Christians Who Demonize Israel – Part II

It is commonly repeated by Palestinians that there were never any Jews in the Holy Land before the 19th century and that the first and second Jewish Temples never stood in Jerusalem. Not only do these claims fly in the face of over a century of archaeological work and the records of Greek, Roman and other historians in antiquity, they flatly contradict and annul the texts of both the Old and New Testaments. By their own rejection of Jewish rights in Israel, Christians unwittingly repudiate their own rights and history.

Christians in St Thomas Church did not once criticize or deplore the Palestinian glorification of violence, this delight at the murders of children, this dancing in the streets when innocent throats are cut.

Is it the Christian thing to demand that hospitals and doctors across the globe should refuse to use Israeli medicines or surgical devices or advanced medical equipment? Would Christians who work with bodies like Christian Aid call on countries damaged by natural and man-made calamities to ban Israeli aid teams?

Abandoning Israel will not soothe the hearts of the Palestinian people or make the Christians less vulnerable — as we are now seeing from the throat-slittings and mass displacements throughout the Middle East, done not by Jews but by Muslim fanatics.

(See also Part I: Christians Who Demonize Israel: Kairos)

Christians make up only some 1.5% of the Palestinian population. They live in an overwhelmingly Muslim atmosphere and are, given the threats they face from Muslim extremists, naturally loath to express a Christian narrative that differs from the dominant Palestinian narrative, which openly rejects many fundamental Christian beliefs. It is commonplace for Palestinians to express denials of history. Thus, it is repeated that there were never any Jews in the Holy Land before the 19th century and that the first and second Jewish Temples never stood in Jerusalem. Not only do these claims fly in the face of over a century of archaeological work and the records of Greek, Roman and other historians in antiquity, they flatly contradict and annul the texts of both the Old and New Testaments.

Jesus, it would seem, was not a Jewish teacher but a Palestinian Arab who never set foot in Herod’s Temple because it did not exist, and there were never any Jews in the Holy Land. Mitri Raheb, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, has actually argued that there is no DNA connection between Jews (ancient or modern) and Jesus, but that he himself, as a Palestinian, has such a link. By associating themselves closely with this Palestinian historical fabrication and never asserting the Biblical record (as to do so might be regarded as supportive of the Jewish right to a homeland), many Palestinian Christians are in danger of supporting by omission the Qur’anic claims that the Torah and Gospels have been falsified by rabbis and priests.

By denying that Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people and claiming that Jews have no right to return there after two millennia, Muslims give no space at all to the history of the Christians with regard to the Jews, and their more modern relationship. Christian churches have inflicted lasting harm on Jews through pogroms, inquisitions, and ghettoization. Many Christians came to the rescue of Jews during the dark days of the Holocaust. Others stood by in silence. The creation of Israel in 1948 and the return of Jews, including Holocaust survivors, to the Holy Land was, in some degree, reparation for centuries of persecution and contumely. But today, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas (now in the eleventh year of a four-year term) repeatedly and openly declares that not a single Israeli will be allowed to live in a future State of Palestine. It must be assumed that by Israelis he means Jews, as Arab-Israelis would be considered Palestinians by default.

Recently, at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Abbas rejected Israel’s right to exist in any borders: “For how long will this protracted Israeli occupation of our land last? After 67 years, how long?” In other words, the “occupation,” according to him, really began 67 years prior, in 1948, when the State of Israel declared its independence within the terms of UN Resolution 181. Many Palestinians and their supporters, including Christian supporters, have also for decades been declaring: “Palestine will be free from the river [Jordan] to the [Mediterranean] sea,” signaling that a future Palestine will ideally be free of any Jewish inhabitants.

Last September, during the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel — an initiative of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches, St Thomas The Martyr Church in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, hosted an event titled “Walls Will Fall”. The event featured deeply one-sided presentations and literature, denying Jewish rights in Israel.

By their own rejection of Jewish rights in Israel, Christians not only unwittingly repudiate their own rights and history, they also defy all the love and striving for forgiveness that has characterized the endeavor of bringing justice to the Jews in recompense for the suffering kings and churches had caused them.

Many Christians claim that they work for peace and justice in the Holy Land. The truth is that those taking part in events such as “Walls Will Fall” do not. They present a viciously biased condemnation against only one side, Israel, and its main inhabitants, the Jews, while refusing to mention unremitting Arab, Muslim and Palestinian violence from the 1920s on. There is no mention of the five Arab armies that attacked the tiny Jewish state on the day of Israel’s birth in 1948, while openly boasting of an imminent genocide of all the Jews. There is no mention of the Arab coalition of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq that mustered to attack Israel in 1967, again boasting of an imminent slaughter of all the Jews. There is never any mention of the 1973 invasion of Israel by Egypt and Syria, supported by nine Arab states and Cuba, and preceded by threats by Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat, who said he was willing to sacrifice a million soldiers to destroy Israel. No mention of thousands of terrorist attacks. No mention of the Arab policy of “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.” Not a single mention of Hamas and its 1988 Charter, in which it is stated “there is no solution to the Palestinian question except through jihad,” and which declares peace talks, international efforts for peace, and any compromise as “a waste of time,” and that calls for the slaughter of all Jews in the world.

On October 1, 2015, Palestinian gunmen shot and killed a young Jewish couple, Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife Naama, who were driving home through the West Bank with their four children. Mahmoud Al-Aloul, a member of the Fatah Central Committee (an institution that is part of the Palestinian Authority) posted on its official Facebook Page that Fatah was responsible for the shootings: “The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah, accepted responsibility for the Itamar operation [murder of Eitam and Naama Henkin], carried out against settlers, leading to their deaths.”

Leading members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, ‘Azzam al-Ahmad and General Sultan Abu’l-Einen, praised the attack. General Al-Einen, who serves as Abbas’s adviser on NGOs, called for more attacks on Israelis. There were celebrations across the West Bank. The festivities included the launching of fireworks and the waving of flags in the streets. Such celebrations take place every time Jews are killed in the area.

Two days later, on October 3, a Palestinian man stabbed to death two Jewish rabbis and injured the wife and two-year-old child of one of the rabbis. The widow reported from hospital that she attempted to escape from the terrorist after the stabbing began. “I ran for dozens of meters with a knife in my shoulder, bleeding. Arabs in the area who saw this horrible scene clapped and laughed, and told that they hoped for my quick death…. I felt I was about to faint,” she said. “I tried to hold on to someone who passed by, and they just… shook me off and kicked me, and said ‘die.'”

Since then, deadly attacks have become a daily feature of Israeli life. Knives are the weapon of choice. It is, on a small scale as yet, a third intifada, known now as the Knife Intifada. Even children are going out with knives, in order to kill.

The Israeli government, as any government, has no choice but to protect its citizens, as it has had to so many times in the past. This response may mean tightening security and more restrictive actions. More checkpoints may have to go up. The security fence may have to be strengthened. Palestinians will suffer. Those who work in Israel may lose their jobs or experience greater inconvenience. Yet Kairos and other Christian organizations apparently express approval when they exonerate the Palestinians of all blame and focus their wrath on Israel and the Jews alone.

Israeli Jews do not go out onto their streets to celebrate the deaths of even the most vicious murderers — terrorists who have killed twenty, thirty or more people in an attack. No one sent up fireworks or handed out sweets when Adolf Eichmann, an architect of the Holocaust, was hanged in 1962 — the only person ever executed in Israeli history — in the Israeli city of Ramla. People may be pleased when they hear of the death of a terrorist, just as we are: innocent lives may have been saved.

St Thomas Church chose to say nothing about such Palestinian killings, or else preferred to blame them on the so-called “occupation” or Israel’s clearly needed security measures.

Palestinian authorities name schools, sports grounds and teams, parks and streets after mass murderers, and put their faces on large posters to decorate walls and schoolrooms, acclaiming them as role models. They teach their children in schools and summer camps to admire terrorists as heroes and heroines, and to aspire to become killers and martyrs themselves. There is nothing remotely like this in Israeli schools or youth clubs. Instead, the walls of Jerusalem’s Holocaust research institute, Yad Vashem, are covered with the photographic images of individual Jews and entire Jewish families shot and gassed and starved to death in the death camps or by the einsatzgruppen squads. And there is also a garden filled with names next to flowers to commemorate the righteous Christians who risked their lives to save Jews.

Yet Christians in St Thomas Church did not once criticize or deplore the Palestinian glorification of violence, this delight at the murders of children, this dancing in the streets when innocent throats are cut (as in the massacre of the Fogel family in 2011), this elevation of killers to the ranks of saints. Instead, they cast bitter criticisms of the slightest Israeli misdemeanour, and censure Israel even when it behaves in entirely legal and moral ways — the same way they would expect of their own government if their people were being targeted by rockets, run over or stabbed.

In Gaza and the West Bank, Palestinian religious and political leaders preach their longing for the extermination of a democratic and tolerant state, and prophesy the coming genocide of men and women and children whose parents and grandparents and great-grandparents perished in the concentration and death camps of Nazi-controlled Europe. The Israeli government and people have for over 67 years prayed and called for a peaceful two-state solution and for co-existence with their neighbors. The Jews have never agitated for the elimination of a Palestinian state or the killing of its citizens.

Yet Christians in St Thomas Church chose to say not a word about Palestinian, Arab, and wider Islamic incitement. They chose instead to describe Israel as an imperialist, colonial, and apartheid state – in flagrant contradiction to historical facts and Israel’s record in repeatedly pulling out of territory — the Sinai, Lebanon, and Gaza — in a concrete and irreversible search for peace. Apartheid exists nowhere in Israeli law or daily life, and claims of its existence ignore the growing status of Israeli Arabs, who serve as full members of Israel’s parliament, as judges (including on the Supreme Court), as professors in the universities, diplomats, as hospital administrators and chief physicians, in the media and entertainment, in the police, the army, the air force and elsewhere, with exactly the same rights as Jews.

This deliberately twisted view of Israel is wrong; it is morally wrong and it is ethically wrong. It is bearing false witness against thy neighbour: It is a sin. It is wrong from the perspective of Christian ethics, wrong in the context of peacemaking and justice, an affront to honesty. It is not simple one-sidedness; it is gross moral blindness.

Hatred for Israel and the Jewish people — who have only one country in the world in which to take refuge in a time of need — will not bring peace. Abandoning Israel will not soothe the hearts of the Palestinian people or make the Christians less vulnerable — as we are now seeing from the throat-slittings and mass displacements throughout the Middle East, done not by Jews but by Muslim fanatics.

Obstruction of Israeli security measures will not bring safety. Support of Palestinian rejection of the peace process and refusal to compromise will not bring security to either side. On September 30 this year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared before the General Assembly of the United Nations that he has abandoned the Oslo Accords, the basis on which the peace process takes place. Describing terrorists as freedom fighters will not bring justice to their victims, or to their families, or to the four little children who saw their parents gunned down and buried.

What one could read and hear during Walls Will Fall was a wholesale denial that Israel had any genuine security risks, a totally ahistorical claim that terror attacks must be blamed on a spurious “occupation”, and a fatuous assertion that the “occupation” and Jewish settlements are illegal in international law, which they are not.[1]This point has been argued coherently by many experts in international law. See, for example, Alan Baker, Israel’s Rights Regarding Territories and the Settlements in the Eyes of the … Continue reading

There is no question that the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank suffer greatly and that it is a Christian duty to care for them and work to alleviate their suffering. It is also the case that many actions, legal rulings, and displays of force by Israel and the Israel Defense Forces have been wrong-headed and harmful to Palestinians. These are all things that are open to discussion and that must be part of any Christian work for peace and justice in the Holy Land.

But it must be self-evident that to take the side of one party, while expressing hostility for the other, is not the way to a resolution of the problem and sadly exposes to question much about the decency and integrity of the people crying hatred aloud. Christians who claim that Israel is an “apartheid state”, for example — a charge made in some of the literature displayed on the stalls in St Thomas Church — have adopted a singular falsehood and taken it as fact, even while seeing for themselves the reality that not a single apartheid law or practice exists in the country. Not only that, but, disquietingly, there is never a murmur about the truly apartheid policies of Saudi Arabia, where even the display of a Bible is illegal, where non-Muslim laborers can be beaten and treated as sub-human, and where non-Muslims are not even allowed to enter the city Mecca, and may enter Medina only as a visitor.

This argument has been recently advanced by a South African MP Kenneth Meshoe, president of the Christian Democrat Party, who has argued against the claims of the BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] movement. “There are many Christians that support Israel, but they don’t come out,” he has said.

“Those who know what real apartheid is, as I know, know that there is nothing in Israel that looks like apartheid. … The view that Israel is an apartheid state, is an empty political statement that does not hold truth. You see people of different colors, backgrounds, and religions [coexisting in Israel]. The BDS movement is a real pain… to us in South Africa who love the truth. [The] BDS movement is not a democratic movement; they are a movement of intimidation, a movement that performs hatred. People who don’t believe in hatred should not allow the BDS movement to stop them from doing the right thing.”

Kenneth Meshoe

Yet the economic, academic, and cultural squeeze of boycotts, divestment and sanctions was praised and recommended strongly throughout the Kairos workshop at St Thomas Church. No alternative approach was suggested, no questions were asked, no explanation of the real dangers of the BDS movement to cultural, academic, scientific, medical, or commercial life was even hinted at. Although the work of BDS — ostensibly to drive out Israeli settlements from the West Bank, but actually to try to destroy Israel by crushing it economically — is hailed as support for the Palestinians. It has, in fact, severely harmed them. When the Israeli company SodaStream moved out of its West Bank factory last year, some 500 Arab workers lost their jobs. They also lost salaries of four to five times the standard rate for the area. Those who were able to find jobs in the new factory in the south of Israel have to travel for hours each day. Now, SodaStream has offered jobs to 1,000 Syrian refugees. This is the true impact of BDS on Palestinians who used to work side by side with their Jewish colleagues under identical conditions. BDS creates apartheid where there was none. Is that something Christians should support?

