheerleader for ANY imperialism. Not even Israel’s.

  3. Sorry i fail to understand what do you care ?
    The local Palestinian groups are happy about the opportunity with the exception of Hanin Zouabi who was defeated in the last election, which means her point of view isn’t a credible one in the eyes of the Palestinian community.
    You from your home in lake Seattle without speaking a word of Arabic, knows better then the community what’s good for it’s member ?

    1. @ Bellerphone:

      Sorry i fail to understand

      That’s the truest thing you’ve written here.

      My, isn’t it interesting an alleged Iranian is speaking on behalf of Nazareth’s Palestinians. And you know their level of receptivity to the plan how?? As for whether my perspective or Zoabi’s are “credible” or not, I’d prefer not allowing you to be the judge. In fact, I’ve consulted with a number of local Palestinians who each tell me they knew little or nothing about it and were shocked to learn the news.

      My home isn’t “in lake Seattle.” It’s on dry land, thank God. The lake isn’t called “Seattle” either.

      If I did know Arabic it wouldn’t help reporting this story since the local Arabic language media reported the project as entirely positive development for the community. This is a perfect example of where an outsider can offer an important perspective the local community may not know or have.

      I don’t know “what’s good” for the Palestinians of Nazareth. But I sure as hell know that neither you nor Shimon Peres nor Manual Trajtenberg do either. So I’d rather expose the story and allow the Palestinians to decide how to proceed from there.

      1. You never reported on the story, you covered it with your opinions which turned it into a very negative development.
        The story is that a higher education institute is building a campus in Nazareth, period.
        You without knowing what the acceptance requirements would be, without knowing what’s the number of Palestinians students would be, object the development.

        Why ? Is it your interest to keep people uneducated ?

      2. @ Silverstein
        I fail to see why you say “has quietly (until now) colluded to bring Texas A&M University to Nazareth”

        You published this story on 10/26/2013. On 10/22/2013 Haaretz aired the same story, So did Ynet (on the 23) So did the Daily Beast, the Jpost, the Times of Israel, The NYT aired it on October 21 (who stated the involved parties including Pestor Hagee), Jspace.com, Globes, I24news TV station, Algeminer, upi.com, JNS.org and others.
        All published it days before you did.

        I understand you want’s to get scoops but a simple google search using the term “new university in nazareth” reveals the source of your article.

        Plagiarism is a serious ethical violation. As a blogger who demand respect from your readers and other media outlets, you sure don’t respond in kind.

        1. @ Bellerphone: Do you think the plans for the university happened over the course of four days, from Oct 22-26th?? No, the collaborators have been planning this for a long time. During all this time no one, excepting the Arab press, reported on it (hence my use of the term “quietly”). In the Arab press, they touted the project to the Palestinian community as the “Arab University,” when it will NOT be a Palestinian university. It will be an American university in Israel educating Israeli citizens some of whom happen to be Palestinian. Texas A&M, an evangelical-based school will focus on its own religious heritage and derogate anything other, especially Islam. Though perhaps it will have to respect Judaism since Israeli Jewish officials are responsible for regulating it.

          In other words, all the parties hid from the Palestinian community the true nature of the institution that was planned (hence the phrase “quietly colluded”). That’s why I call the entire project a fraud, or at least based on fraudulent behavior.

          If you use the term ‘plagiarism’ in connection with my work again, you’ll be banned pronto. Besides, you’re incredibly ignorant and don’t even understand the meaning of the term. I have NEVER plagiarized. Never. Don’t you dare go there. Ever. I consider use of that term a major comment rule violation. You will be moderated & your comments approved if they don’t violate the rules.

          1. @ Silverstein This is nonsense * 10. The Nazzarath college
            opened its doors in 2003, as a branch of the Indianapolis U. The
            programs included degrees in Chemistry & computer science .
            (very sloppy research work, my ability to use google translate is
            much better then yours apparently) You think that Chemistry
            & Computer science for Arabs is different then the subject
            taught to non Arabs ? Get real.

          2. @ Bellerphone: Your claims are mostly false. But let’s clarify the truth.

            The Institute was founded in 2003 and named Mar Elias in honor of Bishop Elias Chacour. It was affiliated with (but not a branch of) a very small private Methodist school called the University of Indianapolis. The University withdrew its affiliation in 2009 & Mar Elias changed its name to the Nazareth Institute. It has been independent and financially unsupported since then.

            As far as I can tell, this is either a lie or based on faulty information. The Nazareth Institute was portrayed in Haaretz as INDEPENDENT, with no reference to it being a branch of anything. Second, there is no such institution as “Indianapolis University.” Third, there may’ve been some sort of reciprocal relationship between this school & Nazareth. But reciprocity is not the same as being a branch.

          3. Important for Palestinians

            The Israeli government on March 29, 2009 sanctioned the establishment of Mar Elias University, which has operated since 2003 as the Nazareth-Galilee Academic Institution and served as a Middle East campus of the University of Indianapolis.

