AUTHOR: Personal Freedom Outreach
PUBLISHED ON: May 1, 2003
TAGS: Benny Hinn

(C) Copyrighted Article.  Used by Permission.  Entered into
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PFO [Personal Freedom Outreach] continues to investigate
preacher Benny Hinn’s claim that his father once was mayor
of Jaffa, Israel (The Quarterly Journal, July-September
1992, pp. 1, 10-14).

That investigation has revealed that for a number of
political and historical reasons, Costandi Hinn, a Jaffa-
born Arab, could not have been mayor of an almost totally
Jewish city.  Jaffa technically did not exist after 1948
because it was merged with all-Jewish Tel Aviv forming one
municipality called Tel Aviv-Jaffa.  There was no city of
Jaffa when Benny Hinn was born.

This fact appears to be foreign to Hinn. In Chapter 2 of
Good Morning, Holy Spirit, Hinn refers to Tel Aviv and
Jaffa as separate cities. To the reader unfamiliar with
the history of the two municipalities,  Hinn adds to the
confusion by writing: “During my childhood, the hundred
thousand people of Jaffa had become engulfed by the
exploding Jewish population of Tel Aviv to the north.
Today the metropolis has the official name of Tel
Aviv-Jaffa” (pg. 19). Indeed, Hinn needs a history lesson.

The facts demonstrate that there was no Jaffa when Hinn
was born. The facts of the merger, which became formal and
final in 1950 under Mayor israel Rokach, are readily
available in numerous accounts of that period.

Zionism is about a Jewish state, not a binational one.
Reading through The Journal of Palestinian Studies and
Arabic newspapers readily shows that the Arab citizens of
israel are regarded as second-class and are tolerated as a
despised minority, a fifth column and outsiders.  They
cannot, even in the wildest scenario, be part of the
mainstream. They are viewed as a serious internal threat
never to be trusted.

For example, David K. Shipler, in his work, Arab and Jew,
writes: “Today, one out of every six Israelis is an Arab,
but the Arab is not Israeli in the full sense. His
citizenship is shallow. It taints his self-identity with
complication.  He exists at the edge of a society that can
never, by its nature, accept him as a complete member in
disregard of the religious and ethnic identities that set
him apart.  He is an alien in his own land, an object of
suspicion in his own home, torn between his country and
his people” {pg. 428).  Shipler further writes that the
Arabs “were seen as inherently hostile to the state,
deserving of subjugation and dangerous to educate”  and
that they became “automatic targets of scrutiny, distrust,
and restriction in the understandable obsession with
public safety” (pg. 429) .

The mayor’s office in Tel Aviv-Jaffa provided PFO with
official documentation of the mayors since 1936 and there
is no Costandi Hinn listed. All the mayors were known
Israelis and Jews with proven political track records.
One worker at the Tel Aviv Foundation was insulted that
the suggestion was even made.

Costandi Hinn was born in Jaffa. He was Arabic an married
Benny’s mother, an Arab from Ramallah.  Therefore, Hinn is
a Palestinian.  He was Greek Orthodox by religion and
apparently emphasizes only that.  A staff member at Hinn’s
Orlando Christian Center who identified himself as Steve
told PFO that Hinn was neither Arab nor Jew. However, in a
taped testimony, Hinn claims an Arabic heritage.

Former Jerusalemite and Princeton sociologist Raphael
Patai in his book The Arab Mind identifies an Arab as
“those who speak Arabic, are brought up in an Arab
culture” (pg. 13).  He writes that the linguistic test
holds for all Arabs, whatever religious and other
differences they may have. Hinn readily acknowledges that
Arabic was the language spoken  in  his  home  (Good 
Morning,  Holy Spirit, pg. 19) .

The official list of all the mayors from the mayor’s
office in Tel Aviv-Jaffa is enough evidence to reject
Hinn’s claim about his father.  However, PFO confirmed the
list with the list with the Museum of the History of Tel
Aviv-Jaffa and the Jerusalem Post.

PFO also checked numerous Palestine Post articles from
1932 and on and numerous biographies of government
officials and notables in Israel to reconstruct the
Jaffa-Tel Aviv merger and the people involved. Some of the
helpful reference works surveyed include Politics in
Palestine 1939-1948, by Issa Khalif; My Life, by Golda
Meir;  The  Siege,  by  Conner  Cruise  0’Brien;  and
Biographical Dictionary of the Middle East.

