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Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF)

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited States
Websitehttp://hcef.org/
Founded1998
In their own words“HCEF is committed to the continued presence, empowerment, and well-being of Arab Christians in the Holy Land and to developing the bonds of solidarity between them and Christians elsewhere.”

Funding

  • 2013 revenue of $1,426,281 (accessed October 8, 2015).
  • The majority of funding comes from “contributions and grants,” but HCEF does not release donor information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability. (Private foundational “sponsors” of its “Know Thy Heritage” program [see below] are acknowledged.)

Activities

  • Promotes the Kairos Palestine document, which supports anti-Israel BDS campaigns and denies Jewish historical connections to the land of Israel.
  • Applies Palestinian liberation theology, which fuses Christian theological antisemitism with Palestinian nationalist ideology by misinterpreting Christian texts and representing Palestinians as a modern-day version of Jesus’ suffering, in order to promote a Palestinian nationalist agenda within churches worldwide.
  • HCEF President and CEO Rateb Y. Rabie promotes an agenda rejecting the legitimacy of Israel, claiming that “the Israeli Occupation [] dates to 1948.”
  • Palestinian political leader Hanan Ashrawi spoke at HCEF’s 2014 16th International Conference detailing “the methodology of Israel’s genocide and ethnic cleansing of not only Christian Palestinians but all non-Jews” (emphasis added).
    • The conference also featured Seth Morrison of Jewish Voice for Peace, a US-based NGO that is highly active in anti-Israel BDS campaigns and considers itself the “Jewish wing of the Palestinian solidarity movement,” seeking to create “a wedge” within the American Jewish community over support for Israel, while working toward the goal of eliminating U.S. economic, military, and political aid.
  • Organizes a program, “Know Thy Heritage,” which seeks to “empower[] Palestinian youth in the Diaspora by strengthening their knowledge of their Palestinian identity, culture, history, traditions, as well as their understanding of the Palestinian economic environment, political landscape, social structures and conditions.”
    • Speaking to a “Know Thy Heritage” delegation in 2015, Ashrawi claimed that the “two-state solution is no longer a viable option. Israel is intent on displacing an entire nation and replacing it with another.” (emphasis added)
  • HCEF’s 17th International Conference (October 17, 2015) will feature Dr. Mazin Qumsiyah, a Palestinian Christian who regularly speaks on behalf of Palestinian NGO Sabeel. He frequently invokes antisemtic tropes, writing about the “Zionist controlled mainstream media” and sarcastically claiming that, “good Palestinians are those who accept apartheid and fully obey the master race command while those resist are the bad Palestinians. The Zionist controlled mainstream media would not dare challenge the mythology.” Qumsiya further accuses Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and advocates on behalf of BDS.
  • Mark Braverman, Executive Director of Kairos USA and member of Friends of Sabeel North America’s Advisory Board, spoke at HCEF’s 11th International Conference. Braverman has compared the Nazi Holocaust to the State of Israel, called Zionism a threat to Jewish identity and has “criticized the exploitation of Christian feelings of complicity in and guilt for the Holocaust to promote Zionism.”
  • Published a document (undated) asking whether the Israeli occupation is “Worse Than Apartheid?
  • Blames “[a]ctivities and restrictions connected with the Israeli occupation” for the shrinking Christian population in the Palestinian territories and maintains that the “flow of Christians out of the Holy Land to other countries affects almost every Holy Land Christian family.” HCEF thus ignores intra-Palestinian violence and Muslim attacks against Christians, as well as the increasing Christian population in Israel.
  • Promotes inaccurate water libels, alleging insufficient and inequitable water distribution, ignoring evidence that Israel provides Palestinians in the West Bank with more water than required under the Oslo framework and that thieves are responsible for stealing up to 50 percent of supplies in some Palestinian areas. In so doing, HCEF manipulates and distorts water issues in order to falsely portray Israel as a brutal regime.

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