Evangelicals visit Palestinians to see life — and Christian faith — on the other side

Religion News Service | 6/18/2018 | Staff
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NABI SALEH, West Bank (RNS) — Bassem and Nariman Tamimi’s squat but expansive one-story home of stucco and tile sits near the highest point of the dusty hilltop village of Nabi Saleh, in the Palestinian West Bank. Bassem Tamini was born here in 1967, a few weeks before the Six-Day War and the subsequent Israeli occupation. In the years since the home has become a symbol of Palestinian resistance to Israeli rule.

Most weeks for the past decade, the Tamimis have protested what they say are encroachments on their land by a nearby Israeli settlement and the demolition of their village’s property by Israeli security forces.

Events - Nabi - Saleh - Flashpoint - Passions

These are often violent events, as Nabi Saleh has grown into a flashpoint for Palestinian nationalist passions. The protests have developed into a form of high-stakes political theater, with activists and photographers surrounding stone-throwing teenagers to document their clashes with the Israeli troops who inevitably arrive.

Members of the Tamimi family frequently end up in custody, injured or worse. They also appear on the news. Depending on one’s view of the larger Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the Tamimis are either heroes of the populist Palestinian liberation movement or the epitome of reckless incitement and exploitive propaganda.

Nabi - Saleh - Place - Group - Christians

Nabi Saleh is the last place one might expect to find a group of evangelical Christians, a demographic known in Israel–Palestine for its enthusiastic support for Israel. But on this hot spring day, two busloads of evangelicals, mostly American, sit sweating in a semicircle among the scraggly olive trees in front of the Tamimis’ house.

The cohort was bused here as part of Christ at the Checkpoint, a five-day gathering of Western Christians organized by the West Bank’s tiny evangelical community. In its fifth iteration since 2010, the gathering brings hundreds of Western evangelicals to the town of Beit Jala for field trips and lectures....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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