Two Arab men attacked and killed Kristine Luken and badly wounded Kay Wilson, her UK-born Messianic Jewish friend, in the Jerusalem Forest on Saturday 18 December.
Kay is a leading tour guide with Shoresh Tours, which operates under the auspices of the Churches Ministry among Jewish people. Kristine was an administrative secretary at CMJ’s headquarters in the UK. Her colleagues at the UK office are in shock.
As the two women were walking in the forest between the southern Jerusalem suburb of Tzur Hadassah and the nearby town of Beit Shemesh, they were approached by the two young men, who asked for water. Kay Wilson responded that they had no extra water but as she and Kristine walked away, the men attacked them, tied their hands behind their backs and began stabbing them.
Kay reported that when one of the men saw she Star of David necklace she was wearing, “He took it off of me, like a gentleman, and then stabbed me twelve times.”
She pretended to be dead and when she was sure the men had gone, Kay made for the nearby highway. A group of people at a children’s playground saw her and called the police. It was feared that Kristine had been kidnapped but her body was found on Sunday morning a few hundred yards from the site of the stabbing.
Kay is recovering in stable condition at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, and she is expected to be discharged in two or three days.
Please pray not only for Kay’s complete physical recovery but also for her emotional and psychological healing. Please remember Kristine’s parents and twin sister in the USA, as they seek to come to terms with their loss.
The incident raises several questions. It appears to have been a premeditated attack and there appears to have been no other motive for the attack other than to murder them; why else would they enter the forest carrying knives and the aparatus to tie up their victims?
Why did the two Arabs choose to murder Kay and Kristine? Had they deliberately chosen to kill them because they knew they were workers with CMJ and, if so, why would that matter?
A few years ago, I expressed concern to a British Christian anti-Zionist that in his books, talks and articles, he criticised not only Israel but also a range of Christian organisations, including evangelical mission agencies such as CMJ. I went on to point out the danger of this approach:
“Given the radical outlook of some Islamic groups, it is fair to ask whether you might not have endangered the ministries and possibly the lives of some Christian workers in the Middle East.
“This is not idle conjecture. Hamed Al-Tamimi of the Palestinian Authority’s Judicial Council has said, “Christians who support Israel are distorting their true faith, have adapted [sic] Satan as god [sic] and comprise the greatest danger to world peace... Very few people know the truth about this [Christian Zionist] movement, which unconditionally supports the Zionist enemy and unconditionally opposes Islam and the Muslims." (my emphasis).
“I am not claiming that radical Muslims have made comments like these in response to your influence, but in view of the fact that some Islamic websites carry your anti-Zionist articles, the potential for creating serious harm is there.”
Reading those words that I wrote some five years ago, I now literally shudder.
Did the two men who attacked Kristine and Kay know the two girls were workers with CMJ? And were their murderous intentions motivated by hatred for representatives of an organisation they had heard “unconditionally supports the Zionist enemy and unconditionally opposes Islam and the Muslims”? Do Christian anti-Zionists who denounce their Christian Zionist brothers indiscriminately through their published writings and speeches and on Muslim websites and at Islamic conferences bear responsibility – directly or indirectly – for the appalling attack on these CMJ workers? I don’t know but a day is coming when we will all know. Talk may be cheap but it can cost some people their lives.