The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported (August 21, 2018) that during a speech in July, 2018, the Episcopal Church Bishop Suffragen Gayle Harris claimed that “she had witnessed Israeli security forces arrest a 3-year-old on Temple Mount and shoot a 15-year-old in the back 10 times after making a comment to a group of soldiers.” Harris is the second-highest ranking Episcopal official in Massachusetts. As it turned out, these were bogus and unfounded allegations. Harris later apologized, saying they were second-hand stories. She said, “I had heard and unintentionally framed them as though I had personally witnessed the alleged events.” It has become symptomatic of left-leaning mainline Protestant church people to believe such stories tinged with anti-Semitic overtones, which are disseminated by Palestinian-Arab propagandists.
Earlier, the Episcopal News Service headlined its April 12, 2018 issue with, “The Episcopal Church Joins Call for End to Gaza Violence and Measures to Protect Palestinians.” The transparent anti-Israel bias of the statement by the 15 mainline Protestant churches was reflected in the comments made by reader Charles Banks who stated: “The suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza is agonizing to all of us, but what about the suffering of the Israelis, who are the victims of random, murderous Palestinians (especially Hamas) aggressions?”
Mainline Protestant churches have habitually used the phrase “Palestinian rights” in their condemnation of Israel. Few of those voices elaborated on what those rights were, and where those rights apply. Everyone, including most Israelis, agree that Palestinians should have human and civil rights, religious freedom, and the right to live in peace and security. Those same rights however, are ignored by critics of Israel in the mainline Protestant churches when it comes to Jewish-Israeli rights to live in peace and security.
First, let us point out that Israel is a democracy where civil and human rights are respected and religious freedom is extended to all its citizens – Muslim, Christian, Arab or Jew. This is not the case with the Palestinian Authority led by President Mahmoud Abbas based in Ramallah, and certainly not in the case of Hamas in Gaza. In the latter, Christians have been persecuted and killed by Islamist fanatics, and as for Jews, the area is “Judenrein.” Palestinian-Arabs have no rights in Israel since they are not citizens of the state. However, Israeli-Arabs do have such rights, and they are exercising them.
Most Palestinian-Arabs live under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA has full control over all the cities in the West Bank, also known under the Oslo Accords as Area A. The PA also controls all civilian affairs in area B, which are the suburban areas adjacent to the cities. In adding these two areas it is clear that the vast majority of Palestinians live under Palestinian control. A minority of Palestinian-Arabs live in area C, where Israel has military and administrative jurisdiction. Gaza is independently governed by Hamas, recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S.
Jerusalem is a separate issue. Israel unified the city in 1980, and provided its Palestinian-Arab population with the choice of becoming Israeli citizens. Most of them refused. Some have indeed accepted the status as permanent residents and they enjoy all the rights Jewish-Israeli citizens have including the right to vote in municipal elections.
Mainline Protestant churches hypocrisy is clearly seen in criticizing Israel where Arabs-Muslims are freer than in any other place in the region, and at the same time ignoring the tremendous human rights abuses Palestinians endure under Hamas and the PA. It is the Palestinian regimes in Gaza and Ramallah who encourage violence against Israel and Jews, while deliberately putting their own people at risk. In Gaza, Hamas is using its people as human shields, while lobbing rockets at Israeli kindergartens.
Where conflict arises between Palestinians and Israeli security forces is in check points to enter Israel, and Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. The long history of Palestinian terror against Israel and Jews continuing to this day makes it absolutely essential for the Israeli government to ensure the safety of its population. It is for this reason that the Security Fence was constructed that has dramatically reduced Palestinian terrorist attacks from the West Bank and Gaza. The check points have likewise helped in stopping would be Palestinian suicide bombers and other forms of terror.
At the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) 2018 General Assembly, several anti-Israel resolutions were considered including opposing federal and state anti-BDS laws, one that calls for more debate on Israel’s “illegal” military occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem, etc.
