Theres been a lot in the news lately about the Christ at the Checkpoint event, a collection of Christians that are critics of Israel, and worryingly some that also involved with extremist Islam, and invited some leaders from a few local congregations to make the event look ‘balanced’ – I have seen a brief bit of one the videos and I think there was some good things spoken by one of leaders of a congregation in Jerusalem I go to, but not really convinced there was a fair representation.
Is there way to bring Jesus to bring reconciliation to Jew and Arab, yes definitely! but I will look forward to some other event I think.
Whilst this event was on, I spent three days out of town at the event in Tel Aviv, as this year I went to the FIRST Robotics event that was being held there in a sports stadium.
This event gets youth into competing in using their engineering and electronics know-how, as well as a whole host skills; team work, budgeting, piloting their machines as well as approaching hi-tech companies in Israel for sponsorship.
I didn’t manage to get many pictures this time, but can see more from my writings I did last year, here.
The teams included religious Jews, secular Jews, visiting American Christians, local Arabs, soldiers from the IDF and all girl teams too, (theres a lot of women in IT and engineering here compared to the UK) it just so happened to have a great atmosphere and a mixture of different people groups here. There was no mention at all of any politics whatsoever at this event. and it felt that it wasn’t a contrived effort to make peace as anyone is invited to take part.
I was at this event as part of a project Bridges for Peace does to get involved with community work, I was just sitting up the balls on the pitch after each game session, I suppose a bit like the chap with white gloves who sets the balls up on snooker on the telly! It was a fun event although it was a 12 hour day for us, as well as three days to set everything up before the games started.
Robotics are used a lot by the Israeli army for bomb disposal and drones to take pictures of a hostile area to relay back to a base, and the FIRST Robotics events have been happening for 20 years now in the US and Israel.
I think its very exciting that these events can take place to bolster the reputation of Israel as the ‘Silicon Wadi’ and provide a fertile environment for new talent in technology and engineering.