There are other arguments that refute Hinn’s assertion
that his father was mayor of (Tel Aviv-) Jaffa. Consider
the following:

1. By the time Israel’s army took Jaffa in April 1948, 95%
  of the Arab population had fled. There were 3,600 Arabs
  left who were leaderless, docile, and all virtually
  illiterate.  (The  Siege,  pp.  424-434;  Genesis 1948,
  by Dan Kurzman, pp. 6, 31 -37.) The fact that the Arabs
  were overtly pro-Nazi during World War II stuck in the
  minds of the Israelis.

  Tel Aviv itself was founded (in 1909) and grew as a
  reaction to the antagonism and mounting hostility of
  the Jaffa Arabs against the Jews (Israel, by Neil
  Tilbury, pg.  228). The 1936 Year Book and Almanac of
  the Holy Land says that the Jaffa Arabs were
  “fanatical” (pg. 123).  So, in 1948, when the
  all-Jewish council of Tel Aviv became the council of
  Tel Aviv-Jaffa, it kept Israel Rokach as mayor until
  1952. The council then elected Haim Levanon as his
  successor. This practice continued until the 1970s. 
  Under this system an Arab never could have been elected
  mayor. The idea of Golda Meir being mayor of Tel
  Aviv-Jaffa once was floated by Israeli leader David
  Ben-Gurion. The opposition from the orthodox community
  was so great that the idea was dropped. If a Jewish
  woman was unacceptable as mayor at the time, certainly
  any Arab would have been, too.

  Ben-Gurion was noted for his distrust of the Arabs. In
  1936, he wrote in his diary words that have been called
  “the curse on Jaffa”: “have never felt hatred for
  Arabs, and their pranks have never stirred the desire
  for revenge in me. But I would welcome the destruction
  of Jaffa, port and city. Let it come; it would be for
  the better. This city, which grew fat from Jewish
  immigration and settlement, deserves to be destroyed
  for having waved an ax at those who built her and made
  her prosper.  If Jaffa went to hell, I would not count
  myself among the mourners.” And just following the
  capture of Jaffa, Ben-Gurion stated his official
  policy: Jaffa will be a Jewish city. War is war.” (Ben
  Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs by Shabtai Teveth, 
  pp.  174-175 and 1949 The First Israelis by Tom Segev,
  pg.  75).

2. The threat of assassination.

  Arab hostility against Arabs would have been the
  strongest deterrent to an Arab being mayor of an
  Israeli city. After the war, Arabs hated anyone of
  their kind they considered a collaborator. On JuIy 20,
  I951, King Abdullah of Jordan was murdered in Jerusalem
  because he was negotiating with Israel. Arabs
  considered the execution – carried out by Arabs –
  justifiable. An Arab mayor of an all Jewish city would
  have been dispatched quickly either by Israeli
  extremists or the Arabs themselves. There was an “Arab
  Blood Society” operating in the slums of Jaffa set up
  to retaliate against any Arab who had any dealings with
  Jews (Politics in Palestine, pp. 67, 99). 

  Yet Hinn would have readers believe “Even though my
  father was not Jewish, the Israeli leaders trusted him. 
  And they were happy to have someone in Jaffa who could
  relate to such an international community.  We were
  proud of his circle of friends, which included many
  national leaders. He was asked to be an ambassador for
  Israel in foreign nations but chose to stay in Jaffa”
  (Good Morning, Holy Spirit, pg. 20).  It happens that
  Israel Rokach  the mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa during
  Hinn’s childhood, was the international ambassador.

  The evidence presented shows all of Hinn’s claims to be
  false. If his father had been mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa
  during the 1950s, there would be pictures, newspaper
  accounts, government  documents confirming the fact.
  There is nothing.

3. The explosive nature of Jaffa itself. 

  For many years the Jews of Yemen were persecuted,
  abused, mistreated and afflicted under Arab rule.
  (From Time Immemorial, by Joan Peters). Throughout 1949
  and 1950 Ben-Gurion ordered airlifts of Yemenite Jews.
  Almost all the Jews were in Yemen were settled in
  Israel. Realize that they now could tell the Arab
  minority in Israel what to do.  They could, “get them
  back” and “teach them  a lesson.” The Yemenites were
  known to be Arab “haters” and hostile because of the
  years of persecution. 