Perhaps this may be best illustrated by a local example. Retinal detachment and macular degeneration are two serious medical conditions that lead to complete blindness. They are often incurable. Researchers at Newcastle University’s medical school (one of the UK’s leading medical research centers) are working on a film that may replace retinas and restore a large measure of sight to the blind. They are working alongside teams from Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, combining semiconductor nanorods and carbon nanotubes to create a wireless, light-sensitive, flexible film that could potentially act in the place of a damaged retina. But BDS activists will insist that Newcastle University should break off this relationship with two Israel universities, in accordance with the principles of their academic boycott.

When a Kairos leader spoke at St Thomas church, she spent a lot of time on support for the BDS movement. It must be asked whether a Christian should endorse, let us say, a boycott of a research enterprise that promises so much to blind people. And it is essential to add that Israel is a world leader, next only to the United States, in science, technology and medicine. Its drugs and medical devices have saved lives and improved life for the sick and disabled. Is it the Christian thing to demand that hospitals and doctors across the globe should refuse to use Israeli medicines or surgical devices or advanced medical equipment?

Israel is a world leader in the management of water resources and has taken the lead in many Third World countries, especially in Africa, to end drought. Should Christians call on those countries to boycott Israeli water treatment and agricultural advances? Israel is always among the first countries to respond by sending aid teams, field hospitals, equipment and supplies to foreign countries in times of disaster. Would Christians who work with bodies like Christian Aid call on countries damaged by natural and man-made calamities to ban Israeli aid teams? Surely BDS is, in all respects, an un-Christian policy that plays into a bigoted and inhumane narrative.

St Thomas The Martyr Church in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (left) recently hosted an event in which a Kairos leader advocated a boycott of Israel. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

It is clear that much of the pro-Palestinian work carried out within Christian churches is inspired by aspects of Liberation Theology. Undoubtedly, the concern of liberation theologians and others with the poor, the oppressed, the sick and the persecuted is a valid expression of Christ’s message, and we have no complaints whatever about that approach while it remains within the religious sphere. But Liberation Theology was inspired by materialist Marxist theory and praxis, and then strayed into the political realm.

The Soviet Union was responsible for the spread of the view that oppression can be attributed largely to economics and materialism, or to imperialism and colonialism, and to a fixation on Israel as the chief bearer of that original sin. The application of such terms to Israel is historically and conceptually incorrect: Israel has no colonies, is not the seat of an empire, and has from its inception advocated a two-state arrangement as predicated in the 1947 UN partition plan. But many Christians now view Israel through a false and distorted lens. This view is simply a matter of political bias, a bias exacerbated (as elsewhere), not only by a refusal to admit Israel’s stunning human rights record for women, religious minorities, ethnic communities, and LGBT citizens, but also by a notable failure to hold sessions on regimes that genuinely oppress, persecute, torture and deny full rights to their citizens.

Why, for example, do Christians animated by zeal for the oppressed never hold meetings to uphold the rights of Iran’s large Baha’i community, whose members are hanged, tortured, imprisoned, and denied all civil rights and access to higher education, and whose holy places and cemeteries have been bulldozed in an ISIS-style desecration? Why do they meet only to condemn Israel, the only country in the Middle East to celebrate the Baha’i presence and to protect the important Baha’i World Center in Haifa and the two most important Baha’i shrines, visited by pilgrims from around the world? Surely this obsession with an open and democratic country, alongside their apparent indifference to the human rights abuses of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan, North Korea and others, is a clear distortion of the Christian vision and the underlying ideals of a non-politicized gospel of liberation.

gatestoneinstitute.org "Christians Who Demonize Israel - Part II"

References

References
1 This point has been argued coherently by many experts in international law. See, for example, Alan Baker, Israel’s Rights Regarding Territories and the Settlements in the Eyes of the International Community, in Israel’s Rights as a Nation-State in International Diplomacy.

World Council of Churches Demonizes Israel – Again

Does the German Protestant Church Know What It Is Doing?

Usually, in regular Lenten services, solemn memories of divine mercy on the sinners of the world take center stage for Christians. But not in this liturgy. Center stage was instead given to committing a sin of evil speech: launching a lie about an Israeli-made water shortage suffered by Palestinians. The lie is a sin in which all the member churches of the WCC are invited to participate.

Those leaders of Protestant churches, turned into political propagandists, used the pulpit of Jerusalem unjustly to call upon the Protestant faithful worldwide to listen to Palestinian water libels against the State of Israel.

This liturgy abused the biblical readings as a means of invigorating the equally false Kairos Palestine message, that Israel takes the Land of Palestine and has no right to be where it is.

A close look shows no scientific analysis, neither of water distribution nor of water politics for the territories of Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The Palestinians certainly are experiencing a water crisis; the question is to what extent are they themselves are responsible for it, and to what extent are their own leaders responsible for keeping them as victims for effective international “marketing.”

On February 10 (Ash Wednesday in the Western Christian calendar), the Palestinian Lutheran Bishop, Munib Younan, on behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC), launched the Lenten Campaign of the Ecumenical Water Network. Entitled “Seven Weeks for Water,” it was presented at the (German) Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Younan — a “yes-signatory/no-signatory” of the infamous document published by Kairos Palestine in 2009 — was flanked by other well-known supporters of Palestinian agitation against Israel:

• Dr. Antje Jackelen, the Archbishop of Sweden, (another “yes-advocate/no-advocate” of the document)

• Rev. Dr. Olaf Fykse Tveit, the General Secretary of the WCC (he heads the body that generated Kairos Palestine and continues to be its main sponsor)

• Mrs. Hind Khoury, the current Secretary General of Kairos Palestine; also a Palestinian economist from Bethlehem and PLO delegate general to France 2006-10)

• Mr. Dinesh Suna, the Coordinator of the Ecumenical Water Network

The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem, Israel. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

It was an impressive group of seasoned activists for Palestine who gathered for a ten-page prefabricated liturgy during an hour-long church service. The few people in the pews were to be sensitized about an alleged injustice to the Palestinian people: the supposed deprivation of rightful quantities of water by supposedly evil Israelis. In order to bring some action into this otherwise flow of distorted information, each participant got a cross of ash on his forehead — possibly one of the few remnants of the Christian custom of Lent.

In regular Lenten services, for seven weeks until Easter, solemn memories of divine mercy on the sinners of the world take center stage for Christians. But not in this liturgy. Center stage was instead given solemnly to committing a sin of evil speech: launching a lie about an Israeli-made water shortage suffered by Palestinians, a sin that all present were invited to commit daily for the next seven weeks; a sin in which all the member churches of the WCC are invited to participate.

Those leaders of the Protestant churches, turned into political propagandists without even any hindrance, used the pulpit of Jerusalem unjustly to call upon the Protestant faithful worldwide to listen to Palestinian water libels against the State of Israel. This liturgy abused the biblical readings as a means of invigorating the equally false Kairos Palestine message, that Israel takes the Land of Palestine and has no right to be where it is.

The WCC acolytes who gathered at the Redeemer Church are now set up to spread this propaganda through a confusing network of seemingly distinct organizations, all of which turn out — on closer inspection — to be WCC subsidiaries.

Two organizations were highlighted: first, the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP), launched in 2013 at the 10th WCC Assembly in South Korea. The PJP in Jerusalem was accompanied by three strategic support groups: the “Theological Study Group,” the “Reference Group,” and the “International Research Group.” Second, the Ecumenical Water Network (EWN), launched in 2008 as a network of churches and Christian organizations, to keep watch on water access. Although PJP and EWN seem to be two different entities, the WCC’s press center advertised its Seven Weeks for Water campaign as a

“pilgrimage of water justice in the Middle East, with specific reference to Palestine. The Biblico-theological reflections and resources for the seven weeks will be based on the water crisis in Middle East region and take into consideration issues of justice and peace.”

WCC

That is, the work of PJP and EWN is closely interlinked. Both groups, in fact, are committed to the Palestinian cause and can be best understood as parts of the WCC-sponsored network that implements the Kairos Palestine agenda.

A close look at the EWN website shows no scientific analysis, neither of water distribution nor of water politics for the territories of Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). The EWN material also shows no reference to any of the existing water distribution analyses in Israel (e.g.: here and here). Neither is the well-documented mismanagement of water by the Palestinian Authority mentioned, nor is Israel’s just and generous over-the-quota water support for the PA areas.

The aim of the water campaign clearly appears to spring from an unjust and unsubstantiated discrimination against the State of Israel, as propagated in the Kairos Palestine statement. The intent of launching the Seven Weeks for Water campaign was unashamedly addressed by Tveit in his sermon,

“As the WCC’s Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace is focused on issues of the Middle East, particularly in this year, we hope your stories and struggle for justice and peace will become the stories and struggle for the churches around the world. May this Lenten season help us to reflect on these issues more deeply. May the Seven Weeks for Water during this Lent help us to highlight the water crisis in Palestine and other places in the world in desperate need for more clean water.”

Tveit

Such Palestinian narratives had been collected, a short time before the services at the Redeemer Church, under the watchful eyes of Bishop Younan, when the “International Research Group” met in Bethlehem. Dinesh Suna wrote on his Facebook page:

“The IRG meeting of the WCC’s Pilgrimage of justice and Peace started today at Bethlehem. To set the tone of the discussion we went to listen to stories of struggle to end occupation of Palestine by Israel. It was quite a touching moment for us to hear these stories…”

Did these people ever meet with Israelis, as well? Did the “International Research Group” ever research the countless academic water analyses, which are freely available on-line? There is no reference that either activity ever took place.

Instead, we are informed, the WCC’s PJP is organizing “two strategically important groups” in “the Holy Land” between February 9-17. One is PJP’s “Theological Study Group” at the Roman Catholic St. Anne’s Church in Jerusalem on February 9-11, “in order to deepen the theology for accompanying PJP.”

The other is PJP’s “Reference Group” in Bethlehem, February 12-17, presumably for parading more “eyewitnesses of the water crisis.” The Palestinians certainly are experiencing a water crisis; the question is, or should be, for their sake, to what extent are they themselves are responsible for it, and to what extent are their own leaders responsible for keeping them as victims to have them appear more wretched for effective international “marketing.”

Tveit and his WCC staff accompany both groups. The point of this money-intensive travel of those well-salaried clergy-cum-politicians is not to solve any misery. Rather, it is, as Tveit sermonized: “we hope your stories and struggle for justice and peace will become the stories and struggle for the churches around the world.”

In short, the WCC invites the Christian world to join in an assault upon the State of Israel. This is the actual underlying message of Kairos Palestine and PJP’s Seven Weeks for Water campaign.

Predictably, WCC’s PJP projects will find any number of young, enthusiastic, uninformed and naive Christian followers to deceive. And the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem is just a perfect location for launching more and more of such initiatives. How curious.

Also curious is that the German Protestant Church, owner of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem, and committed to reconciliation with Israel, seems to tolerate WCC approaches against Israel, under the local auspices of the Palestinian Bishop. Is Bishop Younan just a willing fig leaf for German Protestant Church agitation against Israel? Or does the German Protestant Church not know what is going on in its own church in Jerusalem?

February 23, 2016 | by Thomas Smith | Source: gatestoneinstitute.org "World Council of Churches Demonizes Israel - Again"

Free Speech vs. Islamic Law?

• The law regarding freedom of speech and of religion, as it exists in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, is already compelled to protect all citizens and to extend that protection to non-citizens who come to American shores.

• Are Muslims in need of greater protection? According to the FBI’s 2014 Hate Crime Statistics, there were 1,140 victims of anti-religious hate crimes in the U.S. that year: Of those, 56.8% were victims of crimes motivated by the offenders’ anti-Jewish bias. 16.1% were victims of crimes motivated by the offenders’ anti-Muslim bias.

• “We cannot agree that prohibiting speech is the way to promote tolerance, and because we continue to see the ‘defamation of religions’ concept used to justify censorship, criminalization, and in some cases violent assaults and deaths of political, racial, and religious minorities around the world.” — U.S. Ambassador Eileen Donahoe.

• Again and again, Muslim individuals and organizations have released documents to define Islamic human rights, and in each instance, all rights are restricted to those given by God and are subject to the phrase “according to the Shari’a.”

House Resolution 569 was introduced to the U.S. Congress on December 17, 2015 and was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. The resolution is headed: “Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.” The problem is that the law regarding freedom of speech and of religion, as it exists in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, is already compelled to protect all citizens and to extend that protection to non-citizens, be they businessmen or tourists who come to American shores: “Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” No democracy should believe otherwise.

The House of Representatives’ Resolution 569 introduces the following Whereas clauses:

(1) expresses its condolences for the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes;

(2) steadfastly confirms its dedication to the rights and dignity of all its citizens of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;

(3) denounces in the strongest terms the increase of hate speech, intimidation, violence, vandalism, arson, and other hate crimes targeted against mosques, Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim;

(4) recognizes that the United States Muslim community has made countless positive contributions to United States society;

(5) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all United States citizens, including Muslims in the United States, should be protected and preserved;

(6) urges local and Federal law enforcement authorities to work to prevent hate crimes; and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those perpetrators of hate crimes; and

(7) reaffirms the inalienable right of every citizen to live without fear and intimidation, and to practice their freedom of faith.

The resolution seems above criticism — every clause in it could seemingly have the wholesale approval approbation of anyone — yet something feels incredibly wrong. That something is the question of why the U.S. House of Representatives has issued such a resolution for Muslims and Muslims only. They and everyone else — Christians, Jews, Mormons, Buddhists, and Scientologists, right through to the adherents of satanic cults — are already granted the full protection of the law so long as they do not break it.

Are Muslims, then, in need of greater protection than everyone else? Are they more subject to assaults, hate speech, arson attacks than any other religious community? If they were, this resolution might be welcome, even though it would not add a single article to existing legal protections.

