Lynne Hybels should not be criticized for seeing her activism on behalf of the Palestinian Christians as a “calling from God” for after all, Palestinians deserve to be treated as human beings. And she shouldn’t be condemned for her belief that modern Israel is not a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Many Jews don’t believe it either, so why should she be singled out?
While she claims to be unbiased, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein wrote: “Lynne Hybels…enthusiastically embraces the Palestinian ‘Christ at theCheckpoint’ movement, which reduces Zionism to ‘a modern political movement’ that ‘has become ethnocentric, privileging one people at the expense of others.’”
The rabbi, who has close ties to Christian Zionists, states that Hybels supports “Christian Palestinianism…a movement that…traffics in anti-Israel propaganda and historical misinformation.”
In other words, Hybels’ visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial didn’t convince him that she has a genuine concern for Israel.
Lynne, the wife of Pastor Bill Hybels of Willow Creek mega-church in Illinois, serves on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. This church has stepped into the Middle East arena in an attempt to bring “reconciliation and peace,” yet such an ambitious undertaking requires some kind of empathy toward Israel.
Hybels tries to show even-handedness, but her affiliation with extreme anti-Zionist Christian groups and her friendship with Israelis on the far, pro-Palestinian left shows where her heart is.
One such Israeli friend is Roni Keidar, an activist in Kol Acher (Other Voice), which propagates lies such as Israel targeting “primarily innocent [Palestinian] civilians.” Another is Hagit Ophran of Peace Now, an NGO that informs the US and European Union about Israeli settlement construction.
On the Palestinian side, Hybels is close friends with Nora Carmi of Sabeel, an organization that pushes vitriolic anti-Israeli propaganda in the name of “peace and justice.”
All of this eclipses Hybels’ attempts to become a neutral peacemaker. While certainly not an anti-Semite, she is guilty by close association with those who accuse Israel of everything from genocide to deicide. Perhaps unwittingly, she is carrying on Christianity’s awful anti-Semitic legacy.
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