Pro-Israel Christian media consultant Brian Schrauger has been an invaluable contributor to Israel Today and a number of other publications since coming to the land to gain a firsthand perspective of the conflict.
In order to achieve a more balanced view of the situation, Schrauger had been living in the Bethlehem suburb of Beit Jala amongst Palestinian Christians.
Late last week, Schrauger was informed in no uncertain terms that he had overstayed his welcome. Having failed to convert this prolific social media activist and regular news commentator to their way of thinking, the Palestinians effectively told Schrauger to get out, or else.
There is a full report on the incident and an interview with Schrauger over at The Times of Israel.
One of the primary reasons Schrauger originally came to the Holy Land was to attend the Christ at the Checkpoint conference hosted in Bethlehem earlier this year. Tellingly, while Christ at the Checkpoint bills itself as a platform for true dialogue between Zionist and anti-Zionist Christians, it is believed that people involved with the conference were behind the complaints against Schrauger that were filed with the Palestinian police.
In fact, Rev. Stephen Sizer, one of the chief organizers of Christ at the Checkpoint, later taunted Schrauger on Twitter, asking, “did you enjoy PA hospitality?” Not a very Christian attitude, to say the least.
The episode raises questions about whether or not Christ at the Checkpoint can be taken seriously as a forum for a free exchange of opinions and views leading to reconciliation, as it claims to be.
True, the conference did feature one or two speakers that could be considered dissenting voices from the popular Palestinian Christian narrative. But what is clear from Schrauger’s trials is that those views are not welcome outside the carefully orchestrated framework of Christ at the Checkpoint.