            While open to students of all religious and ethnic backgrounds, the new university will have special importance for Palestinian Muslims and Christians in Israel, who have lacked an Arabic-speaking institution of higher education. David Wildman, the Global Ministries executive who relates to Middle East issues, explained:

            With no Arab colleges in Israel, and strictly segregated primary and secondary schools, either Hebrew or Arabic, Palestinians who are citizens of Israel have had few choices for higher education. They must go to the West Bank, which is difficult or impossible, or go abroad, which is very expensive and possibly leads to emigration, or they must study at a Hebrew-speaking college in Israel. Now they have an option in Arabic which will greatly expand the potential for study for the 20 percent of Israel’s citizens who are Arab.

            Using the present accreditation of NAI, the A&M branch will be English speaking and hiring it’s own staff in the reform.

  4. This story concentrates many repellant worlds including the foreign colonial mentality regarding the indigenous “natives,” who need book-learning of the right kind (“peace”), the Jewish-Israeli conceit that they are the only lords of this land and can dispense it as they see fit, and the Christian Zionist enthusiasm for proselytizing widely and throwing money after Israel’s bad behavior in the name of …of…what? The End of Days! And American politicians from, where else?, Texas doing a “come to Jesus” with the likes of Shimon Peres. I can’t think of this as the “banality of evil”, not given this mix.

  5. High above Nazareth, an Israeli mayor wants to keep his city Jewish ‘now and forever’

    They are welcome here, the mayor says, as long as they remember one very important rule. “This is a Jewish city,” said Shimon Gafsou of his adopted home town, “now and forever.”

    To be more specific: “I would rather cut off my right arm than build an Arab school,” the mayor said in an interview on his terrace at city hall.

    Ditto mosques. “No, no, no. No mosques, ever,” Gafsou said. No churches. Or Ramadan lanterns or manger scenes. “And no Christmas trees,” said the mayor of a town that abuts the largest Arab city in Israel, celebrated as the childhood home of Jesus.

    “Everyone can live here, that is the law, as long as they understand this is a Jewish city,” Gafsou said. “And in that way we are a microcosm of the state of Israel.” He said that “95 percent of Jewish mayors think the same thing. They’re just afraid to say so out loud.”

    … Israel guarantees its Arab citizens full and equal rights. But report after report documents the fact that spending for Arab citizens is lower, on average, in education, housing, business development and other areas.

    Nazareth Illit is a classic Israeli “development,” or new town, built with government support starting in the 1950s as a home for Jews on expropriated lands, according to historians.

    Ali Salam claims victory over incumbent Ramiz Jaraisi in Nazareth mayor race

  6. The story certainly begs more questions than answers. But then I favor the One State Solution, right of return to all, no rabbinical law, no shariah law.
    In the arena of all American educational institutions, you really shouldn’t call Texas A&M second rate.

    1. @ amspirnational: US News ranks it 69th of all “national universities.” That’s definitely a mid-level ranking. Certainly not 3rd rate, but not first rate either. The Times Higher Education Supplement ranked it 169th internationally. I haven’t checked, but its engineering program would be much higher ranked. But that is only one program and, as I wrote, might not even be offered as a degree in Nazareth (if the school ever happens).

  7. Texas A&M isn’t an evangelical school, unless you want call the Aggie Corp evangelicals. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_A&M_University I think Rick Perry & John Sharp will live to regret this whole ‘A&M Nazareth’ idea. The only upside i see to this is that Israeli Palestinians wil learn Aggie jokes.

    There were three Aggies huddled around each other at a local bar. All of a sudden, they jumped up and yelled,
    “Yeah, 45! 45!” The bartender goes down to them and asks, “45? What are you guys so excited about?”
    One of the Aggies speaks up: “We just finished a jigsaw puzzle. The box said 2 to 3 years, and we did it in 45 days!”

    How do you drive an Aggie crazy? Put him in a round room & tell him there’s a $100 in the corner.

    Did you hear about the skeleton they found in a closet in one of the dorms at A&M?
    It was the 1963 hide-and-go-seek champion!

    Did you hear about the Aggie who won a gold medal at the Olympics?
    He liked it so much that he decided to get it bronzed.

    Why did the Aggie get fired from the M&M plant as a quality control inspector?
    He kept throwing out all the W&W’s!

    1. Hilarious!

      I didn’t intend to say that Texas A&M was officially evangelical like Oral Roberts or a Bible college. I meant to say that all the key Texas players including Sharp, Hagee & Perry are imbued with the evangelical fervor to spread the good news to the heathen Arabs. I also believe evangelism will inform the new school, either in the curriculum or campus activities. Can you not imagine Hagee & his fellow ministers preaching to the student body during their pilgrimages to the Holy Land?

  8. http://www.tamu.edu/about/top-programs.html More
    importantly, please keep your readers aware of the Palestinian
    consensus on this. The eschatology of “Christian” Zionists is
    heretical from a traditional Christian point of view. It sanctions
    continuing dispossession of Palestinians, by saying, in effect, it
    is God’s will that, for example, an atheist Brooklyn Jew with no
    historic ties to the land, “return” to that land (in some cases
    actually dispossesing a Palestinian Christian, ironically) …to
    facilitate the second coming of Christ.

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