What then is it that mainline Protestant anti-Israel social justice warriors seem to want? An end to the so-called “occupation?” Yasser Arafat (Palestinian chairman of the PA and head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization) bolted the Camp David Summit in July, 2000. President Bill Clinton noted and decried Arafat’s callousness toward his people. In his autobiography Clinton wrote: “Right before I left office, Arafat, in one of our last conversations, thanked me for all my efforts and told me what a great man I was. Mr. Chairman, I replied, I am not a great man. I am a failure, and you have made me one.” Clinton went on to say “Arafat’s rejection of my proposal after Barak (Israeli Prime Minister at the time-JP) accepted it was an error of historic proportions.”
A Palestinian State could have been created in November, 1947, when the UN voted on the Partition Plan of Palestine. The Jews accepted the Plan, while the Arabs rejected it. The Oslo Accords were again an opportunity for the Palestinians to assert their self-determination, but Arafat chose instead terrorism and the Second Intifada. His intention then and Hamas’ intention today is not to live side-by-side with Israel, but to destroy the Jewish state and replace it with an Arab-Islamic state or another Arab authoritarian regime. Camp David was yet another opportunity the Palestinians blew away, and story continues with the same pattern. Israel offering compromised solutions and Palestinian leaders rejecting them. In 2008, Israel’s Prime Minister offered far-reaching concessions on Jerusalem and even on refugees, which Mahmoud Abbas rejected.
The “occupation” with its negative connotation is the wrong term to use. The West Bank and Gaza are “disputed territories.” Israel has as much right to them as the previous owners Jordan and Egypt had. And since there was never a Palestinian state, who was Judea and Samaria (West Bank) taken from? Jordan captured it in 1948, and the Palestinian-Arabs rejected statehood in these areas at the same time. The Arab states and Palestinian-Arab irregulars launched a war in 1948 to annihilate the newborn Jewish state. The Palestinian leadership has rejected negotiations with Israel on the principle of a Two-State solution. They seek instead to delegitimize and demonize the Jewish state through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns. They hope to gain “Statehood” through the UN General Assembly. Israel though, remains the rightful administrator of the territories. Moreover, no restrictions were placed on Israelis settling in Judea and Samaria.
Mark Tooley, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, addressing the statement issued by the 15 mainline churches wrote: “One more banal mainly mainline Protestant rehash of decades old talking points against Israel that doesn’t admit threats against Israel or self-destructive policies by Palestinians.”
It appears therefore, that what the Mainline Protestant churches seriously condone is the Palestinian right to kill Israeli Jews.
BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti (YouTube)
Omar Barghouti, founder and leader of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, was denied entry to the United States on Wednesday.
He was informed by airline staff at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Israel that U.S. immigration officials told the American consul in Tel Aviv to block him from boarding the flight.
A State Department official told NPR, “Visa records are confidential under U.S. law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases.”
The US Capitol Building. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Four of Israel’s most dedicated supporters in the US Congress on Friday expressed concern that the Jewish state may annex the West Bank, as results from Israel’s election earlier this week confirmed the likelihood of a right-wing government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“As strong, life-long supporters of Israel, a U.S.-Israel relationship rooted in our shared values, and the two-state solution, we are greatly concerned by the possibility of Israel taking unilateral steps to annex the West Bank,” said a joint statement from Democratic representatives Eliot Engel (NY), Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,
The final image sent by Israeli spacecraft Beresheet before it crash-landed on the moon. Photo: courtesy of Space IL.
Astronauts and scientists at the US space agency NASA commended the Israeli non-profit organization SpaceIL for its efforts afyer its spacecraft “Beresheet” failed to land safely on the moon on Thursday.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “While NASA regrets the end of the SpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing of the Beresheet lander, we congratulate SpaceIL, the Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the incredible accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit.”
