Most people understand that promoting a cartoon of a hook-nosed Jew getting kicked by a crucified Jesus is something no one should do. But one person who didn't get the memo is Yusef Daher, executive secretary of the Jerusalem Interchurch Center (JICC), a Christian ecumenical peacemaking institution located in the Holy City.
This isn't the only time Daher has invoked Jesus' crucifixion to demonize Israel. In an article published in early November, 2016, titled Between Balfour and Pontius Pilate, Daher declared Palestinians have been crucified as a result of Israel's creation and the international community's call for a two-state solution. In this same article, he declared that the Torah does not center on love and genuine justice.
Daher's use of the cross to demonize Israel is sadly reminiscent of the message offered by Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, a notorious anti-Zionist, who during the Second Intifada, stated: The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily. Palestine has become the place of the skull.
Of course, the image posted on Daher's Facebook page is antisemitic, but it is also a desecration of the Christian faith. Jesus offered up words of forgiveness while on the cross and called on his followers to take care of one another. At no point is Jesus described in the Gospels as lifting a hand (or foot) in anger towards anyone.
Nevertheless, as of this writing, the image remains publicly visible on Daher's Facebook page, along with a number of other troubling images that seem to glorify Palestinian violence and hostility toward the Jewish State.
For example, one image(posted on Daher's Facebook page on Oct. 25, 2015) shows a picture of the Palestinian flag covering Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Logically, this indicates support for the destruction of the Jewish State and its replacement with a Palestinian state. That a so-called Christian peacemaker would support such a call is incomprehensible, but that's what Daher has done.
Another image posted on Daher's Facebook page on October 15, 2015, shows a picture of Palestinian men wearing keffiyehs to obscure their faces as they operatea large slingshot, about ready to launch a brick or stone of some sort. There are no comments accompanying the image, but apparently, Daher thinks this type of behavior is laudable.
Haven't enough people died as a result of confrontations between Palestinian rock throwers and Israeli soldiers? Has not the Holy Land seen enough strife for Daher to condemn not lionize such behavior? Apparently not.
Daher speaks words of peace, but there is no peace in these images.
What makes this all the more shocking is that the JICC, where Daher works, is supported by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), two institutions charged with promoting the Christian gospel and the cause of peace in the Middle East.
Will the WCC and the MECC step in and instruct Daher to remove the images from the Internet and apologize for his ugly polemics against Israel? Or will these institutions do nothing and allow the executive secretary of the Jerusalem Interchurch Center to continue to promote hatred and disdain in an already tense environment?