Sunday, April 19, 2015

UCC, Menonites, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodists, Episcople church anti Israel activities

US Churches to Vote on BDS Moves Against Israel, Affecting Millions

Two US churches vote on BDS anti-Semitic motions today. One is to vote Wednesday. Millions could be affected.
The Marks & Spencer dairy case held nothing kosher -- as promised by the store clerk -- in London, where even the juice and milk were bereft of basic kosher supervision symbols.
The Marks & Spencer dairy case held nothing kosher -- as promised by the store clerk -- in London, where even the juice and milk were bereft of basic kosher supervision symbols.
Photo Credit: courtesy, HLJ
Three U.S. churches are voting on resolutions to divest from firms with connections to Israel and support a boycott of the Jewish State.
The votes on the pro-Palestinian Authority resolutions are taking place today (Tuesday, June 30) at the general convention of the Episcopal Church and the Cleveland synod of the United Church of Christ, both to be held in Salt Lake City.
On Wednesday, a similar resolution is to be considered at the meeting of the Mennonites in Kansas City, Missouri.
The three churches represent millions of members in the United States, but the votes taken this week may also affect decisions of churches elsewhere around the world as well.
A year ago, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA voted 310-303 to divest from US firms (Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard) which they complained profit from Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank. The vote affected some two million members.
An amendment to reinvest the funds in Israeli companies seeking “peaceful solutions” was also rejected. The previous day, the Church also rejected a proposal to send Church leaders to Israel to examine conditions for themselves and present their complaints in person to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Earlier in 2014, the United Methodist Church divested from G4S, a British-Danish firm providing security services to Israeli prisons in which Palestinian Authority terrorists are held.
The anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, however is actually a thinly-disguised new form of anti-Semitism that has been making its way around the United States for more than a decade.  On U.S. college campuses, it has led to violence against Jewish students as well.
The movement has been particularly effective in the United Kingdom.
“Historically, Marks & Spencer has made statements in support of Zionism,” said a statement on the site. “Lord Sieff, chairman and founder of M&S who died in 2001, made several statements in support of Israel’s military policies. In 1941, Sieff said that “large sections of the Arab population of Palestine should be transplanted to Iraq and other Middle-Eastern Arab States.” (Jewish Chronicle, 21/09/1941) Sieff, in a book entitled On Management: The Marks and Spencer Way, wrote that one of the fundamental objectives of M&S was to ‘aid the economic development of Israel.’”
The statement on the site goes on to cite the history of the chain’s support for Israel – and the effectiveness of the BDS campaign in ceasing that support.
“In 2008, the store wrote: ‘We do not buy products from the West Bank, Golan Heights or Gaza as we cannot safely visit the suppliers in these areas because of the current security situation.” It seems probable that the move to cease selling settlement products was, in fact, due to effective campaigning, protests and fear of adverse press coverage.'”
As a matter of fact, on a recent visit to London, JewishPress.comwas told explicitly by a store clerk at Marks & Spencer that the chain carries “no kosher items whatsoever,” be they Israeli or locally produced and supervised.
It appears that the BDS movement against Israel has been shamefully successful in extending its anti-Semitism even in a chain once was owned by a pro-Israel Jewish family.
Moreover, no local kosher supervision was found on products in any major supermarket chains, or even smaller stores (save for one) in most London neighborhoods other than the specifically Jewish areas of Stamford Hill or Golders Green.
The British government has decided it must legally allow a neo-Nazi group to hold an anti-Semitic march in Golders Green this upcoming Sabbath, July 4. The group, led by self-described fascist Joshua Bonehill, is vowing to burn an Israeli flag and a Jewish holy book at its rally in the heart of the Jewish neighborhood that day.¨
About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

Those elites mostly backed divesting from three firms doing business with Israel, namely Hewlett-Packard, Caterpillar, and Motorola, which ostensibly facilitate Israel’s “occupation.” The PCUSA has voted for anti-Israel divestment before, in 2004, which created such controversy, internally and externally, that it revoked its stance in 2006. Anti-Israel zealots inside and outside the church were relentless, and in 2012 divestment fell short by only two votes. This week, it passed by only seven votes, a remarkable margin, given the ongoing exodus of conservative church members. Some prominent liberal Presbyterians spoke against it, but their pleas were insufficient.

A radical Presbyterian study guide, “Zionism Unsettled,” denouncing Israel as an Apartheid state in recent months generated much uproar, especially from Jewish groups. It was thought the backlash against that resource might help defeat anti-Israel divestment, but the opposite may have been true. Commissioners perhaps felt moderate by voting against the extremist study guide while supporting divestment, which supporters naturally insisted was not anti-Israel but merely pro-peace. The PCUSA is now the only major U.S. denomination divesting against Israel, with even the Episcopal Church and far-left United Church of Christ having declined the honor.