“Der ewige Jude” – “Theeternal Jew” movie poster . (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
The lead article Thursday on the opinion page of the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper compared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the 1940 Nazi antisemitic movie The Eternal Jew.
The article was titled in the paper “The Eternal Netanyahu” in a word play in connection with director Fritz Hippler’s antisemitic pseudo-documentary, based on the medieval legend of the wandering Jew, that served as a cinematographic justification for the Holocaust.
Mar 31, 2019 0Last week, in his speech at the AIPAC policy conference, said President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras that he would open a commercial office in Jerusalem – but not an embassy. U.S....
As an orthopedic surgeon for 30 years in Washington, D.C. I see patients from all over the world and from every walk of life and what has become clear to me is that everyone is fundamentally the same. As a rule, I shy away from political or religious discussions with my patients as they have no bearing on their care. But occasionally, the discussions are thrust on me.
Several years ago I treated a professor of political science from a local university and had established a good rapport with him. On his last visit before saying goodbye he popped a question.
It is well-known by some and wholly ignored by others that Islam has a long, sad history of antisemitism, a bigotry that originated in the seventh century CE (the first Islamic century) and has grown more vicious in the 21st. Combined with an almost universal anti-Zionism and bolstered by many on the political “left”, it is today the most ubiquitous and deadliest form of Jew-hatred. It takes the form, not just of insults, boycotts, and lawfare, but of wars, terrorist attacks, and calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and the genocide of the Jews.
Amman – The streets in Amman’s Jebel al-Weibdeh are crowded in the early evening with sounds of young people looking for a place to relax. Coffee shops intermix with art studios selling crafts for tourists. At the Maestro bar and restaurant, a band is getting ready for a live performance. The lights are dimmed and someone has put “no smoking” signs on the tables – they are out of place with the ash trays. Apparently, Monday has jam sessions and anyone can bring their instrument to join in. But it’s Wednesday.
A few of my readers recently asked me to explain the difference between “Palestinians” living inside and outside of Israel’s borders. Who are the “Palestinians” anyway? First, see below:
“Palestine” does not exist today as a nation-state, but at multiple times in history, including the present, it has been one of the names of a place. The Romans, recalling the defunct Philistines – non-Arab Sea People – coined it after defeating [Jewish general] Bar Kochba in 135 CE to disassociate what had been Judaea from Jews.
President Trump’s peace plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict surfaced two years ago and to this day – remarkably – only he and a handful of aides know its precise details. A stream of leaks, however, contains enough internal consistency that their collation, supplemented by conversations with administration officials, provides a plausible outline of the plan’s contents.
On March 31, a South Bend grandma brought her grandson to the hospital. The 11-month-old baby boy had been shot. His grandmother’s car had also taken fire. It was another early morning in South Bend.
Around the same time, Mayor Buttigieg, was toting up the $7 million in donations from his charm offensive as his bid for the 2020 Democrat nomination got underway. The national media never bothered reporting the shooting of an 11-month-old boy in the city he was supposed to be running, but instead confined its coverage of South Bend matters to a publicity stunt wedding officiated by Buttigieg.
The Palestinian students are being targeted because of their political affiliations and not because of any crime they committed.
While the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are busy beating up each other’s supporters, “pro-Palestinian” activists on US and Canadian university campuses are busy blaming Israel for Palestinian woes.
As an American Christian who has had the privilege of working in senior-level positions for four US presidents and who has enjoyed a close association with three of Israel’s prime ministers, I believe it is my obligation to provide the Israeli people with my views. I think my viewpoint is important because a vast number of American Evangelical Christians believe as I believe. In addition, Evangelical Christians are, without question, Israel’s strongest supporters in the United States.
Does Case 3000 – known as the submarine affair – prove that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is guilty of doing something illegal? Well, all Likud supporters believe with absolute confidence that it’s a political plot. Netanyahu’s opponents, however, believe – also with absolute confidence – that it’s the largest corruption case to ever occur in the State of Israel.