HOWEVER, ACCORDING TO THE FBI’S UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS:

2014 Hate Crime Statistics, of the 1,140 victims of anti-religious hate crimes that year in the U.S.:

56%
 were victims of crimes motivated by the offender’s anti-Jewish bias.

16.1%
 were victims of crimes motivated by the offender’s anti-Muslim bias.

 06.2%
 were victims of crimes motivated by the offender’s bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group).

 06.1%
 were victims of crimes motivated by the offender’s anti-Catholic bias.

 02.5%
 were victims of crimes motivated by the offender’s anti-Protestant bias.

1.2%
 were victims of crimes motivated by the offender’s anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.

11.0%
 were victims of crimes motivated by the offender’s bias against other religions (anti-other religion).

On that basis, we might expect there to have been quite a few House Resolutions concerning Jews.

All I have been able to find are:

H.Res.293
“Expressing concern over anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement within the Palestinian Authority” and

H.Res.354 
“Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the safety and security of Jewish communities in Europe.”

Again, both Senate and Congress have issued resolutions to condemn the persecution of the Baha’i religious minority in Iran.[1]S.Res. 148 [also dated December 17, 2015] “Condemns the government of Iran’s state-sponsored persecution of its Baha’i minority and its continued violation of the International … Continue reading But as the Baha’is are not persecuted in the U.S., one might not expect a resolution concerning their protection under U.S. law. These might be worthy resolutions, but have no relevance for the United States as such.

Surely, then, there should be laws protecting Jews! However, neither H.Res. 293 nor H.Res. 354 addresses that issue in distinction to H.Res. 569, which specifically concerns Muslims “in the United States.” The disparity between anti-Jewish hate crimes and the much smaller incidence of anti-Muslim crimes stands in stark contrast to the indifference of Congress towards Jews in an age of rapidly rising anti-Semitism and what appears excessive (though decent) concern for Muslims.

In reality, of course, there is no need for extra legislation to protect Jews. They are already protected by existing laws, as are all other religious communities, as noted above.

Why, then, did not a single member of Congress get up on the floor to point out this manifest discrepancy? Surely it must be obvious that, should the resolution pass into law, Muslims will be the only group (religiously, politically, ethnically, or what you will) in the United States to be ring-fenced from anything that might offend them.

We know that Muslims and Muslim authorities are not robust in taking criticism or satire, but are, rather, seemingly hypersensitive to almost anything non-Muslims say of them.

The only conclusion one can draw from this is that the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/1 seems to have influenced Congress. Do not forget that the OIC is the only international religious body to have campaigned ceaselessly for legislation to protect believers of Islam from physical and verbal abuse, with verbal abuse determined according to shari’a principles rather than the traits of international or national democratic values.

In Great Britain, a landmark judgement was passed on January 5, 2016, in a court in Belfast, Northern Ireland, when a judge ruled that evangelical pastor James McConnell was not guilty of hate speech directed at Muslims. McConnell had been arrested last May after remarks during a sermon about Islam at his church. In his sermon, he had spoken of Islam as “satanic,” “heathen” and “a doctrine spawned in hell.” These may be sentiments with which most of the world would not agree, but entirely within the bounds of evangelical Christian theology, not least in that frequently bigoted region of fundamentalist, belief, where even the majority of fellow Christians are despatched to hellfire, with Catholics at the bottom of the heap. It is also not that different from what many Muslim clerics say about Jews and others.

As his sermon had been posted online, McConnell was charged under the Communications Act 2003 of making improper use of a public electronics communications network and of causing a grossly offensive message through those channels. But even though the judge found his remarks offensive, he was exonerated and walked out of a court a free man.

In Europe, criticisms of Islam have been met with a range of penalties. Individuals have been prosecuted and sometimes been found guilty of “Islamophobic” speech or writing — notably Elizabeth Sabatisch-Wolff and Susanne Winter in Austria, Geert Wilders and Gregorious Nekschot in the Netherlands, Lars Hedegaard and Jesper Langballe in Denmark, Michel Houellebecq and Brigitte Bardot in France, Oriana Fallaci in Italy, and others elsewhere. Some have been exonerated, others jailed or fined. Pastor McConnell has been fortunate in avoiding jail. So far the UK has been tolerant, but further trials — very often for what really amounts to nothing more than blasphemy as perceived by Muslim groups or individuals — are very likely. Today, more than ever, there are forces at work that seek to make these prosecutions a certainty, not just in Europe, but in the United States, Canada, and other countries in the West.

The threat to freedom of speech a comes mainly from one quarter: an international body known as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). In recent years, one of the core activities of the OIC has been repeated attempts to introduce via the United Nations Human Rights Council a law forbidding any form of blasphemy, criticism, or negative comment, especially about the Islamic religion. To understand this, it is important to note that, from the time of the prophet Muhammad to the present day (and more strongly within modern radical Muslim movements), the Islamic religion has been predicated on a call for domination over all other religions and political systems. Here, for example, are some explicit expressions of that demand in radical websites: a YouTube video and a website linked to the British extremist,Omar Bakri Muhammad.

In the video, Omar Bakri declares “We must live by and make a domination and die (?) on in our da’wa (missionary work) and jihad in order to spread it [Islam] all over. The video page is entitled “Proclaim openly for Izharudeen”, meaning “proclaim openly for making the faith victorious over all others,” and displays a photograph of several Muslims carrying placards declaring “Islam will dominate the world: Freedom go to hell. A website publishing extracts from the classical Qur’an commentary of Ibn Kathir is headed with the words: “Islam is the Religion that will dominate over all Other Religions” and below that cites a Qur’anic verse declaring that God will “make it [Islam] victorious over all religions” before quoting several traditions declaring the same thing in various formulations. Finally, a Facebook page titled “In sha Allah, Islam will dominate the world” from which several more sites with the same statement are revealed below the main heading.

Islamic policy from the time of the seventh-century Arab conquests through the later empires was to set Muslim rulers above native populations, even if at first Muslims were in a minority. Pagans could choose to convert or die, but Jews, Christians, and before long Zoroastrians, were treated (under the oppressive terms of the Pact of ‘Umar) as dhimmi people, forced to pay a protection tax, the jizya, in order to preserve their lives and property.

There were different laws for people of a different religion, in addition to numerous restrictive conditions fordhimmis, including these:

We shall not build, in our cities or in their neighborhood, new monasteries, Churches, convents, or monks’ cells, nor shall we repair, by day or by night, such of them as fall in ruins or are situated in the quarters of the Muslims.


We shall keep our gates wide open for passersby and travelers. We shall give board and lodging to all Muslims who pass our way for three days.


We shall not give shelter in our churches or in our dwellings to any spy, nor bide him from the Muslims.


We shall not teach the Qur’an to our children.


We shall not manifest our religion publicly nor convert anyone to it. We shall not prevent any of our kin from entering Islam if they wish it.


We shall show respect toward the Muslims, and we shall rise from our seats when they wish to sit.


We shall not seek to resemble the Muslims by imitating any of their garments, the qalansuwa, the turban, footwear, or the parting of the hair. We shall not speak as they do, nor shall we adopt their kunyas [honorific name derived from one’s eldest child, such as Abu, father of]


We shall not mount on saddles, nor shall we gird swords nor bear any kind of arms nor carry them on our persons.


We shall not engrave Arabic inscriptions on our seals.


We shall not sell fermented drinks.


We shall clip the fronts of our heads.


We shall always dress in the same way wherever we may be, and we shall bind the zunar [a kind of belt] round our waists


We shall not display our crosses or our books in the roads or markets of the Muslims. We shall use only clappers in our churches very softly. We shall not raise our voices when following our dead. We shall not show lights on any of the roads of the Muslims or in their markets. We shall not bury our dead near the Muslims.


We shall not take slaves who have been allotted to Muslims.

We shall not build houses overtopping the houses of the Muslims.

A Muslim, under shari’a regulations, cannot be brought to trial or punished for killing a non-Muslim.[2]See Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, ‘Umdat al-salik, trans. Nuh Ha Mim Keller as Reliance of the Traveller, Amana, Maryland, rev. ed. 1994, p. 584 o1.2 (2).

Given this classic formulation, it is easy to see that non-Muslims living in Islamic states or empires risked their lives should they say anything whatever detrimental to Islam, considered insulting to the prophet, or thought derogatory of the Qur’an, the Hadith, shari’a law or the Muslim clerical elite.

This attitude — that no-one is permitted to speak ill (however that be defined) of Islam or its many elements without facing condign punishment (which includes death even for Muslims who are deemed to have crossed the lines of offense and have thereby become “apostates”) — has in the past placed enormous restrictions on what may be said or written about the religion. These restrictions did not matter in the least to anyone living in a Christian country, where there was little likelihood of retaliation from Muslims. But today most Western countries have large Muslim populations, and relations between the West and the Islamic world are carried out on the world stage. The riots, assassinations, and death threats that followed Ayatollah Khomeini’sfatwa [religious legal opinion] in 1989 to kill the British writer, Salman Rushdie, for his novel, The Satanic Verses, were indicative of a new direction.

Since the Enlightenment, open debate and free speech have been enshrined in the laws and practices of all democracies. It is central to the American way of life since the 1791 first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which also guarantees freedom from religious coercion. To Westerners — both legislators and the general public — freedom of speech (and writing) seems axiomatic as a basic human right. But for Muslims, human rights are very differently understood. Again and again, when Muslim individuals and organizations have released documents to define Islamic human rights, in each instance, all rights are restricted to those given by God and are subject to the phrase “according to the Shari’a.”[3]A comprehensive, scholarly and eye-opening survey of these documents may be found in Ann Elizabeth Mayer’s Islam and Human Rights. For a broader discussion of the many issues involved, see the … Continue reading One of the best known statements of this kind is the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam. Its last two articles read thus:

ARTICLE 24:
All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah.

ARTICLE 25:
The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.

In the present context, Article 22 is also of particular interest:

ARTICLE 22:

(a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah.

1. Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah.

(c) Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical Values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith.

(d) It is not permitted to excite nationalistic or doctrinal hatred or to do anything that may be an incitement to any form or racial discrimination.

It is on the basis of this attitude to human rights, including the supposed right to express one’s opinion freely, that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has tried many times to introduce legislation within the United Nations that controls free speech in accordance with the demands of shari’a. The OIC has advocated bans on the “defamation of religion” in general, but in reality, it is defamation of Islam that matters. In Geneva, from 19 to 30 October 2009, the Ad Hoc Committee of the Human Rights Council on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards met to update the measures for combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance that the Durban I conference had formulated. During the discussion, the United States, Sweden and France all agreed that legal protection could not be provided for systems of belief or religions. However, the Syrian delegate stated clearly that “in real terms defamation means targeting Muslims”.

What is deemed to be defamatory is, of course, hugely restrictive, whether it be in the form of a novel, a cartoon, or even an academic study. As experience has shown, nothing is off limits.

Between 1999 and 2010, several Muslim states, at the instigation of the OIC and supported by a range of Third World countries, introduced resolutions at the UNHRC on “the defamation of religion” no fewer than 16 times. Initially, these resolutions were passed by majority votes, with delegates from Muslim states and developing countries supporting them. Western states for the greater part opposed them on the grounds that they threatened to restrict free speech. As time passed support for the resolution began to weaken. In 2009, for example, no fewer than 200 civil societies from 46 countries urged the UNHRC to reject an upcoming resolution on the subject.

In the same year, during the debate on another resolution, the European Union’s delegate, Jean-Baptiste Mattei, declared that the EU “rejected and would continue to reject the concept of defamation of religions.” He went on to say that “human rights laws did not and should not protect belief systems.” In the same debate, Carlos Portales from Chile noted that “the concept of the defamation of religions took them in an area that could lead to the actual prohibition of opinions.” However, the UNHRC adopted the resolution — without taking a vote.

Again, in 2010, Pakistan introduced a resolution “Combating the defamation of religion” on behalf of the OIC. Once more Jean-Baptiste Mattei opposed it. He argued that the “concept of defamation should not fall under the remit of human rights because it conflicted with the right to freedom of expression.” The U.S ambassador, Eileen Donahoe, declared with great clarity that

“The United States will vote against this resolution because we view it as an ineffective way to address these concerns. We cannot agree that prohibiting speech is the way to promote tolerance, and because we continue to see the ‘defamation of religions’ concept used to justify censorship, criminalization, and in some cases violent assaults and deaths of political, racial, and religious minorities around the world. Contrary to the intentions of most Member States, governments are likely to abuse the rights of individuals in the name of this resolution, and in the name of the Human Rights Council.”

Eileen Donahoe

Despite these many resolutions, members of the OIC were possibly starting to see that they were getting nowhere and that opposition to their attempt to introduce a ban on free speech through the back door was growing. They had to find a formula that would deflect criticism and win the support of Western states for whom freedom of speech was a non-negotiable condition. The answer was simple yet immensely effective. Instead of a focus on the protection of beliefs, why not stress the need to protect individual believers? On March 24, 2010, the UNHRC adopted (again without a vote) Resolution 16/18, entitled “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion and belief.”

Overnight, everyone was playing a totally different ball game. Who could refuse to support a resolution with a title like that? The OIC had, as it were, slipped past customs checks and delivered something which apparently no one could reject.

A meeting was convened on July 15, 2011, hosted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation at the OIC Istanbul Office in the Yildiz Palace. The affair was co-chaired by OIC Secretary-General H.E Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu; U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs.[4]Others attending the meeting included foreign ministers and officials from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, … Continue reading The OIC was home and dry, backed by just about everyone who had previously expressed concern about its plan. A joint statement was released, calling for international support for Resolution 16/18.[5]“Participants resolved to… reaffirm their commitment to freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression by urging States to take effective measures, as set forth in Resolution … Continue reading

Resolution 16/18 has since become the gold standard according to which the international community may identify religious hatred, stereotyping, or incitement to hatred on racial or religious grounds. Understood in terms of international human rights law as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the thrust of the resolution appears unimpeachable. It is hard, if not impossible, openly to disagree with it in that context without seeming opposed to such rights.

