Mart Green is not a familiar name among those who propogate a religious hatred of Jews and Israel. He is not a preacher. He is the son of David Green who is one of Forbes’ 400 Richest Americans, with an estimated net worth of $2.6 billion.
The Hobby Lobby chain of arts-and-crafts stores his father founded now has 456 stores in 39 states, more than 18,000 employees, and $2.2 billion in sales. David Green is explicit when it comes to matters of faith ("We would like to tell the world about Christ, the one person we think is the answer and only answer")
Mart is CEO of Mardel Christian and Educational Supply that now has 34 stores in six states, including two in Tulsa, and he is heir to the Hobby Lobby retail empire. Mart is also Founder and CEO of Bearing Fruit Communications. Bearing Fruit Communications recently changed its name to EthnoGraphic Media (EGM), a non-profit Scripture engagement company with a mission statement “Storytelling that honors our search for significance and inspires loving action”
Green is not a high-profile figure in Oklahoma. There are only a handful of published news stories about him. ‘‘We keep a pretty low profile,’’ Green said of his family.
He said his father, David Green, is a preacher’s son who believed that ‘‘his ministry was his business.’’
Mart Green financed a supposedly Christian movie, released in 2010, the “Little Town of Bethlehem," that links the Arab-Israeli struggle with the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s to show Israel as a racist country. The film has been screened on hundreds of American college campuses. It's directed by Jim Hanon of EthnoGraphic Media Films, which is headquartered at the huge Hobby Lobby complex in Oklahoma City.
Most American evangelical Christians are known to be strongly supportive of Israel’s right to all of its land, including Judea and Samaria, where the Christian community has dwindled since the Intifada. Muslim fanaticism has emerged in the region, including Bethlehem.
This is not the position of Mart Green. "I was raised in a Pentecostal home and drawn first to the 'toughest issues' of the day," Green told World New Daily’s Jim Fletcher. "A couple of years ago I felt that the Middle East was one of those tough issues.”
Sources for the movie are decidedly against a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria but do not relate at all to Arab terror or to the plight of Christians, which the Palestinian Authority blames on Israel.
Jim Hanon, the director of the movie, went to Jordan and Lebanon for perspectives and even interviewed Nasrallah, supreme leader of the Hizbullah terrorist organization. He did not include the interview in the film but said, “We used insight it gave us, access to information that we found helpful and credible.” He added that he found Nasrallah to be a “remarkable” person.
The movie ostensibly provides balance by presenting the personal experiences of a Christian Arab evangelical, a Muslim, and an Israeli Jew. However, the Israeli is none other than Yonatan Shapira, who refused to serve in the IDF and who is one of the beloved symbols of Israel’s diminishing radical left-wing population.
The Muslim is none other than Sami Awad of the Bethlehem-based Holy Land Trust advocacy group, which works hand in hand with anarchists from the International Solitary Movement.
Dexter van Zile, Christian media analyst for the CAMERA media watchdog group, also watched the film and noted the imbalance, World News Daily reported: "The movie uses the teachings of Martin Luther King and Gandhi to assess or judge Israeli actions, but does not use these teachings to cast a light of judgment on the actions of groups like Hamas or Hezbollah…
"One disturbing aspect of the film is the manner in which it uses computer generated graphics to inject the nativity story into the Arab-Israeli conflict. The images of the Holy Family are placed onto concrete sections of the security barrier in a manner that casts Israel in the role of the Roman occupiers at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ. The conflict is bad enough without having to cast it as a cosmological affront to Christian sensibilities."
JoAnn Magnuson, curator of the Jewish-Christian Library & Learning Center in Minneapolis, told Fletcher that the film is "very well-made" but doesn't present the conflict accurately.
"The linkage between the U.S. civil rights movement and 1987 Palestinian 'Intifada' – without making it clear that Israeli control over Bethlehem and the 'disputed territories' is not about racial differences but involves an existential threat to the existence of the state of Israel – is unfair and dishonest."
In, January 2008, Mart became Board Chair of the Board of Trustees at Oral Roberts University (ORU), Oral Roberts University (ORU), based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the United States, is an interdenominational, Charismatic Christian, comprehensive university with an enrollment of about 3,790 students.
A portion of the Green Family investments includes real estate in Costa Rica, natural gas in Pennsylvania, and a ConAgra (CAG, Fortune 500) sweet potato processing plant in Arkansas. And some large portion -- more than a tithe, Green assures -- goes to Christian charities. "In Asia we've been able to put the Gospel into over 300 million homes," Green says. By Asia he means China, where much of what Hobby Lobby sells originates, though he'd rather not feature that fact.
"What's our motivation?" asks Green. "Our motivation is the ministry."
The Green family is active with dominionist groups. David Green is a fairly major contributor to dominionist causes. Tthe Dominionists hold to the belief that Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns -- and there is no consensus on when that might be.