Good news is rare amid the bleakness of our affairs. Hurricanes, earthquakes and terror attacks, fundamentalism, strife and nuclear proliferation are all realities of the day. In response, it is the duty of conscientious groups and individuals to strive to remedy the world's ills. It is thus extremely depressing to see the most pressing world catastrophes ignored by the mainline Protestant churches in favor of pursuing the agenda of anti-Semitism under the guise of humanitarian action.
While taking no action on the genocides in Darfur and Rwanda, the growing threat of terrorism to world civilization, or Chinese ethnic cleansing in Tibet, the mainline Protestant churches have begun mobilization for discriminatory economic warfare against the Jewish state. The most bellicose are the Presbyterian Church, the United Church of Christ, the Disciples of Christ, the Anglican Church and the umbrella World Council of Churches. All have demanded that Israel dismantle its security fence. Presbyterians also began to divest from companies doing business with Israel. While Israel has made unprecedented concessions in order to further the hope of ending the occupation of Palestinian territories, the Protestants have only intensified their onslaught.
Though most of the laity and leaders of these churches do not harbor hatred for Israel, their policy has been hijacked by the ideology of radical leftist and Palestinian groups. Abusing the sincere tradition of Christian humanitarian action and bursting the bounds of legitimate criticism, these groups have convinced the churches that Israel causes the Middle East turmoil. Consider the Presbyterian resolution on the conflict, called "End Occupation Now:'" "Since the War of June 1967 and the occupation ... , that conflict has generally been characterized by violence ... Palestinian civilians suffer under 24-hour-a-day shoot-to-kill curfews ..."
Minimal background knowledge is sufficient to see that the Church ignores that the conflict had been characterized by violence long before Israel occupied the territories. Why the narrow and misleading focus solely on the plight of the Palestinians? Are there not other civilians being killed in this conflict? Unfortunately, they are not Palestinian; they are Jews, and the Presbyterian Church does not care about the lives of Jews.
In July 2004, the Presbyterians sent a goodwill mission to meet with Hezbollah, the terror group responsible for deaths of many Israeli civilians through its own terror and by financing Hamas and Islamic Jihad. This did not bother the head of the Presbyterian delegation, Ron Stone, who gushed during a joint interview with Hezbollah leaders: "According to my recent experience, relations and conversations with Islamic leaders are a lot easier than dealings and dialogue with Jewish leaders. We treasure the precious words of Hezbollah and your expression of goodwill toward the American people."
Other churches show a similar disregard for Jewish life. The Disciples of Christ joined forces with the United Church of Christ to pass a biased resolution titled "Breaking Down the Dividing Wall" that called for the dismantling of Israel's security barrier. The resolution claims that "the impact of the visually, physically, psychologically and spiritually offensive barrier on the Palestinian people has been more devastating than abstract facts can convey." The resolution demands that Israel tear down the entirety of the fence and pay reparations for the damage it caused. The word "terrorism" doesn't appear once in its text.
If these churches were genuinely interested in achieving peace, it would seem that any resolution on the barrier, even if its final recommendation was to tear it down, would at least consider terrorism as the barrier's cause, as well as the barrier's effectiveness at reducing such terrorism. The sad truth, however, is that in the moral world view of the mainline Protestant churches, the most mediocre wartime hardships experienced by the Palestinians take precedence over the most vicious murders of Israelis.
Case in point: the last-minute refusal of the Disciples of Christ General Assembly, before voting on the resolution, to listen to an entreaty by Tzippy Cohen, a victim of a Palestinian suicide bombing, to consider the barrier's positive impact on reducing terrorism. Ms. Cohen had planned to say, "I came a long way to share my story simply because of how important this issue is to me -- it disturbs me to think that anyone may want to tear down a wall that can prevent more of the same suicide bombings I experienced."
Unfortunately, this issue was not important to the Disciples of Christ. Instead of Tzippy Cohen, who was denied entry, they gave the floor to Rula Shubeita, a Palestinian. Shubeita claimed that, "Because of the wall, I cannot see my brother, who lives three miles away on the other side of the fence. I now must drive 14 miles to see him." Herein lies the sad truth: for the Disciples of Christ, the right of a Palestinian woman to a speedy commute must be affirmed while the right of a Jewish woman to her life can be denied.
The anti-Israel campaigns of the Protestant churches are characterized by extreme hypocrisy. They claim that as Christians they seek to fix the injustices of the world. The problem with this excuse is, of course, that the only "injustice" in the world which they have tried to fix in the past two decades has been the existence of Israel. If the Protestants really want to impact world justice, I would suggest they turn their righteous eyes to their own house.
For example, Anglican Protestants had been involved in a centuries-old occupation of Northern Ireland and still refuse to make peace. Moreover, the leaders of a variety of Protestant churches took active part in the Rwandan Genocide. The Anglican Bishop in Rwanda, Samuel Musabuyimana, was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. According to a report by African Rights, "Michel Twagirayesu, the president of the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda ... worked closely with the killers, betraying parishioners and fellow clergy alike."
The New Testament relates that upon seeing a group of people gathering to stone a harlot to death, Jesus warned them, "Let he who is without sin throw the first stone." The mainline Protestant churches behind the anti-Israel onslaught are steeped in sin, yet the admonition of their Deity has not been able to shame them into dropping the stones of anti-Israeli bigotry.
The New Testament also insists: "Judge not lest you be judged." The unfair judgment meted out by the Protestants against the Jewish state has resulted in their near-universal condemnation by American Jewish organizations, setting Christian-Jewish relations back to the time of Martin Luther. Even fellow Christians are outraged, as today's speech condemning the churches by Dexter Van Zile, director of the Judeo-Christian Alliance and a UCC Christian, should illustrate. The shame is all the worse considering that our world is filled with damaging and deadly natural disasters. Yet, the leaders of so many good-natured and charitable Christians have taken advantage of their authority to focus the humanitarianism of their followers away from legitimate pressing pursuits and toward the objects of their personal hatred.
The New Testament relates that upon seeing a group of people gathering to stone a harlot to death, Jesus warned them, "let he who is without sin throw the first stone." The mainline Protestant churches behind the anti-Israel onslaught are steeped in sin, yet the admonition of their Deity has not been able to shame them into dropping the stones of anti-Israeli bigotry.
The New Testament also insists: "Judge not lest you be judged." The unfair judgement meted out by the Protestants against the Jewish State has resulted in their near-universal condemnation by American Jewish organizations, setting Christian-Jewish relations back to the time of Martin Luther. Even fellow Christians are outraged. The shame is all the more intense considering that our world is heaving and burning, with natural and man-made disasters extinguishing life and destroying possessions. Yet throughout, the leaders of so many flocks of good-natured, charitable and God-fearing Christians have taken advantage of their position of authority to focus the humanitarianism of their followers away from legitimate pressing pursuits and toward the objects of their personal hatred.