There are, in fact, serious grounds for concern. These relate in part to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which entered into force ten years later, in 1976. This lengthy and important expression of human rights re-asserted the fundamental prescriptions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The rights it demands include:

• physical integrity, in the form of the right to life and freedom from torture and slavery (Articles 6, 7, and 8);

• liberty and security of the person, in the form of freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention and the right to habeas corpus (Articles 9 – 11);

• procedural fairness in law, in the form of rights to due process, a fair and impartial trial, the presumption of innocence, and recognition as a person before the law (Articles 14, 15, and 16);

• individual liberty, in the form of the freedoms of movement, thought, conscience and religion, speech, association and assembly, family rights, the right to a nationality, and the right to privacy (Articles 12, 13, 17 – 24);

• prohibition of any propaganda for war as well as any advocacy of national or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence by law (Article 20);

• political participation, including the right to the right to vote (Article 25);

• Non-discrimination, minority rights and equality before the law (Articles 26 and 27).

Unexpectedly, the International Covenant came to play a role following the passage of UNHRC Resolution 16/18. Four months after the passage of the, the UNHRC itself adopted General Comment 34 on the International Covenant with respect to freedoms of opinion and expression. The Comment places strong emphasis on the importance of those freedoms.

Paragraph 48 declares that:

“Prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with the Covenant, except in the specific circumstances envisaged in article 20, paragraph 2, of the Covenant. Such prohibitions must also comply with the strict requirements of article 19, paragraph 3, as well as such articles as 2, 5, 17, 18 and 26. Thus, for instance, it would be impermissible for any such laws to discriminate in favor of or against one or certain religions or belief systems, or their adherents over another, or religious believers over non-believers. Nor would it be permissible for such prohibitions to be used to prevent or punish criticism of religious leaders or commentary on religious doctrine and tenets of faith.”

These cautions certainly restrict the application of the OIC-instigated Resolution 16/18 from a Western human rights perspective. Viewed from that perspective, Resolution 16/18 is, at heart, hypocritical. On the surface, it makes it seem that the OIC has adopted a Western approach to human rights. In fact, it has not. Hidden from many people, including, I am sure, most of the Western members of the UN Human Rights Council is the OIC’s real position on human rights. It relies solely on Islamic legal prescriptions to determine what is and what is not a right. This is easy to see.

On its own website, the OIC publishes the full text and advocates the use of the Cairo Declaration mentioned above as the basis for its actual understanding of such rights. However, as all rights under the Cairo Declaration are declared subject to shari’a laws, this can only mean that the OIC regards the Western interpretation of Resolution 16/18 as invalid. If we then add that the freedoms of opinion, speech, and other expression are nowhere permitted within the Islamic world and are often punished in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sudan and elsewhere by imprisonment, flogging, and execution, one does have to question the sincerity of the OIC in promoting freedoms that it nowhere actually recognizes.

In theory, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Baha’is and some other religious communities will resort to the terms of the resolution when they are genuinely applicable to cases of being demonized and subjected to real incitement to violence. Unfortunately, for many years now we have seen that, in reality, it is most often Muslims who try to use anti-hate legislation to condemn perfectly reasonable criticism, satire, attempts to question shari’a, or to protest Islamic extremism. Resolution 16/18 will very likely assist many Muslims in bringing even more prosecutions against non-Muslim critics or even against moderate Muslims who oppose much that is done in the name of Islam.

There are, indeed, signs that Resolution 16/18 may already be bringing its influence to bear in some democratic states, not least that former bastion of free speech, the United States.

Our natural concern for the protection of the weak and vulnerable, a concern rooted in Western Judaeo-Christian and Enlightenment values, makes it easy for legislators from different political positions to sign a document such as the US Congress H.Res. 569. They may not have seen the hidden implications of their attempt to render it illegal to offend (as defined by Muslims) the members of just one religion. The legislators may not even have seen the exceptionalism granted to Muslims but to no other religious community.

Given the existence of the First Amendment, the United States remains capable of resisting attacks on free speech and expression. It would be regrettable if H.Res. 569 could prove to be a Trojan Horse, just as was Resolution 16/18.

Legislation such as H. Res, 569 would not only end America’s long tradition of free and open debate; worse, it would reverse the protection of the First Amendment.

Denis MacEoin is a scholar of Islam and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.


February 13, 2016 | by Denis MacEoin | gatestoneinstitute.org "Free Speech vs. Islamic Law?"

References

References
1 S.Res. 148 [also dated December 17, 2015] “Condemns the government of Iran’s state-sponsored persecution of its Baha’i minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights.” It was preceded by H.Res. 220 of May 20, 2015.
2 See Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, ‘Umdat al-salik, trans. Nuh Ha Mim Keller as Reliance of the Traveller, Amana, Maryland, rev. ed. 1994, p. 584 o1.2 (2).
3 A comprehensive, scholarly and eye-opening survey of these documents may be found in Ann Elizabeth Mayer’s Islam and Human Rights. For a broader discussion of the many issues involved, see the essays in International Law and International Human Rights Law.
4 Others attending the meeting included foreign ministers and officials from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Sudan, United Kingdom, the Vatican [Holy See], UN OHCHR, Arab League, and African Union.
5 “Participants resolved to… reaffirm their commitment to freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression by urging States to take effective measures, as set forth in Resolution 16/18… to address and combat intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief…. Participants are encouraged to consider to provide updates… on the elimination of religious intolerance and discrimination.”

Palestinian Authority Antisemitism: Overview of 2015

Since the Palestinian Authority (PA) was established, and continuing throughout 2015, it has systematically used Antisemitism to indoctrinate young and old to hate Israelis and Jews. The PA has actively promoted religious hatred by demonizing Judaism and Jews, spreading libels that present Jews as endangering Palestinians, Arabs, and all humanity.

The PA presents Jews as possessing inherently evil traits. Jews are said to be treacherous, corrupt, allied with the devil, as well as descendants of apes and pigs. In 2015, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor on Islam and head of PA Shari’ah courts taught on PA TV that Jews throughout history have represented “falsehood… evil… the devils and their supporters… the satans and their supporters.” Accordingly, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is a conflict of “Allah’s project vs. Satan’s project.”

The official PA daily published an op-ed saying Jews “are thirsty for blood to please their god (against the gentiles), and crave pockets full of money.” These Jewish “attributes” and traditions are presented as the unchangeable nature of Jews. These messages come from the top of the Palestinian Authority.

In 2015, children were broadcast on official PA TV reciting poems with strong Antisemitic content. Young kids had learned by heart that Jews are “most evil among creations,” “barbaric monkeys” and “Satan with a tail.”

According to the PA, the Jews’ evil nature and corruption caused the nations of the world to take defensive measures. The PA regularly claims that Jews were forced out of Europe in the past because of the threat that their “evil nature” posed to Europeans. These Jewish “traits” and “ways of behavior” constitute a danger, not only to all Muslims and Arabs but to all of humanity. As taught in a religious lesson on official PA TV: “Humanity will never live in comfort as long as the Jews are causing devastating corruption throughout the land… If a fish in the sea fights with another fish, I am sure the Jews are behind it.”

The Russian forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is said to be an authentic Jewish text in which the Jews exposed their plan to rule over all humanity. Indeed, the Antisemitism and oppression Jews have suffered throughout history is presented as the legitimate response of nations seeking revenge for the injury that the Jews caused them. The creation of the State of Israel is said to have been a European plot, motivated by the Europeans’ desire to get rid of the Jews and save Europe from the evils of the Jews among them.

The following are examples of Antisemitic statements by Palestinian Authority and Fatah leaders as well as Antisemitic content broadcast on official Palestinian Authority television and published in the official Palestinian Authority daily.

CHILDREN TAUGHT ANTISEMITIC HATE SPEECH


Jews are “barbaric monkeys,” “most evil among creations,” in poem recited by girl on PA TV (Video)

Girl reciting poem on official PA TV children’s program The Best Home: “Oh, you who murdered Allah’s pious prophets (i.e., Jews in Islamic tradition)

Oh, you who were brought up on spilling blood
Oh Sons of Zion, oh most evil among creations
Oh barbaric monkeys
Jerusalem opposes your throngs
Jerusalem vomits from within it your impurity
Because Jerusalem, you impure ones, is pious, immaculate
And Jerusalem, you who are filth, is clean and pure
I do not fear barbarity
As long as my heart is my Quran and my city
As long as I have my arm and my stones
As long as I am free and do not barter my cause
I will not fear your throngs, I will not fear the rifle”

[Official PA TV, May 29, 2015]


Girl in Gaza on PA TV recites poem about Jews: “You are doomed to humiliation and suffering” (Video)

Palestinian girl in Gaza:

[Official PA TV, Oct. 23, 2015]

“I do not fear the rifle
because your throngs are in delusion and are ignorant herds
Jerusalem is my land, Jerusalem is my honor
Jerusalem is my days and my wildest dreams
Oh, you who murdered Allah’s pious prophets (i.e., Jews in Islamic tradition)
Oh, you who were brought up on spilling blood
You are doomed to humiliation and suffering”

Girl recites poem on PA TV: “Our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail” (Video)

PA TV host: “What are you going to recite?’

 

Girl: “The poem ‘Visa’…” (i.e., by Hesham El-Gakh)

“When I was young I was taught that Arabness is my honor…
and that our lands extend from one end to the other,
and that our wars were for the Al-Aqsa Mosque,
and that our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail
and that our nation’s armies are outstanding.”

PA TV host: “Thank you very much. I really like this poem.”

[Official PA TV, Nov. 6, 2015]


Girl recites story demonizing Jews: “Treachery has been inherent in them from the days of Moses until today” (Video)

[Official PA TV, Dec. 26, 2014, Dec. 24, 2015]

Girl: “Today, children, I have come to tell you the story of my people, listen to it. We had land and a house, and we had a field, garden, and fireplace. In Jaffa we had a noble family with small children, and in Acre we had an oven and pottery. My people lived on the land from generations… I remember what my grandmother told me long ago: ‘Don’t forget these words, lock them in your heart and guard them: Palestine is Arab, its land is Arab, its language is Arabic, its identity is Arab’ … This home was the home of our father, and the foreigners came to banish us. Long ago we were dear friends. Yona [the Jew] helped Fatima [the Arab] with the laundry and Fatima boiled milk for her, and 

lit the fire for her on the Sabbath. It does not surprise us [that they banished us]. Treachery has been their nature from the days of Moses until today. May Allah turn back every oppressor’s scheme. Say Amen with me.”


RELIGIOUS ANTISEMITISM

PA TV host: The Protocol of the Elders of Zion is authentic Jewish plan (Video)

Imad Hamato, Professor of Quranic Studies at the University of Palestine in Gaza and host of weekly official PA TV program on Islam:

“The Prophet [Muhammad] said: ‘The Israelites killed 42 prophets in one day. 170 men came and ordered them to do good and abstain from evil, so they [the Israelites] killed them in the evening.’ They are the slayers of the prophets and the slayers of the innocent. There is a falsified Biblical base to their path of blood… [Israel] erases the Islamic traces and fingerprints in Jerusalem. This is a serious matter – Judaization of the land. In addition, the Judaization of people, Judaization of their thinking and education. This is a serious matter – the Judaization of people. Then they began to Judaize education by flooding the

[Official PA TV, Nov. 4, 2015]

 media, as was written in The Protocol of the Elders of Zion: ‘We have to strive that the Westerner, the Arab, the American and the Australian will hear only what the Jews want him to hear.’ They focused on this matter. Now, they have entered the 4th serious stage, the Judaization of the Islamic faith.”

Note: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an Antisemitic forgery describing how Jews allegedly plan to subjugate the world under Jewish rule. It was published in Russia in 1903 and translated into multiple languages. In 1921, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was exposed as a false document.


Abbas’ advisor: Jews represent “evil”, Palestinian-Israeli conflict is “Allah’s project vs. Satan’s project” (Video)

Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs and Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash:

[Official PA TV, Oct. 23, 2015]

“The conflict here in Palestine between us and the criminal occupation and its criminal leaders, is a further manifestation of our trials, a further manifestation of the historic conflict between truth and falsehood, between good and evil. Throughout history, there has been a conflict between good and evil. The good is represented by the prophets and their supporters. The evil is represented by the devils and their supporters, by the satans and their supporters. We are not inventing anything new here. This is a conflict between two entities, good and evil, between two projects: Allah’s project vs. Satan’s project, a project connected to Allah, which is his will – true and good – and a project connected to oppression and Satanism, to Satanism and animosity, occupation and barbarism.”


Fatah Spokesman on PA TV: Jews are “sons of apes and pigs” (Video)

Fatah Spokesman in Jerusalem Raafat Alayan: “The heroic Palestinian people, including its children, women, and elderly, who have made intifada against the occupation and foiled [its plans]… I confirm that in this uprising, we in Jerusalem have succeeded in preventing 80% of the settlers, the sons of apes and pigs, from walking around the Old City and the stairs of the Damascus Gate.”

[Official PA TV, Nov. 1, 2015]


[Official PA TV, Jan. 30, 2015]

PA cleric on PA TV: Jews are “apes and pigs and slaves of deities” (Video)

PA cleric: “Many Muslims are being harmed these days by a group whose hearts were sealed by Allah. ‘He made of them [Jews] apes and pigs and slaves of deities’ (Quran, 5:60). They are harming the livelihood of the believers [Muslims]… They withhold their [the Palestinians’] money and collect interest on it.”


