if they had been forsaken by the rest ofrnChristendom, especially AmericanrnChristians. For several decades, AmericanrnChristian attitudes toward Israel havernbeen dominated by the dispensahonalistrnschool of fundamentalist theology, whichrncontinued in the tradition of Britain’srnturn-of-the-century Christian Reconstructionists.rnUsing a Gnostic interpreta-rnHon of Bible passages, they conclude thatrnthe final battle of Armageddon will be arnnuclear exchange between America andrnthe land of Magog (seen, during the ColdrnWar, as the Soviet Union), and thatrnAmerica must therefore be allied militarilyrnwith the state of Israel. (For a fascinatingrnlook into this world, see GracernHalsell’s Prophecy and Politics: The SecretrnAlliance Between Israel and the U.S.rnChristian Right.)rnReturning from Bethlehem, we convenedrnto hear Israeli attorney LindarnBrayer. After describing herself as a 54-rnyear-old, South African-born Jewishrngrandmother and Catholic convert whornpractices law on behalf of Palestinianrnrights, she exclaimed, “Look, huhhie, I’mrnnot responsible for all of these paradoxes!”rnUnderstandably, many of Linda’srnviews have been influenced by the SouthrnAfrican experience. She compares thernbizarre archipelago of Palestinian-controlledrnlands (areas A and B under thernWye River Accord) with the hantustansrncreated by the apartheid regime. Shernsees the current peace process, and thernemerging two-nation solution, as an “absoluterndead end” that will be killed by Israelirnsecurity prerogatives. She certainlyrnseems to have a point: Every time a bombrngoes off, the peace negotiations grind to arnhalt, allowing settlers to grab more Palestinianrnland. Instead, Linda argues for therncreation of a single state, a liberal democracyrnwith freedom of religion, full civilrnliberties, and aggressive reconciliationrnmeasures like affirmative action. She hasrna very strong and stubborn hope that arnone-state solution is possible.rnSome of Linda’s hope comes from thernSouth African experience, but she isrnquick to identify Christ as the mainrnsource for her optimism. As she put it, Jesusrnwas “a marginalized Jew, from thernmiddle of nowhere, with a funny accent.rnNo chance . . . and yet!” We saw thisrnsame kind of tenacious optimism inrnChristians all over Palestine. In Gaza,rnFr. Abima Manuel told us that his peoplernare happy because they are “keepingrnfaith, keeping hope, and looking forwardrnto this peace.” “We know,” he said, “thatrnwe must suffer, to accept this peace, butrnthis is now the ‘War of Peace,’ where wernmust overcome violence by love.” AtrnBethlehem Bible College, we learnedrnabout the college’s outreach efforts in therncommunity and its attempts to create tiesrnwith the small number of messianic Jewsrnin Israel. Salim Munayer also told usrnabout the various means of nonviolent resistancernavailable to the Palestinians.rnAfter three days in Jordan, the tourrntook us to the north of Israel. In Ibillin,rnnear Nazareth, we visited Mar Elias College,rnfounded in 1982 by Fr. Elias Chacour,rna Melkite Catholic and author ofrnBlood Brothers (1984) and We Belong tornthe Land (1990). His college opens itsrndoors to students of all faiths and ethnicrnbackgrounds, and many of his Arab studentsrnengage in exchange visits with kibbutzimrnand other Jewish communities.rnIn concluding his talk with us, FatherrnChacour was especially adamant on onernpoint: No matter what the State of Israelrndoes, Christians must not hate Jews.rnAs odd as it may sound (even to Christians),rnthe Palestinians’ greatest hopernmay lie in the fact that they are powerlessrnin any meaningful military sense.rnThanks to over $55 billion in cimiulativernaid from U.S. taxpayers, Israel has routedrnor pacified most of its Arab neighbors andrnffHBJl!i!Wliia>.lltWBiiBWiWtHil:W!!WaMrnsurvived to become a regional economicrnand military power. T-shirts in shopsrnthroughout the country sport images ofrnfighter planes over the slogan, “Don’trnWorry, America —Israel is Behind You.”rn(Even so, you and I are still sending themrnat least three billion dollars a year!) Indeed,rnthe greatest blow suffered by thernZionist Gohath thus far was the p.r. disasterrninflicted when the Israeli DefensernForces attempted to suppress the rockthrowingrnyouth of the intifada. ThernIDF’s campaign of tear-gassing, beating,rnimprisonment, torture, and murder didrnnot look good on television (Israeli televisionrnincluded), and Palestinians won thernopportunity to represent themselves atrnthe Madrid and Oslo talks.rnOther than a handftil of bus-bombingrnradicals —who do more harm to theirrncause than good —Palestinians now understandrnthat their only real option is tornuse nonviolent means to win the hearts ofrntheir oppressors. Meanwhile, they continuernto make their case in the court ofrnworld opinion. While the rest of thernworld has decided in favor of the Palestinians,rnthe American jury is still out.rnTom jenney writes from Arlington, Virginia.rnTo learn more about PalestinianrnChristians, visit www.hcef org.rnMWilJWM:tttlHBMBil!lifflB!BilM.HB!WrnicrnMymftody m AmericanrnProtestantism ConferencernMay 17-20. 2000rnHymns help shape the adoration, faith, longings and hope ofrnAmerican Christians. The ISAE’s conference on Hymnody inrnAmerican Protestantism will explore what hymns reveal about thernlarger story of American Protestant history, life, and culture.rnOver forty scholars will present the results of their research onrnthe theology, themes, and imagery of popular hymns; therndevelopment and “careers” of particular hymns; and, the role ofrnhymns in various ethnic, regional, and denominational settings.rnThe conference will feature a variety of plenary, concurrent, andrnpanel sessions, as well as three evening Hymnfests.rnFor more Information contact:rnThe Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals IrnWheaton College • Wheaton. IL 60187rn(630) 752-5437 • [email protected] the conference website at www.wheaton.edu/isae.rnfunded by the generous support of the iilly Foundation, Inc.rniMiuni!ij.iiiui ii>.!.Miii.ii.iiiai mjiijuijiimii ij.ii.i»ij,i!^imiui iiimLimii n.i.i„i.Li.^Jii i;mi.nn!mHHan!ifrn40/CHRONICLESrnrnrn