Messianic Jewish speaker for CATC 2012: “I oppose all forms of anti-Semitism”

This is hugely significant.

Richard Harvey, a key Messianic Jewish participant in Christ at the Checkpoint 2012, has told the print edition of Israel Today:

My participation doesn’t mean that I agree with all the aims of the conference or the views of the conference organizers. In fact, as I will be saying in my paper, I believe in God’s continuing election of the Jewish people, which includes the Land promises, and oppose all forms of anti-Judaism, anti-Semitism and supersessionism . I am going to meet my Arab brothers and sisters in Christ to talk, listen and pray with them, to seek to model the reconciliation between enemies and the unity that we have in the Gospel.

When the CATC papers are made public following the conference, it will be very straightforward to assess the extent, to which Richard Harvey does assert his opposition to “all forms of anti-Judaism, anti-Semitism and supersessionism.”

It will also be straightforward to see how clear his challenge is, to the Checkpoint 2012 organisers and participants who are responsible for pushing theological antisemitism.

Of course, there are many forms of antisemitism to oppose at Christ at the Checkpoint 2012.

There is Shane Claiborne, who thinks “the cross lost” when Bonhoeffer tried to kill Hitler. CATC 2012 awarded its blogging prize to Keith Giles, who compares Israel with Pharisees who just persecute Christians. CATC 2012 allies with Dr Jim West, who admires Nazi theologian Kittel.

CATC is being organised by Alex Awad, who has previously shared a platform with terrorist reps and a Holocaust denier, and Rev Stephen Sizer, whose writings have recently been scrutinised and critiqued for anti-Jewish racism by Rev Nick Howard in the British magazine Standpoint.

Richard Harvey will have to share a platform with Ben White, who has previously stated:

I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are.

It seems to me that Richard Harvey has given himself an impossible task – not least because Checkpoint 2012 organiser Sizer appears to see Richard Harvey as a heretic due to his Zionism.

So it is difficult to see how Dr Harvey can oppose “all forms of anti-Semitism” at Checkpoint 2012, without tackling the antisemitism of Christ at the Checkpoint itself.

19 thoughts on “Messianic Jewish speaker for CATC 2012: “I oppose all forms of anti-Semitism””

  1. Joseph,
    I have been following your posts. Do you want anyone to show up at CATC to oppose people like Sizer, or do you assume that everyone who appears at CATC believes in their views? I am trying to get a handle on this, and you are more familiar with this than I am. Matter of fact, before I started reading these posts, I had never heard of CATC or any of the speakers.

    Thanks for the insights.


    1. Hi Russ, thanks for your comment. If someone goes to CATC 2012, they should challenge the antisemitic views and actions of some CATC participants and organisers. I would be very happy to see that. However I do not think it is a sensible idea to go to CATC 2012 in the first place.

      1. Joseph,
        Do you think that someone actually attending may appear to be an endorsement of the anti-jewish position? I am curious, because it would appear that this will probably be an ongoing event.


        1. Russ,

          Some people go to CATC believing it is a place for “reconciliation”. It would be reconciliation if Israeli MJs were meeting with grassroots Palestinian Christians who are not defined by theological antizionism. There are plenty of these.

          Instead, people promoting racism and terrorism, are being presented as the Palestinian Christian voices of reconciliation.

          I am not opposed to people attending the conference, so long as they (a) know what they are attending and (b) make it clear at the conference that there is plenty of antisemitism passing as reconciliation.

        2. Joseph,
          I got it. It is the old “bait and switch” bit. They say they are one thing, but when you get there you get something else. Kind of like Jacob on his wedding night “wait, this is not what I agreed to!”

  2. I personally know all three of the ‘Messianic’ delegates who’ll be there. I wrangle in my own mind as to whether the motivation to have a positive voice amongst the hue and cry of the others is a good thing or not.

    The jury’s still out but I do wonder if what they expect to achieve at CATC is realistic and whether it really will be a different kettle of gefilte fish that inevitably will boil over in their faces.

    1. sadly they are already being used as a fig leaf before they even attend, to cover-up the blatant anti-Semitism we’ve already pointed out from the talks at CATC 2010 and from past and future speakers.

  3. Shalom Joseph,

    As a friend of Richard Harvey I can stand in support of him and his attempt to be a voice of reason. To me the question is not Harvey’s message, but whether or not it is a waste of time.

    Like many others, I would love to see peace in the Middle East. I also have become so pessimistic in recent years as to whether it is actually possible (although I still have not given up hope). Of all people attending, Richard Harvey at least stands a chance of being heard. He is not only a likable person, but extremely knowledgeable of the realities of the situation.

    May G-d truly use him to do something most of us would not be willing or just too pessimistic to do – to actually go into the lion’s den. I pray he comes out unscathed.

    1. A Japanese Proverb:

      虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず。 = (Koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu)
      Literally: If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.

      Meaning: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. / You can’t do anything without risking something.

      1. A wise saying from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

        If you get on the wrong train, you can’t make up for it by running back down the train carriages.

      2. Funny – Google translate gives me, “Be Sunda (mashed green soybeans) without obtaining a child entering the jaws of death tiger” (for 虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず) and as we all know we should trust authorities first!

      3. I know Japanese. The first character (虎) is the symbol for tiger (kun-yomi is “tora”/on-yomi is “ko”). Kun-yomi means native Japanese reading; on-yomi means quasi-Chinese reading (ancient Chinese reading). Both readings are used in Japanese depending on the situation or position of the Chinese characters (Kanji). 穴 = hole/den/cave, in kun-yomi this is “ana”. Perhaps a false cognate of “anus”. On-yomi has it as “ketsu”. に = this is a hiragana syllable (not a Chinese character but a native invention of the Japanese) which implies a preposition “in/at”. 入らずんば = if you enter (入 = enter); this is kun-yomi “reading”. Yomi means “reading”. 虎子 = this is an on-yomi (reading) which means literally tiger’s ( 虎) child (子). を = “wo” is a direct object signal for the verb 得ず = “ezu” or catch not.

  4. Please don’t be so afraid of taking an honest look at things that you miss an opportunity to work alongside people who genuinely do not hate you and sincerely hope to bring true reconciliation between Jews, Christians and Palestinians.

    I forgive you for taking my comments out of context.


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