Muslim preacher on PA TV: “Humanity will never live in comfort as long as the Jews are causing devastating corruption” (Video)

Imad Hamato, Professor of Quranic Studies at the University of Palestine in Gaza and host of weekly PA TV program on Islam:

“The Israelites went too far by [shedding] pure blood. If the Quran says: ‘They killed prophets without right’ (Sura 4:155), what can we say about those who are less than prophets – the killing of the righteous and of Jihad fighters? This [Israel] is a state of blood, a terror state… Humanity will never live in comfort as long as the Jews are causing devastating corruption throughout the land. Humanity will never live in peace or fortune or tranquility as long as they are corrupting the land. An old man told me: If a fish in the sea fights with another fish, I am sure the Jews are behind it. As Allah says: ‘Every time they kindled the fire of war [against you], Allah extinguished it. They strive throughout the land [causing] corruption, and Allah does not like corrupters.'” (Sura 5:64).

[Official PA TV, Feb. 27, 2015]


Israel’s immorality “stems from… the Jewish religion” and Zionism, which “is based on the denial of the rights of the Palestinian ‘goys'” says op-ed in official PA daily

Op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, columnist for the official PA daily:

“The year 2014 witnessed a series of sex scandals involving several police officers of the Israeli ethnic cleansing state… This moral flaw in the institutions of the organized terrorism state stems from several reasons:

1. The conservative Jewish religion heritage, which marginalizes the role of women.

2. The ideological foundations of the Zionist movement, as a reactionary colonialist racist movement.

3. Due to the latter, the exclusion of values and morality, since the ‘State of Israel’ is based on the denial of the rights of the Palestinian ‘goys.’ This [denial], whether the Zionist leaders like it or not, has consequences for the components of Israeli society, for the feeling of exclusivity is rooted in the Jewish Zionist conscious and subconscious.

4. The mixing of the values of the Jewish religion with those of capitalism, which gave birth to Mafioso [modes of] behavior and ideas, and their dissemination throughout Israeli society and its political and security-military elites.”

[Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 11, 2015]


The Palestinians, “[Jesus’] people”, suffer “from the Zionist Jews” the same way he did, says op-ed in official PA daily

Op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, columnist for official PA daily

“Palestine, the first sanctified land, that promised the oppressed and the defeated liberty, independence and eternal co-existence between human beings, all while carrying the dream of hope for rebirth, will be baptized on May 17, 2015, when it is recognized by the Vatican State. This means recognition of the political rights of the Arab Palestinian nation, support of the two-state option within the borders of June 4, 1967. [it is also] an apology to the messenger of peace and love, Jesus, may he rest in peace, who suffered from the injustice of the first Jews… in the same way his people, the Palestinians, have suffered from the Zionist Jews in the past and in the present… for the delay in doing them [the Palestinians] justice through restoring some of their rights.”

[Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 16, 2015]


CLASSIC ANTISEMITISM

PA TV: Europe created Israel to “get rid of” the corrupt, scheming Jews (Video)

Documentary on the history of Fatah, entitled “Fatah: Revolution until Victory,” that opens with classic demonization of Jews:

“Faced with the Jews’ schemes, Europe could not bear their character traits, monopolies, corruption, and their control and climbing up positions in government. In 1290, King Edward I issued a decree banishing the Jews [from England]. Following him were France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Spain and Italy. The European nations felt that they had suffered a tragedy by providing refuge for the Jews. Later the Jews obtained the Balfour Declaration, and Europe saw it as an ideal solution to get rid of them.”

This video was originally broadcast on official PA TV, Jan. 1, 2013, Nov. 11, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2015. It was broadcast on Fatah-run Awdah TV on Feb. 18, 2015. [PA TV, Dec. 31, 2015]


PA daily supports PA ambassador’s speech that the Russian forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an authentic Jewish plan “in order to take over the world”

Headline: “[Palestinian Ambassador to Chile Imad Nabil] Jada’a: ‘Zionism planned to take over the world'”

“The Hebrew websites reported today [July 8, 2015], Wednesday, and yesterday the words of Palestinian Ambassador to Chile Imad Nabil Jada’a two months ago in the capital of Chile, Santiago, according to which ‘Zionism united in order to take over the world, and the search and effort to find a national homeland for the Jews were just a cover.’
What is surprising is not the Palestinian ambassador’s statements at the conference named ‘Peace for Palestine,’ held two months ago, but rather the fact that the Hebrew websites reported these statements only today. The Palestinian ambassador referred to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, exposed by Lenin after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, and published by the Institute of Politics and Antisemitism in New York. He noted that the Zionist movement was composed of a group of thinkers and financial advisors, most them from European countries, and a minority of them Jews, under the pretext of establishing a national homeland for the Jews, but the real reason was [their plan] to take over the world.
These statements made by the Palestinian ambassador in Chile, which the Hebrew websites considered controversial, are interpretations of the contents of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, July 8, 2015]


[Official PA TV, April 5, 2015]

Fatah official speaks about the forgery The Protocols of Elders of Zion as an authentic Jewish document (Video)

Fatah Spokesperson Osama al-Qawasmi: “According to Israel’s ideology, strategy and policy from 1956 until now, Gaza is outside the Israeli ideological thinking. Even in their Protocols [of the Elders of Zion] and even in their Bible [it says]: ‘Don’t live in Gaza.'”


Muslim preacher on PA TV: Jews “control the money, the press, the resources” (Video)

Imad Hamato, Professor of Quranic Studies at the University of Palestine in Gaza, and host of a weekly PA TV program on Islam:

[Official PA TV, May 1, 2015]

“Israel, the invading country, the cancerous tumor – which we have already called a cancerous tumor in the past – many intellectuals today talk about coexistence and offering our hands in peace, and [say] Israel is part of the region. The noblest Arabs in terms of their Arabness, were those who spoke up and said: ‘Israel does not exist!’ Those who did not say that were ostracized. Now, whoever says that Israel should exist is met with approval… They [the Jews] are usurers. See, the usury money and usurer banks, those who control the money in the world can be counted on one hand – a few individuals – and all of them belong to the Jewish world. They control the media, the money, the press, the resources, the plans.”


Judaism permits stealing from and killing Gentiles, says Gaza university professor (Video)

PA TV host: “What made the Israeli public lean toward extremism [in the March 2015 elections]?”

Dr. Ibrahim Abrash, political science professor, Al-Azhar University in Gaza: “The structure of the Zionist ideology, and even the structure of the Jewish religion, are based on extremism. The term “Gentiles” exists in the Jewish religion, ‘us vs. the Gentiles’, and it is permitted to steal from and kill Gentiles.”

[Official PA TV, May 29, 2015]


Orthodox Israelis “are eager to steal lands, are thirsty for blood to please their god (against the gentiles), and crave pockets full of money,” saysop-ed in official PA daily

Op-ed by Fatah Revolutionary Council member Bakr Abu Bakr, regular columnist for official PA daily

“In [achieving] his electoral success, [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu did not rely on his rhetorical skills alone …rather, he stuck to five basic principles designed to project an image and reap success:

1. Netanyahu adopted a policy of instilling fear in the Israelis – as if his radical, terrorist government that opposes evacuating the settlements could promise the Israelis security, livelihood and stability…

2. The second principle [Netanyahu] relies on is the theft and crude falsification of history, based on the assumption that Palestine is the land of his “ancestors” – even though [Netanyahu] and those he represents are strangers to this land both now and historically speaking or [the land of] those he claims are his kings and prophets. This is [merely] a belief, and if he holds it, he has made good use of it to influence the Israeli and international consciousness, which is dominated by the bible’s historical nonsense.

3. The third principle, related to those described above, is that Netanyahu’s reliance on the falsification and theft of history is connected to the strong link created between the false-historic (in the Bible and its adjuncts) and the spiritual-religious [all parentheses in source]. He succeeded in inciting all the Orthodox Israelis (who will soon be the majority of the population), who are eager to steal lands, are thirsty for blood to please their god (against the gentiles), and crave pockets full of money. He [Netanyahu] thereby also incited the Zionist American right-wing, seeking to ignite a “holy” religious war, which he will direct, together with the radical terrorist Jews, against the holy sanctuary of Jerusalem (i.e., the Temple Mount), the holy sanctuary of Hebron (i.e., Cave of the Patriarchs) and all places in the West Bank that he claims Jews have a connection to…”

[Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 29, 2015]


Note: The fire in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969 was started by a deranged Australian Christian, but the Palestinian Authority for years has attributed it to Israel. The documentary was also broadcast on PA Live TV on the same date in 2013, at an event under the auspices of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. [Official PA TV, Aug. 21, 2015]

PA Libel: “Jews of high position” planned Al-Aqsa Mosque arson in 1969 (Video)

Documentary narrator: “From investigations conducted by the Islamic Council it became clear that there was more than one perpetrator [of the Al-Aqsa Mosque arson in 1969] and that the fire was planned by senior Jews of high position, especially since the roof can only be reached from a wooden spiral staircase located outside the Al-Aqsa building. This proves that careful, premeditated measures were taken to completely destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The proof is that the occupation authorities were slow to extinguish [the fire] and that the water supply to the Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount) had been cut off during those hours.”


Zionists “took advantage” of Holocaust to “blackmail” Europe into supporting Zionism and gain “the world’s compassion,” says op-ed in official PA daily

Op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, columnist for official PA daily:

“Even though the Jewish people were never one nation, the Jews of the different European nationalities paid a heavy price in the Second World War, since Nazis committed a holocaust… The leaders of the Nazi and Fascist states conspired to make the Jews immigrate to Israel, the establishment of which was supported by more than one leader and one European state, to serve the colonialist ambitions of these states in the Arab world. Likewise, the Zionist movement wanted to achieve a series of goals: First, to take advantage and use this [the Holocaust] to blackmail the European states financially and politically to make them support the Zionist colonialist project. Second, to bully the Jews to immigrate to the Israeli ethnic cleansing state, which was in a preparatory stages of establishment. Third, to increase the Jews’ suffering and abuse in order to take advantage of the world’s compassion for them…
There is no arguing that the Holocaust and catastrophe did strike the Jews and claim more than a million victims, which is a crime according to all political, legal and moral criteria. However, the Jewish catastrophe occurred as part of the [Second] World War, which brought about the death of tens of millions of people… On the other hand, the Palestinian catastrophe, inflicted by the Zionist terror organizations and their allies – the colonialist Western states – was limited to Palestinians only and included killing [them], driving them out and deporting them from their homes and homeland, to the unknown of being refugees. It has been nearly 70 years, and the Palestinian catastrophe and Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel) still witness the barbarity of the Zionist Jews and their allies.”

[Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 18, 2015]


Fatah posts Nazi children’s book cover: “‘Trust no fox on his green meadow, and trust no Jew on his oath'”

Image and text posted to official Facebook page of the Fatah Movement on Oct. 29, 2015

The image shows the picture of the cover of a children’s book from Germany from 1936 with the title: “Trau keinem Fuchs auf grüner Heid und keinem Jud bei seinem Eid.”

Fatah’s Posted text is a translation of the book’s title: “Trust no fox on his green heath, and trust no Jew on his oath.”

[Official Facebook page of the Fatah Movement, Oct. 29, 2015]

January 14, 2016 | by Itamar Marcus | Source: gatestoneinstitute.org "Palestinian Authority Antisemitism"

Academic Freedom Opposed by “Who”?

Israel: Scope Locked feature
  • Do students in any British or American university have to be held responsible for the actions of the British or American armed forces in Northern Ireland or Iraq? Would we not think it the grossest ignorance, not to mention bad manners, to think they should be?

It is that time of year again.

News arrives of 343 “university teachers” who signed a letter pledging that henceforth they will not cooperate with Israeli academic institutions.

Their joint letter took up a full page today in Britain’s left-wing Guardian newspaper (where else?) and has caused almost no stir in Britain.

It comes days after a letter signed by 150 leading British writers, musicians and others — including JK Rowling, Simon Schama and Hilary Mantel — opposed any and all such boycotts against Israel, and pointed out that in the eyes of most people, intellectual and cultural exchange is a good thing.

The anti-boycott letter was signed by some of Britain’s leading intellectuals.

The main response to the pro-boycott letter, however, may well be, “Who?”

Who knew, for instance, that Israel — or any state — would be diminished if it could not gain from the wisdom of Professor Alex Callinicos, one of Britain’s most obscure Marxist academics?

He is the author of numerous interminable tracts; his efforts to bring his thoughts into mainstream politics reached their summit during his involvement with the Socialist Worker’s Party, an entity too extreme even for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party. As almost nobody in Britain wants Prof. Callinicos’s thoughts, why would anybody in Israel be begging for them?

Or consider another figure on the letter, one Professor Jane Hardy who teaches at the University of Hertfordshire.

It would come as a great surprise to most people in Britain — and possibly to many people in Hertfordshire — that such an institution exists. But a quick internet search reveals that it does, and that until 1992 it was known as “Hatfield Polytechnic.” So what are the students in Israel unilaterally going to lose the right to know, thanks to the stance taken by Professor Hardy?

Well, her own profile page says, “My research and publications on regional development, and the gender and class impacts of change have been underpinned by a concern with the lives of ordinary people and how they have contested neoliberalism.”

One tries to be polite, of course, but it is worth pointing out that this kind of “study” has never been helpful in finding a place in the job-market for British students (apart, possibly, in furthering their studies in low-grade academia).

Why the withdrawal of Prof. Hardy’s research on regional development, gender and class in a Hertfordshire context should be such a loss to students in Israel, one is at a loss to guess.

Others on the list comprise a list of the even more obscure and unknown. Perhaps their families know who some of them are?

The majority are from Britain’s second or third tier universities, former polytechnics misguidedly rebranded as universities, which have lowered the coinage of universities as a whole.

Of course, there is, as usual, the requisite smattering of Jewish names, brought to the fore by the petition’s organizers in an attempt to cover over the latent bigotry and racism of their letter. But what a chorus of presumption and self-importance is there.