  The Yemenites also tried to throw off their oriental
  stereotype and prove to the European Jews that years in
  an Arab land did not make them favorable to the enemy.
  Many of those Yemenite Jews settled in Jaffa, a city
  that is only about one mile square.  Add to this the
  other oriental Jews from Iraq and other Arab states who
  settled in Jaffa and it becomes very obvious that the
  minority of Arabs still there would have kept a low

  To suggest that these Jews would have tolerated an Arab
  mayor is too much to imagine.

  Hinn’s book shows him too ignorant of all these
  matters.  It is easy to understand why.  Arabs in
  Israel are taught little of Israeli history.

Still, PFO maintains that Hinn wanted to be so much like
preacher Kathryn Kuhlman, whose father had been  a mayor,
that he borrowed this and other aspects of her life for
his own story. (See The Quarterly Journal, July – September
1992, pp. 1, 10-14). In Arab culture there is a propensity
to copy, to imitate and to take on desired superficial
traits in others. Saying what they think others want to
hear and blending in is an obsession in Arab culture.
Stating a wish as an accomplished fact is quite common
(see  Sanya Hamadi, The Character and Temperament of the

PFO even considered the possibility that “mayor” could
mean something else in Israel. We knew that “sheikh” means
a respected man, an elder in a notable family, but has no
political meaning whatsoever.  But Hinn does not call his
father “sheikh.”  He calls him “mayor” and says he was
politically powerful (pg. 20). “My father had been mayor”
(pp. 18, 37).  PFO contacted Vivian Ajlouny of the Al Fajr
Jerusalem Palestinian Weekly.  Ajlouny is a Jerusalem
Arab, Greek Orthodox by faith and knowledgeable about Arab
culture.  She said “mayor is mayor.” It is a political
term and nothing else. It can be understood in no other
way. It is “Al-Baladiyeh” in Arabic – literally, the “head
of a municipality.” Israel or America, wherever, a mayor
is a mayor.

Hinn’s early biography is not factual. He has created a
fanciful and distorted story that does not square with
logic or history.  The Kuhlman connection is plausible for
his fabrications.  The Arab bent toward rhetoric and
overstatement and the drive for honor and pedigree might
have added to it.

Only Hinn knows for sure all the reasons. His claims are
refuted by the facts and an understanding of the culture
he grew up in.

It is interesting to note that during Hinn’s upcoming
“Miracle Crusade [of the] Holy Land 1993,” scheduled for
March, the one important Israeli city the tour will no
visit is Tel Aviv-Jaffa, his home town.  His tour will
skip the town from where Jonah set sail, where Solomon
received the timbers from Lebanon, where Peter saw the
vision  of the sheet and animals and launched out to
preach the Gospel to the Gentiles and where he raised
Tabitha from the dead.

In “Good Morning, Holy Spirit,” Hinn lauds Tel Aviv-Java
announcing,  “As a boy I loved hearing the stories of
history that surrounded me. Jaffa was founded back before
recorded time” (pg.  18)  He also mentions “the prophetic
State of Israel,” yet ignores its first capital.  Hinn’s
first vision supposedly took place in Jaffa and as he
leaves the city he asks himself, “Will I ever see this
place again? ..  There was a lump in my throat. I was
fourteen and it was the only home I had ever known” (pg.

And yet he’s missing his chance to go back.

Once again, PFO calls on Thomas Nelson Publishers the
distributor of Hinn’s books, to examine these claims and
end the confusion and fabrication in the books it
publishes. What the Christian world needs is increasing
integrity, honesty and truth, not fables and fiction. PFO
got the facts. Thomas Nelson should do the same.

G R F, Quarterly Journal, October-December 1992

From: The Quarterly Journal, the newsletter publication of
Personal Freedom Outreach, P.O. Box 26062, Saint Louis, MO
3136.  Phone: 314-388-2648.

A one-year subscription to the Quarterly Journal is available
for a donation of $ 20.00 or more.

In addition to the newsletter, PFO produces tracts, booklets
and other materials dealing with cults and aberrant teachings.
(C) Copyrighted Article.  Used by Permission.  Entered into
    Electronic Media by Christian BBS Abba II: 619-487-7746.
    May be uploaded to and downloaded from Christian Bulletin
    Boards, provided no changes are made in the text, and
    this notice is not removed.

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