Lies of the Evangelical Lutheran Church

The Episcopal Church’s Anti-Israel Media Campaign 

The Episcopal Church has approximately 2 million members and 7,200 churches in the U.S. and is part of the 77-million member Anglican Communion. Because of its presence in the U.S., the relative wealth of its members, and its connections to Anglicans throughout the world, the Episcopal Church is in a strategic position to influence attitudes toward Israel on both a national and global scale.
Sadly, the Episcopal Church is not a trustworthy observer of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The church’s leaders and constitutive bodies routinely issue one-sided statements about the Arab-Israeli conflict, and its publications portray Israel as exclusively responsible for violence in the region. Moreover, the church has provided substantial support for anti-Israel activists in both the U.S. and the West Bank. Its so-called peace activism amounts to an ad hoc anti-Israel media campaign that serves to delegitimize Israel’s rightful place amongst the nations of the world.
The Episcopal Church’s antipathy toward Israel has not gone unnoticed within the denomination. Concern about the one-sided condemnations issued by church leaders, staffers and constituent bodies was raised at the denomination’s General Convention held in Columbus, Ohio in June 2006, when three Bishops put forth a resolution calling on the church to apologize for its “consistently unbalanced approach to the conflict in the Middle East.” An explanation accompanying the resolution asserted correctly that “virtually all General Convention resolutions concerning the Middle East – and all public policy statements by Episcopal agencies – have relentlessly criticized the state of Israel, portraying the Jewish state as an oppressor nation and the Palestinian people as victims of Israeli oppression.”
A careful reading of public statements regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict confirms that, indeed, the Episcopal Church has been relentless and unfair in its criticism of Israel.
Anti-Israel Resolutions
The Episcopal Church is governed by a bicameral General Convention, which meets every three years and is comprised of the approximately 200-member House of Bishops and the approximately 900 member House of Deputies. Both clergy and lay members of the church serve in the House of Deputies. When the General Convention is not in session, the church is governed by an Executive Council comprised of bishops, clergy and lay members.
Both the General Convention and the Executive Council have exhibited a marked tendency to issue one-sided statements about the Arab-Israeli conflict that hold Israel to a utopian standard of conduct and its adversaries to no standard at all. Some examples include:
• In November 1994, the Executive Council approved a resolution asking Motorola to “establish a policy to prohibit the sale of products or provision of services to any settlement, including persons residing in those settlements, located in the Occupied Territories.” This resolution, passed one month after two Hamas suicide bombings had killed 13 Israelis and wounded 80, did not offer any condemnation of Palestinian violence or call on companies to ensure that equipment they sell to the Palestinians is not used for terror attacks.
• In June 1995, the Executive Council passed a resolution asserting that Jerusalem should be a shared city (ignoring decades of Arab aggression against Israel that make such an arrangement untenable) and condemning the construction of settlements in the West Bank including East Jerusalem.
• In July 2000, the General Convention approved a resolution affirming the “right of return for every Palestinian, as well as restitution/compensation for their loss as called for by the United Nations.” In fact, under international law there is no such collective “right of return.” Moreover, were such a “right” exercised, the result would be the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. Finally, the resolution offered no acknowledgment of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries who came to Israel after its rebirth in 1948.
• In August 2003, the General Convention approved resolutions condemning the construction of the security barrier and home demolitions without explicitly condemning or calling for an end to Palestinian suicide bombings, drive-by-shootings and other violence.
• In June 2006, so-called peace and justice activists within the Episcopal Church presented draft resolutions to the General Convention condemning the security barrier without asking the Palestinians to stop the terror attacks that prompted its construction.
Other problems with the resolutions as submitted by the denomination’s peace and justice community to the most recent General Convention include:
• Another call for Jerusalem to be a shared city, which denies 58 years of persistent Arab violence and aggression against Israel. It should be noted as well there is no evidence the church ever called for Jerusalem to be a shared city when its eastern half – containing Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount – was illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967.
• A condemnation of unilateral action – a clear reference to the withdrawal from Gaza and the security barrier.
• A failure to call upon Israel’s adversaries to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.
• Silence about Palestinian suicide bombing.
• A failure to call upon Hamas to dismantle terrorist infrastructure.
• Silence about anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hate-mongering in mosques, media and children’s textbooks.
After pressure from Christians for Fair Witness in the Middle East, amendments that called for Palestinian leaders to accept Israel's right to exist, greater fiscal transparency in the Palestinian Authority and condemnations of Palestinian terrorism were added to the resolutions. Because of a clerical error, the resolutions were not approved by the General Convention. One question which needs to be asked is why so-called peace and justice activists needed to be reminded of the need to include these changes.
Statements from Clergy
Bishops and Priests of the Episcopal Church have also weighed in on the Arab-Israeli conflict in a partisan manner.
• On June 30, 2006, Rev. Frank Griswold, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, signed a letter to President Bush asking him to restrain the Israeli government's response to the kidnaping of an Israeli soldier, but did not similarly ask the President to pressure the Palestinians to release the soldier in question or to stop their Qassam rocket attacks emanating from Gaza. This letter, which was also signed by Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, failed to acknowledge other violent acts of war perpetrated by the Palestinians, including other kidnapings and hundreds of rocket attacks from Gaza.

No comments:

Post a Comment