Just consider the reasoning behind the letter and you will see that it shows the tragically low bar now needed in Britain to qualify as an academic.

Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, for instance, speaking for the organizers of the boycott letter, says,

“Israel universities are at the heart of Israel’s violations of international law and oppression of the Palestinian people.”

Is that really true?

Take one of the hardest measures that the Israeli state has ever had to carry out against those who carry out suicide terrorism against its people: home demolition (in which the home of a terrorist is destroyed after the case has gone through the courts, because it is hard to find many ways to dissuade someone from doing something if they are willing to die in the process: but what happens to their family home afterwards can provide a disincentive).

Does anybody know how Prof. Rosenhead has come to the belief that home demolition of suicide bombers is work carried out by the universities of Israel?

Ordinarily it would be the IDF or other security forces that would carry out such regrettable work.

Does Prof. Rosenhead really have evidence that it is in fact Israeli academics who are sent to carry out such an order?

It seems vanishingly unlikely. And even if one academic somewhere in Israel had been involved, why should that affect somebody studying literature at a university in Tel Aviv?

Do students in any British or American university have to be held responsible for the actions of the British or American armed forces in Northern Ireland or Iraq?

Would we not think it the grossest ignorance, not to mention bad manners, to think they should be?

Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, of the London School of Economics, is one of the organisers of an academic boycott of Israel.

Prof. Rosenhead’s view of what ordinary academics are up against appears to be skewed at home as well as abroad.

At the launch of his racist petition he announced, “These signatures were all collected despite the pressures that can be put on people not to criticise the state of Israel.”

I do not know where he thinks such pressure comes from.

To my eye the only people who exert any pressure not to sign boycott letters are a couple of small Zionist organisations in the UK.

It is hard to believe that this comprises a force that is feared by these brave signatories unless the idea that the organizers are in fact playing into is that there is always some price to pay for standing up to “Jewish interests” and “Jewish power.”

Racism like that has not been heard in Britain for many decades.

How unpleasant to hear it bubbling up again from the obscurest backwaters of academia.

October 30, 2015 | by Douglas Murray | source: gatestoneinstitute.org "Academic Freedom Opposed by "Who"?"

The New Racists: Christians Who Hate Israel

» That a serious Christian can place political agreement with an intransigent enemy before the simple morality of calling for an immediate end to terrorism beggars belief.

» Given that the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel or the rights of the Jewish people, the Pope’s recognizing a state of Palestine seems a contradictory gesture. By making this badly-thought-out choice, the Vatican simply encourages the Palestinians in their conviction that their tactics of violence, rejection of peace offers and glorification of terrorists and suicide bombers across their towns and villages is, regardless of all morality and prudent policy, the right course of action.

» If morality is at stake, it will also enthuse them to continue with the lies about Jews, hate videos, hate preaching, false historicism, and school textbooks and TV shows that teach children to despise Jews as “sons of apes and pigs.” Is that what the Vatican really wants? Is that a goal remotely in keeping with the wishes of Pope Francis?

» “Christian children are massacred, and everything is done in plain sight. Islamists proclaim on a daily basis that they will not stop until Christianity is wiped off the face of the earth.

So are the world Christian bodies denouncing the Islamic forces for the ethnic cleansing, genocide and historic demographic-religious revolution their brethren is [sic] suffering?

No. Christians these days are busy targeting the Israeli Jews. The Pope, who should represent the voice of one billion Catholics around the world, was not busy these days in writing an encyclical against the Islamic persecution of Christians.

No, the Catholic Church was very busy in signing a historic agreement with the “State of Palestine,” a non-existent entity which, if it (God forbid) should be created, would be the first state after the Nazi Germany to officially ban the Jews and expel the remnant of its Christians.” – Giulio Meotti, journalist.

» One might safely assume that Jesus would never have approved of Palestinian anti-Semitism, the preaching of bilious hatred, or the infliction of violence on innocent followers of the community to which he himself and his mother belonged.

» According to Jerusalem Post columnist Max Samarov, “In a defining moment, UCC [United Church of Christ] officials rejected an amendment calling on the church to listen to Israeli perspectives and encourage cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians.” Clearly, a search for truth and an openness to dialogue form no part of the UCC’s agenda.

When the Vatican recognized a self-proclaimed “State of Palestine” on June 22, 2015, it not only defied international law — there is no such state to recognize — it acted immorally in religious terms.

In July, the Holy See praised the controversial nuclear deal between Iran and several Western states and said it viewed the agreement in “a positive light.” According to the Catholic News Agency, Bishop Oscar Cantu of New Mexico stated, applying a logic that defies understanding, that “Iran’s hostility to its neighbors in the Middle East is all the more reason for the international agreement on its nuclear program.” The agreement will allow Iran to acquire as many nuclear bombs as it likes after ten years, or sooner, plus the intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver them to America.

Pope Francis rightly declares himself to be a man of peace, a religious pontiff and statesman dedicated to an end to violence everywhere on the globe, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, where fanaticism and slaughter are almost ubiquitous.

But why, then, would the Vatican, a city-state ruled by the Pope, give recognition to a would-be state that for over 67 years has been dominated by war and terrorism?

The would-be state is also, according to a 2014 Anti-Defamation League poll, the most anti-Semitic in the world, with a political consensus that calls for the killing or expulsion of Jews. In current Palestinian theory, this slaughter would lead to the eradication of Israel and its replacement by an irredentist “State of Palestine,” which, in its turn, would quickly be transformed into a fundamentalist jihad state.

To be fair, Pope Francis himself has said (in an e-mail to Portuguese-Israeli journalist Henrique Cymerman) that

Whoever does not recognize the Jewish People and the State of Israel falls in anti-Semitism.

But given that the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel or the rights of the Jewish people, recognizing a state of Palestine seems a contradictory gesture.

By making this badly-thought-out choice, the Vatican simply encourages the Palestinians in their conviction that their tactics of violence, rejection of peace offers (however generous), and glorification of terrorists and suicide bombers across their towns and villages is, regardless of all morality and prudent policy, the right course of action.

And if morality is at stake, it will also enthuse them to continue with the clutter of lies about Jews, hate videos, myth-making, hate preaching, false historicism, and the use of school textbooks and TV shows that teach children to despise Jews as “sons of apes and pigs.”

Is that what the Vatican really wants?

Is that a goal remotely in keeping with the wishes of Pope Francis?

According to Italian journalist Giulio Meotti, the Vatican has been engaged in a deliberate coldness towards Israel since the emergence of Zionism at the end of the 19th century and the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948. He has advanced this argument at length in his 2013 study The Vatican Against Israel: J’Accuse. In a short article dated July 3, 2015, Meotti expands this argument. He does so by pointing out the shocking disparity in what so many churches do by focussing on Israel instead of acting to defend their own coreligionists in the Middle East.

Christianity is dying in Syria and Iraq. Christian churches are demolished, Christian crosses are burned and replaced with flags of the Islamic State, Christian houses are destroyed, entire Christian communities are displaced, Christian children are massacred, and everything is done in plain sight. Islamists proclaim on a daily basis that they will not stop until Christianity is wiped off the face of the earth.

 
So are the world Christian bodies denouncing the Islamic forces for the ethnic cleansing, genocide and historic demographic-religious revolution their brethren is [sic] suffering? No. Christians these days are busy targeting the Israeli Jews.

 
The Pope, who should represent the voice of one billion Catholics around the world, was not busy these days in writing an encyclical against the Islamic persecution of Christians. No, the Catholic Church was very busy in signing a historic agreement with the “State of Palestine,” a non-existent entity which, if it (God forbid) should be created, would be the first state after the Nazi Germany to officially ban the Jews and expel the remnant of its Christians.

We should pause here to ask why the Catholic Church has moved in this direction.

It is, in part, a legacy of its centuries-old anti-Semitism, something that existed officially until the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965, specified in Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Nostra Aetate, beginning in article 4 with the words, “As the sacred synod searches into the mystery of the Church, it remembers the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham’s stock.

Unofficially, however, that underlying anti-Semitism continues, and nowhere more visibly than in the modern Catholic embrace of Marxist, socialist, postmodernist and other theories and — crucially — praxis, the putting into action of philosophical, theological or ideological ideas.

Although a concept with a long history in philosophy, praxis in the modern period has a particular association with Marxist thought.

This strand, which has a marked influence on the Church even at the highest levels, is rooted in the beliefs of Liberation Theology, an approach to Christian practice that emerged in Latin America after the 1950s and has since spread worldwide.

In its essential principles, Liberation Theology is rooted in genuine Christian belief, linked to the message of Jesus in his sermon known as the Beatitudes. It is “an interpretation of Christian faith out of the experience of the poor… an attempt to read the Bible and key Christian doctrines with the eyes of the poor“.[1]Philip Berryman, Liberation Theology: Essential Facts about the Revolutionary Movement in Latin America–and Beyond, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, (1987), p. 4.

In Latin America and some other places, however, this “option for the poor” embraced support for “liberation” movements, even violent ones. It is this that has led many Catholics to support the Palestinians in their struggle not just for “liberation” from Israeli so-called “occupation” but for the replacement of Israel by a wider Palestinian state — one that is being eyed for a new “occupation” by terrorists such as Hamas and ISIS.

Today, there are many forms of Liberation Theology, from Brazilian to Black to Feminist. There is even a Palestinian version supported by many Palestinian Christians and by pro-Palestinians abroad. Many Liberation theologians seem to have been deeply influenced by Marxist and socialist theory, and for this reason the Church originally rejected it. Over the years, however, there has been a growing shift towards similar approaches.

General Ion Mihai Pacepa[2]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_Mihai_Pacepa, formerly of the Romanian secret police, has claimed (with perhaps some exaggeration) that Liberation Theology was created by the Soviet Union, specifically by the KGB, meaning that it was part of a wider campaign to undermine the capitalist system in the West. Western “fellow travellers” who unwittingly furthered Soviet policies in Europe and North America were to be joined by unwitting theologians and laypeople.

If that is correct, it has certainly left a mark. Christian Communist Liberation Theology dates back as far as the work of Father Thomas J. Hagerty, a priest from New Mexico and a co-founder of Industrial Workers of the World in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries.

It continues down to the present day. A more focussed version of this is the movement known as Christians on the Left (since 2013), formerly the Christian Socialist Movement from the 1960s. Non-denominational, it is allied to the British Labour Party’s left, is politically active, and seeks to “change the system” in order to make society more open to socialist political approaches.

Within the Catholic Church, a shift has taken place.

Apparently recognizing that many of the goals of priests and laymen involved in work for social justice, help for the poor, assistance for minorities, freedom for slaves, and liberation for the oppressed are entirely above reproach, the Vatican has come to accept the nobly well-intended — but often sorely misrepresented — vision of supporting the poor that it had previously, and often perceptively, condemned.

The first sign of this came after 1971, during the reign of Pope Paul VI, who had previously rejected Marxist commitment to work in the world to alleviate suffering through political action. His views softened and he moved the Church in a less conservative direction.

After him, Popes John Paul II, Benedict, and the current Pope, Francis I, came to the position that the Catholic concept of solidarity (in which believers must value all human beings as individuals) was close to the Marxist idea of putting theory into social practice.

This change is expressed clearly by Professor Edward Martin and Mateo Pimentel:

After him, Popes John Paul II, Benedict, and the current Pope, Francis I, came to the position that the Catholic concept of solidarity (in which believers must value all human beings as individuals) was close to the Marxist idea of putting theory into social practice. This change is expressed clearly by Professor Edward Martin and Mateo Pimentel:

The Catholic Church advocates worker participation and contribution in economic matters as a solution to poverty, worker alienation, and exploitation. Such is the case in Marxist and socialist praxis. In this development, Marxist theory and analysis has become a significant part of the Church’s critiques of social and economic relationships and its support of human rights, in identifying the causes of poverty and injustice.

To the extent that this alignment of Marxism and Catholic tradition truly does effect the alleviation of suffering, it can only be commended. But sometimes radical political views about poverty that are misrepresented and badly implemented can lead well-meaning Christians ­– Catholic or not — into adopting political views that might be less commendable and even lead to injustice.

Foremost in this hijacking of values is the way in which so many Christian churches and NGOs have been led to prioritize hatred for Israel and support for Palestinian “resistance.” In doing so, they act under many illusions created by the Palestinians and their socialist and communist (and often Jew-hating) allies, who prey on the hearts and consciences of people of faith:

That Israel is an “apartheid state,” that Israeli settlements in Judaea and Samaria are illegal under international law, that Israeli occupation of the West Bank is illegal, that Israel deliberately commits war crimes against the Palestinians, and much more.

If any of these allegations were true, a Christian response would be wholly understandable.

But Christians, like many others, often choose to accept whatever lies the enemies of Israel churn out, without using scepticism, cross-checking information or even exercising common sense.

At an anti-Israel Christian conference some years ago, a representative of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme spoke eloquently for half an hour about the evils of Israeli checkpoints and the damage they did (in an “apartheid” way, of course) to Palestinian victims.

It did not once occur to her that there might have been quite a different reason for the presence of checkpoints: the extent to which Palestinians in the past (and even now) have crossed into Israel to blow up innocent Jews and Arabs, shoot them, or knife them.

Having experienced many checkpoints in Northern Ireland during the Troubles there, it seemed blindingly obvious to me why Israel would want to protect its citizens in this way. And it should have been obvious to a Christian of good will to see that the prevention of death and injury is more important than the minor inconvenience of waiting in a queue.

Yet it was not obvious at all.

Rifat Odeh Kassis, co-author and general coordinator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Kairos Palestine initiative, former head of the WCC’s Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, and Special Adviser to the WCC’s General Secretary, is pictured above giving an interview to Al-Manar TV, the official TV channel of Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist organization. (Photo source: Kairos Palestine)

If we pass on from Catholicism to other Christian churches, organizations and NGOs, there seem to be a great many that constantly berate Israel and defend the Palestinians, whatever either side says or does.

One might safely assume that Jesus would never have approved of Palestinian anti-Semitism, the preaching of bilious hatred, or the infliction of violence on innocent followers of the community to which he himself and his mother belonged, not to mention the believers who followed him.

Many Christians have transformed themselves into deeply biased political activists, as much influenced by the anger of Marxist theory as by the teachings of the Gospels.

Others, like the movement Sabeel,[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabeel_Ecumenical_Liberation_Theology_Center work at the theological level, stripping Jews of their rights as a people whose identity is derived from a belief in God, a community of people, many of whom believe they have been invested with a deep responsibility to perform tikkun olam, the “repairing of the world.

In other words, Jews are single out for abuse despite the fact they were the earliest exponents of social action in the real world, not the next. There is a high level of hypocrisy when Christians who work to repair the world in their way condemn the actions of Israel, a country that has visibly improved the lives of millions.

The view of Christians like Sabeel, who are motivated by the outdated theological doctrine of supersessionism (that the Jews are no longer a people of God and have been replaced in God’s eyes by the Christians) is troubling, yet their message chimes with the views of their fellow believers in many places. Beneath that theological façade, however, unfortunately lurks a very real body of incipient or actual anti-Semitism.

The modern period has seen this concern for social activism grow, especially among younger evangelicals. [4]“In a 2000 Princeton University survey, nearly two-thirds of U.S. evangelicals considered themselves liberal or (especially) moderate rather than conservative. In another survey in 2009, 35 … Continue reading

One well-known evangelical is former US president Jimmy Carter, whose support for the Palestinian cause has been well documented.

His 2006 book Peace Not Apartheid has been widely applauded by Palestinians, but deeply criticized by the former head of the Carter Center, Kenneth Starr, who resigned because of the book’s countless factual errors and lies that he lamented Carter refused to correct.

 
The book was also strongly criticized by Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (in The Deadliest Lies, chapter 5) and others. Carter states that the Palestinians should only end “the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel” — in contravention of the Oslo Accords, in which both parties agreed to negotiate a peace.

That a serious Christian can place political agreement with an intransigent enemy before the simple morality of calling for an immediate end to terrorism beggars belief. Yet Carter is not alone.

Christian political activists work for the most part through NGOs, covering their views and actions under the allure of goodwill to all men or a vocation of reconciliation.

To the extent that they want peace, they are to be congratulated. But all too often, the sorry truth seems to be that their choice is to subvert a fair and just peace by advocating the “Palestinian solution” — namely, the use of violent and potentially genocidal methods to defeat, expel and ideally slaughter the Jews. This gives cause for the gravest concern.

Not only that, but the views of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and possibly a majority of Palestinians (and certainly their leadership) are based on strict adherence to Islamic shari’a law, which maintains that any territory, once conquered, must belong to the Islamic political theocracy in perpetuity.

Any such territory, if it should escape from Muslim hegemony (as happened in Spain, Portugal and India) must be brought back within the fold by subterfuge or, if necessary, violence — a plan that will inevitably lead to disastrous consequences for Christians, Jews, and other non-Muslims.

How thoroughly ironic is it then, that Christians who support Palestinian irredentism thereby endorse the application of a legal system that claims to have superseded all others, especially the judicial norms of Christian countries.

Adherence to shari’a norms also constitutes a slap in the face to modern international law, to the principles of the Enlightenment, and to the Christian ethics of tolerance, fairness, and the pursuit of truth.

According to the Dutch scholar Rudolph Peters, the Islamic version of international law is based entirely on the existing laws governing jihad: whatever is inside shari’a law is legal, whatever is outside shari’a law is not.

If another legal system (national or international) contradicts shari’a rulings, then it is deemed illegal.

Hence, UN resolutions, the mandate system of the League of Nations, and any number of treaties are regarded as invalid by radicals in Hamas, Islamic Jihad, ISIS, al-Qaeda and other organizations.

Why would Christian churches, in their pursuit of peace, want to endorse that?

No doubt they will say they do not, even as they turn the other cheek to the terrorists who now are slaughtering and enslaving Christians across the Middle East.

Ironically, those who support the Palestinians do support shari’a law — by default — as Hamas and other Palestinian groups cite jihad as their reason for being.

According to Article 13 of the Hamas Charter (the Mithaq Harakat al-Islamiyya al-Filastiniyya), for instance,

there is no solution to the Palestinian problem except through jihad” (la hall li’l-qadiyya al-filastiniyya illa bi’l-jihad).

More than that, overt Christian support for Islamic intolerance and war constitutes an outright denial of their own scriptures.

Regardless of what the Qur’an really says, many devout Muslims, including Palestinians, consider the Old and New Testaments to have been misinterpreted or, at worst, falsified by Jews and Christians.

More than that, this doctrine (known as tahrif) has allowed Palestinian preachers and intellectuals to overturn the entire narrative of the Tanakh, the Jewish Bible.

They do this by claiming that they themselves are the real descendants of an ancient Palestine, dating back many thousands or even tens of thousands of years. The corollary is that there was never any Jewish presence there at all, no land of Israel, no people of Israel.

They maintain there was never a first or second Jewish Temple, that other Jewish shrines — such as the Cave of the Patriarchs (Ma’arat Ha-Machpelah) in Hebron — are really Muslim shrines, and that the prophesied return of the Jews to the Holy Land is false.

Now, to be frank, this contradicts many verses in the Qur’an and other early Islamic writings as much as it flies in the face of all sound historical texts and archaeological evidence.

Even a ten-year-old child can see clearly just how falsified the Palestinian narrative of its origins is.

There seems to be no let-up in Christian-inspired actions against Israel.

On June 30 this year, the United Church of Christ (UCC), a socially liberal million-strong protestant denomination in the United States, voted 508 to 124 in favour of divestment and boycott, with 38 abstentions.

It was one of two resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict debated by the church.

The resolution that called the actions of Israel, in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, “acts of apartheid,” received 51% of the vote, but it failed to reach the two-thirds majority it needed to be passed.

Had it been passed, the UCC would have been the first American church to describe Israeli behaviour as apartheid.

According to Jerusalem Post columnist Max Samarov, “during the UCC conference, when a dissenting speaker lamented that the UCC ‘did not allow’ mainstream Jews and Israelis to have a voice at the table, few voters seemed to care. In a defining moment, UCC officials rejected an amendment calling on the church to listen to Israeli perspectives and encourage cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians.

Clearly, a search for truth and an openness to dialogue form no part of the UCC’s agenda, which remains opposed to any initiatives outside their rigidly enforced political dogma. And all this in the United States, a country built on democratic standards.

This vote was in keeping with two earlier resolutions against Israel, such as one that called for Israel to tear down its anti-terror security barrier with the West Bank — but without asking the Palestinians to cease their terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.

 
That a Christian church should call for an act that would result in dozens and eventually hundreds of murders of innocent Israelis leaves anyone with a sense of conscience aghast.

Writing for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA): 

Dexter Van Zile

remarks that:

Not only did the UCC’s 2015 General Synod fail to speak up about the corruption of the Palestinian Authority and the violence and ideology of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah in its resolutions, it did not offer up any official condemnation of ISIS and Boko Haram, two groups that have engaged in horrific crimes against humanity on two different continents – often specifically targeting Christians. The General Synod also failed to condemn the Syrian government, which has repeatedly used chemical weapons against its own citizens in that country’s civil war.

The conclusion is inescapable: As a body, the UCC’s General Synod is irrationally obsessed with Israel and indifferent to Arab and Muslim misdeeds, no matter how outrageous and horrific. Misdeeds perpetrated by Arabs and Muslims simply do not offend the sensibilities of the UCC’s deliberative body with the same force as Israel’s efforts to defend itself from terrorism. This distorted focus immeasurably harms Muslim and Christian victims of Islamist aggression who warrant world attention and rescue.

2014:

In 2014, the Presbyterian Church (USA) approved a resolution to divest from three companies that supplied Israel with equipment used in the West Bank, the resolution passed without due application to the actual legal status of the territory administered by Israel.

2015:

In May 2015, another Protestant evangelical and Pentecostal movement sponsored a Global Congress in Jerusalem. Empowered 21 is a worldwide organization based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which claims to represent 640,000 believers.

This organization, which has grandiose plans to evangelize every person on earth by 2033 (an objective not only beyond its means but flatly impossible in any Muslim country) nevertheless seeks to play a role in world affairs.

Its chief problem lies in its collaboration with Palestinian Christian leaders who demonize Jews, delegitimize Israel, and present a supersessionist theology.

It sponsors two of the most important anti-Israel Christian groups in the region, the Bethlehem Bible College and the Christ at the Checkpoint conferences.

These conferences perpetuate the doctrine that Jews are an obstacle to God’s purpose in the world.

They present a version of replacement theology couched in Palestinian terms, claiming that Jesus and the first Christians (in Jerusalem) were not Jews but the ancestors of today’s Palestinians, regarded as the indigenous inhabitants of the land and the only people with a right to it.

It is important to note that the General Synod of the UCC (referred to above) invited Rev. Dr.Mitri Raheb, the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, to deliver a sermon at a service held the night before the votes on Israel.

Dr.Mitri Raheb (Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem)

According to a report by CAMERA:

During his talk, Raheb wrote the Jewish people out of their scriptures and out of the Land of Israel itself, repeatedly referring to the people of ancient Israel as ‘the Palestinians’ or the ‘people of Palestine.’

 
He did, however, use the word Israel in reference to the ‘occupation’.

 
Raheb’s ugly effort to write the Jews out of the Bible is contrary to the spirit and letter of a resolution passed by the UCC’s 1987 General Synod which condemned replacement theology (which it referred to as ‘supersessionism’), but that did not stop delegates from giving the pastor a standing ovation.

It has been argued that anti-Zionism within many churches is “a symptom of the death throes of mainline Protestantism.”

All of the denominations that have gone into the camp of advocacy for divestment, divestment and sanctions are losing members at a catastrophic pace.


For example: the United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church have all lost around 30% of their membership over the last couple of decades…. Within the whole body of Christian[s] in our part of the world [the U.S.] these Liberal-Protestant denominations are losing membership by very large factors, while those denominations that have stood apart from the WCC [World Council of Churches] have been gaining in membership, by approximately the same factors.[5]July 18, 2015 What has got into the Churches? By Paul Merkley. thebayviewreview.com

This may, in part, explain why the mainline churches have moved to the radical left on several issues, including support of the Palestinians, in an effort to win back members from a population that is generally more liberal than, say, fifty years ago.

But it does not explain why so many evangelical and Pentecostal denominations, as we have seen, share this anti-Zionism while being, for the most part, more conservative in their social views.

Nor should it diminish our awareness of the role churches and other bodies linked to the WCC still play in promoting BDS and generally propagating a pro-Palestinian narrative that plays into calls for the abolition of Israel and the expulsion or genocide of the Jewish population there.

Under the influence of Christian Aid, a World Council of Churches affiliate with a marked socialist agenda, many churches in Britain are also engaged in boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activities.

Chana Shapira

According to Chana Shapira, writing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:

Christian Aid works to influence public opinion and policy with a two-pronged approach of Israel-delegitimization and funding of far-left pro-Palestinian organizations.

It also works with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine (EAPPI), a project of the World Council of Churches that recruits volunteers to participate in on-site propaganda tours, and then work as activists back home. In very loose terms, Christian Aid provides funding and EAPPI provides personnel.

Pro-Palestinian positions are advanced while there is a complete absence of any representation of moderate Israeli viewpoints. Errors of omission are frequent. ‘Israeli’ statements generally appear as anonymous, unverifiable remarks allegedly made by Israelis who defame Israel and the IDF.

Christian Aid’s biased agenda is supported by WCC member churches. Although it is not clear that these in fact represent the majority views of church members, this is the policy view adhered to by the clerical elites.

The volume of material condemning Israel’s policies overwhelmingly dwarfs the few official statements supporting Israel’s right to exist.

Shapira’s lengthy and fully referenced article is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the impact of Christian Aid in the UK, where it is supported by a government agency, the Department for International Development, and a group of 41 churches.

She provides a detailed breakdown of major UK churches, Anglicans, Methodists and others, and their work with Christian Aid’s agenda. Outside the UK, Christian Aid supports Marxist and socialist political NGOs such as B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence, a stance that contradicts the organization’s stated aims of relieving poverty.

Depressing as this all is, there are glimmers of hope in unexpected places.

Knesset Christian Allies Caucus[6]http://cac.org.il/site/

In Israel, a multi-party group within parliament formed the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus in order to strengthen cooperation between Christians in general and the state of Israel.

Its mission statement reads as follows:

The mission of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus is to build direct lines of communication cooperation and coordination between the Knesset and Christian leaders around the world. We strive to establish relationships between the members of Knesset and leaders of Churches, Christian organizations and political representatives throughout the globe.

 
The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus has attracted an increasingly diverse and growing number of Christian leaders globally. The Caucus works with Christians who support Israel alongside those who are undecided on their position towards Israel. Many Christians recognize that their belief in the Bible connects them to the land and the people of Israel. On this basis, we work together to achieve our goals.

Christian Empowerment Council (CEC Israel)[7]youtube.com

Also in Israel, the Christian Empowerment Council, headed by Father Gabriel Naddaf, a controversial Greek Orthodox priest from the Aramean community, works hard to integrate Christian Arabs into Israeli society, encouraging enrolment in the Israel Defense Force through a separate organization, the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum, for which he is the spiritual leader.

Naddaf has written feelingly about the opposition to his work among many Arab Christians and Palestinians, opposition that has led to death threats, his excommunication, and constant harassment. Isolated though he may be, he has brought large numbers of young Christian Arabs to join the IDF and integrate fully into Israeli life.

[/well]

Christians United for Israel[8]cufi.org

In the United States Christians United for Israel, a large lobbying group, has been described by the Washington Post as “America’s largest and most dependable pro-Israel group.” Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer has said, “I do not know of an organization in the world more important to Israel than CUFI.”

According to CUFI, with a membership of two million, it has “driven hundreds of thousands of emails to government officials, held 2,162 pro-Israel events in cities and towns across the country, garnered more than 1.2 million Facebook fans, brought 304 leading pastors to Israel on 12 Pastors Leadership Tours, has trained more 2,500 students on how best to stand with Israel, presently has recognized college chapters on 140 campuses as well as an active presence at an additional 163 universities.

CUFI has now opened a branch in the United Kingdom, where it has started to work along similar lines, but with a smaller following.

It follows in the footsteps of a much older UK organization, Christian Friends of Israel (CFI).

Christian Friends of Israel (CFI)[9]cfi.org.uk

A non-denominational body with activists across the country.

CFI also has branches throughout the world, and has had a centre in Jerusalem since 1985.

Over the past year, Nigel Goodrich, a Christian pastor in Scotland, has successfully created some seven Friends of Israel groups in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dumfries and Galloway, and elsewhere, and has organized large conferences attended mainly by Christians but also Jews, who are acting solidly with him and his following. This author has lectured at his conferences in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and can affirm the genuine enthusiasm and love of Israel displayed by the audiences.

Inspired by Goodrich’s example, Glasgow Friends of Israel now runs a weekly stall in Buchanan Street, where the vicious anti-Israel Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign have held sway for many years.

Clearly, there is a new momentum within some Christian churches that presents a serious challenge to those denominations that are anti-Zionist.

Where organizations such as Christian Aid seem more motivated by political considerations and adaptations of Marxist philosophy, these new supporters of Israel appear to be inspired by a love for the Bible and the rights it offers to Israel and its people, the Jews.

It is too early to say, but a shift seems to be taking place. As Christians in the West become more and more aware of the slaughter and expulsion of Christians in the Middle East, and the ongoing war of Muslim extremists against them, many have started to realize that the enemy they now face is the same enemy the Jews have been facing for centuries, especially since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

There may yet come a time when Christians opposed to Israel understand that its abolition would mean the end of any protection for their fellow believers across the region and a dramatic clampdown on Christian freedom across the Muslim world.

August 30, 2015 | by Denis MacEoin | Dr. Denis MacEoin formerly lectured in the Religious Studies Department at Newcastle University. | Source: gatestoneinstitute.org "The New Racists: Christians Who Hate Israel" 

References

References
1 Philip Berryman, Liberation Theology: Essential Facts about the Revolutionary Movement in Latin America–and Beyond, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, (1987), p. 4.
2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_Mihai_Pacepa
3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabeel_Ecumenical_Liberation_Theology_Center
4 “In a 2000 Princeton University survey, nearly two-thirds of U.S. evangelicals considered themselves liberal or (especially) moderate rather than conservative.

In another survey in 2009, 35 percent of evangelicals were Democrats, 34 percent Republicans, and the rest independents. Many views of evangelicals defy stereotypes; for example, in 2008, 60 percent of evangelicals felt that the government should help the poor more.” From “The Evangelical Left in History and Today” by Craig S. Keener, Huffington Post, April 19, 2012.

5 July 18, 2015 What has got into the Churches? By Paul Merkley. thebayviewreview.com
6 http://cac.org.il/site/
7 youtube.com
8 cufi.org
9 cfi.org.uk

Senior Iran Official: No Change in Stance on Israel, Which ‘Should be Annihilated’

Israel: Scope Locked feature

Hossein Sheikholeslam, a foreign affairs adviser to Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani, said Iran still believes Israel should be annihilated. Photo: Screenshot.

A senior Iranian official on Tuesday called for Israel’s annihilation and rejected the claim by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond that Iran’s government has shown more nuance towards the Jewish state.

“Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan,” Hussein Sheikholeslam, a foreign affairs adviser to Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani, told reporters on Tuesday, the Fars News Agency reported.

On Monday, Hammond, who was in Tehran to re-open the British embassy there, suggested that the current Iranian government under President Hassan Rouhani has shown a more nuanced approach towards Israel than the leadership of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“What we’re looking for is behavior from Iran, not only towards Israel but towards other players in the region, that slowly rebuilds their sense that Iran is not a threat to them,” Hammond said.

AUGUST 25, 2015 | JNS.org | Source: algemeiner.com “Senior Iran Official: No Change in Stance on Israel, Which ‘Should be Annihilated’”

United Church of Canada Votes in Favor of Divestment against Israel.

Israel: Scope Locked feature

The United Church of Canada (UCC) voted in favor of divestment from Israel Tuesday during its 42nd General Council meeting 

“to address the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories by the State of Israel.”

The resolution, according to a statement on the Council’s website, calls for the development of programs “of education and advocacy in cooperation with our partners, related to divestment from and economic sanctions against all corporations and institutions complicit in and benefiting from the illegal occupations.”

UCC also urged its members to refrain from “tourism [in Israel] which bolsters the oppression of Palestinians.”

The UCC commission which passed the divestment resolution encouraged “all courts, bodies and members of The United Church of Canada to apply such divestment strategies and sanctions, until such time as the occupation of the Palestinian territories ends.”

With more than two million members, the UCC is Canada’s largest Protestant church. Tuesday’s resolution against Israel follows a 2012 UCC boycott of all goods made in Judea and Samaria.

Not all UCC members support the Council’s decision to divest from Israel. Rev. Andrew Love, a UCC pastor in Arnprior, Ontario, said in a statement that the proposal reflects “a growing cancer of a anti-Semitism taking hold in the body of the UCC.”

In further conversation with news outlet CJN, Love explained that “there is an activist community within the UCC that will not be satisfied until the very existence of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people ends.” He warned that the recent divestment was just one step toward the UCC’s final goal of “replacing Israel with a different state.”

“I believe we’re seeing…a lot of old prejudices being re-formulated against Israel…That old denial of historical and religious aspirations of the Jewish people in relation to Israel,” he said.

The UCC’s resolution follows a string of anti-Israel support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by Christian churches.

In June, the United Church of Christ voted to divest from companies that conduct business in Judea and Samaria. Delegates of the church ordered its financial officers, who control an investment fund of some $4 billion, to sell off all stocks in companies which “have been found to profit from the occupation of the Palestinian territories by the State of Israel.”

United Church of Christ delegates also voted on whether to label Israeli policies in Judea and Samaria as “apartheid” but failed to garner the two-thirds majority vote in order to approve the measure.

In June 2014, Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) voted in favor of withdrawing investments worth $21 million from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola, which conduct business in Judea and Samaria.

“We as a church cannot profit from the destruction of homes and lives,” Reverend Gradye Parsons said in a statement about the decision. “We continue to invest in many businesses involved in peaceful pursuits in Israel.”

In December 2014, PCUSA took their anti-Israel sentiment one step further when church officials considered banning the word “Israel” from its prayers so as not to confuse its followers between “ancient Israel/modern Israel.”

By Lea Speyer | August 13, 2015 | Source: breakingisraelnews.com  "United Church of Canada Votes in Favor of Divestment against Israel"

Palestinian Parliament: Jews Have No Right to Even “One Inch” of Israel

Israel: Scope Locked feature

real-agenda-P-AThe Palestinian parliament is continuing to reject any Jewish right to the “land of Palestine”, meaning the entire land of Israel, including the sovereign territory of the State of Israel.

At a special meeting in Gaza on Thursday held on the occasion of Nakba Day, the Palestinian parliament stated that the entire “land of Palestine” is an Islamic endowment, and the Jews have no right to even a single inch of it.

Nakba Day is the day on which Arabs mourn what they view as the “disaster” of the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. It is marked on May 14, the day in 1948 on which Israel became a state.

The parliament also stressed that the “right of return” is a sacred collective and private right and cannot be given up, and added that the Palestinians will never agree to the settlement of the so-called “Palestinian refugees” outside the territory of “Palestine” nor will they ever agree to recognize Israel.

Ahmed Bahar, deputy speaker of the parliament, said in his speech that “the occupation state of Israel was established on the body parts and skulls of children, women and elderly Palestinians who were killed in massacres during which many Palestinians were expelled from their land.”

He then blamed Britain, which ruled the area before the establishment of the State of Israel, for the historical responsibility of the “Nakba” of the Palestinians, and called on it to submit an apology to the Palestinian people for the “injustice” that was done to them.

Bahar further said that any Palestinian who gives up on “the right of return” should be treated as though he had committed treason, in accordance with Palestinian law dealing with the right of return.

2015-05-15 | Original Source: virtualjerusalem.com  "Palestinian Parliament: Jews Have No Right to Even "One Inch" of Israel"

The BDS Movement Can Be Traced Back to Hitler

Haj Amin el-Husseini, better known as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, with Nazi SS officers in November 1943.

Photo: German Federal Archives.

by Edwin Black
The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement is said to have ignited in earnest in 2005. It was propelled by significant funding from the Ford Foundation, which poured millions of dollars into anti-Israel NGOs working in Durban, and later by the New Israel Fund (NIF), which financially backed such pro-boycott groups as the Coalition for Women for Peace.

Experts say the BDS modus operendi wields systematic distortion of international law, history, and general fact about the Israel-Palestinian conflict to rally public support. While BDS advocates claim to seek political and economic justice, their actions are increasingly trailed by anti-Jewish actions such as swastika graffiti at Jewish locations, challenges to Jewish students based on their religion, and a general air of anti-Semitic hostility on campus. Today, the BDS Movement stands merely as the leading edge of growing anti-Semitic agitation and anti-Israel mobilization, attracting pure hate elements to their message.

BDS employs such guerrilla tactics as street actions, student harassment, campus disruption, physical assaults, and duplicitous coalition building in moves eerily resembling a Brownshirt playbook. Disarmed and dismayed by the swelling assault, fragmented attempts by Israeli and American Jewish leadership to counter the movement – mainly by assembling bone-dry fact sheets and lifeless statistical arguments – have proven ineffectual.

Now, a number of Jewish organizations are pooling resources and comparing notes to more cohesively combat BDS. To this end, several hundred individuals will gather from March 21-23, 2015 in a Los Angeles hotel at the International anti-BDS Conference convened by the leading pro-Israel group, StandWithUs.

The diverse list of speakers include

  • famed attorney Alan Dershowitz,
  • Bassem Eid of the pro-co-existence Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group,
  • Lana Melman of the Creative Community For Peace,
  • Richard L. Cravatts of the Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, as well as
  • this writer [Edwin Black],

bringing insights into financial investigations of BDS groups funded by tax-exempt charities.

Sporadic outbreaks of anti-Jewish boycotts arising from simple animus can be traced back to medieval times. Boycott, as an identified and organized financial weapon, only appeared on the world stage in 1880, when Irish farm tenants from County Mayo came together to economically isolate their oppressive landlord, Charles Boycott. The anti-Boycott movement became an international cause célèbre, covered extensively by such media giants as The New York Times and The Times of London, both of which acknowledged that the successful campaign against landlord Charles Boycott had spawned a new noun and a verb.

In the last years of the 19th Century, economic pressure tactics were broadly employed by anti-Semite groups across Europe, many now actually using the term boycott. Ottoman Empire administrative restrictions against Jews in Palestine escalated into tough new laws in 1892, several years before the rise of Theodor Herzl and modern Zionism. After WWI, when international law and the 1922 Mandate designated Palestine for Jewish and Arab self-determination, an expanding Jewish presence in Palestine generated a vibrant Zionist economy. A prospering Jewish community in Palestine roiled Arab leaders led by the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al Husseini. From the moment the Mandate began in 1922, the Mufti’s ad hoc boycott became more entrenched throughout British Palestine.

On April 1, 1933, when the Hitler regime formalized its pre-existing boycott Jewish-owned stores as German national policy, the Mufti and his followers saluted and then adopted the Nazi tactic of anti-Jewish boycott, both in name and spirit. Indeed, Hitler became a hero to the Arab community in Palestine and the wider Arab world. After Mohammad, “Hitler” and “Adolf” became the second most popular baby names. Ultimately, in the 1940s, the Mufti joined forces with Hitler, creating three Nazi-flagged divisions of Waffen SS to fight in central Europe. During WWII, the anti-Jewish boycott was coordinated throughout the Islamic world, from India to Iraq, through the Mufti’s “Arab Higher Committee.”

After 1948, when Israel became an independent nation, the Arab Higher Committee and the Mufti transferred their anti-Jewish and anti-Israel boycott to the Arab League’s Central Boycott Office,headquartered in Damascus. This so-called “Arab Boycott” continued its global reach, even requiring American companies wishing to do business in the Mideast and North Africa to certify compliance.

But by 2002, as the world economy flourished and American legislation checked the Arab Boycott, the movement began to recede, even though it continues even now. By 2005 and thereafter, thanks to charitable organizations such as the Ford Foundation and then the New Israel Fund     fortifying groups such as the Coalition of Women for Peace and many others, the anti-Israel movement began to reconstitute under the banner of “political correctness” and “human rights,” fed by a continuously stoked furnace of false narratives and reinvented history, bolstered by highly edited and garbled international law.

Today’s BDS movement, which encompasses campuses, academic groups, and some unionists, flexes the unbroken connective tissue tied to the original anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist political organization of Hitler and the Mufti.

Many of the attendees at the forthcoming StandWithUs International anti-BDS Conference are starting to connect the dots of this lineage of hate. The Jewish community has been slow to react, uncommonly fragmented and disorganized. By coming together, Jewish and Israeli strategists hope to finally get the community on the same page. That page has been ripped from the history books and reprinted as a modern, false narrative; but the text is the same today as it was in the last century.

by Edwin Black | March 16, 2015 | Original Source: algemeiner.com "Jewish Issues Watchdog: The BDS Movement Can Be Traced Back to Hitler."