Churches stand with extremist politics over Israel

To all you churches, clergy and hierarchy, et al: are you proud of yourselves now? (you know who you are) Are you satisfied with the fruits of your efforts over the past few years? You are reaping the harvest you have sown and participated in.

You have not fooled us all in your political maneuvers. It’s time to ante up and face your actions. You have defended so-called Palestinians in their war against Israel. You have petitioned our government and Congress to stop and audit aid to Israel.

You called on UN to take actions against Israel, and complained publicly about human rights abuses. Despite Israel’s respectful protest, you organized and participated in boycotts — aka BDS movement. You have divested your organizations of stocks in Israeli contractors and independent companies that do business with Israel.

(NYT) The Christian leaders’ letter acknowledged that both Israelis and Palestinians had suffered, and that both sides bore responsibility. But it called for an investigation into only Israel’s activities.

The Jewish leaders said such an approach was a double standard. The Palestinian Authority also receives foreign aid from the United States and has also been accused of rights violations, they said.

“Where’s the letter to Congress about Syria, which is massacring its own people?” said Rabbi Steven Wernick, the chief executive of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. “When Israel is the only one that is called to account, that’s when it becomes problematic.”

All this in an orchestrated attempt to hurt both Israel and those it does business with. If that is not enough, you allied yourselves with some of the most extreme political elements of the radical Left, both here and internationally.

The Jewish leaders were shocked not just by the content of the letter, but also by the fact that the Christian leaders had not given them any warning. Both sides have been participating for eight years in a Christian-Jewish Round Table designed to heal wounds over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was Monday’s meeting that the Jewish leaders canceled.

You publicly pursued this agenda while representing thousands, if not millions, of people under your leaderships. You justified this under the guise of social justice, and Christian principles. You even introduced the ideas supporting and celebrating these actions in your regional conferences. All that brings us up to date with present circumstances.

Now Israel has been under attack for weeks of daily rocket fire. In one recent barrage, there were 40 rockets in 20 minutes in one area. That is two rockets per minute or one every 30 seconds. As a response to the rockets, Israeli citizens are under constant air raid alarms and warnings.

Then came justified defensive responses from Israel on the Gaza and so-called Palestinian sources. 1000+ rockets were fired upon Israel before this action. They waited ten days before going in on the ground to stop these attacks. Yet at least twice during Hamas-led Palestinian offenses — armed by Iran — our US government and President have contacted Israel calling for restraint. Obama pleaded to minimize damage on structure and lives. That while the Hamas/Palestinian objective is always the destruction of innocent lives, and maximizing the damage.

So these churches, clergy and leaders, as well as the other organizations that allied themselves against Israel for months and years, have culpability in this outcome. To many people, indeed Christians, this was predictable. You allied yourselves with those calling for Israel’s destruction and listed as terrorists by our government and others.

You may argue it was not the churches directly but activists within tied to them. Except that they operated in positions of leadership while gloatingly participating in activism and appeared to represent their members.

Now it has come to harvest, and the results of those efforts are clear to those who have eyes to see. The churches have blood on their own hands for further fueling conditions through advocacy and de facto sanctions of Israel. Nonetheless, you have chosen sides. The present circumstances place blame on your hands.

How long can you continue in this bias direction? I hope your collective conscience and financial portfolios are satisfied. These are the results. You have blame on your hands

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” – (Mark 4:9)

See Update

RightRing | Bullright

Methodist priorities being obscured

Not to pick on one particular denomination, but its a broader example. Article from their website.

Poll: Making disciples tops sexuality as church priority

By Heather Hahn
June 4, 2014 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) [*emphasis mine]

Editor’s note: This story was updated June 6 to include a link to poll questions and results by U.S. jurisdiction.

When it comes to issues facing The United Methodist Church today, same-sex marriage ranks far down on the list.

That’s according to a new survey of church members across the United States. Nearly 4 in 10 United Methodists said the first or second most important issue facing the church is “creating disciples of Christ.”

The most important issues facing The United Methodist Church
(% of members)
Creating disciples of Christ 39%
Youth involvement 27%
Members’ spiritual growth 24%
Decline in membership 19%
Poverty 17%
Children at risk 17%
Social injustice 16%
Sexual orientation/same-sex marriage 11%
Structure of the UMC 8%
Economic inequality 7%
Women and minorities in UMC 5%
Racism 4%
Immigration reform 3%

The other most important issues, according to members, are youth involvement (27 percent); members’ spiritual growth (24 percent); decline in membership (19 percent); poverty (17 percent); children at risk (17 percent); and social injustice (16 percent).

Only 11 percent ranked sexual orientation and same-gender marriage as the first or second top issue facing the denomination. That puts the ongoing debates around human sexuality as eighth in importance to United Methodists, according to the poll.

The results come from a May 30-June 1 survey by email of 509 U.S. United Methodist lay members by Corporate Research of Greensboro, N.C., and Research Now of Dallas. The poll screened out pastors, retired pastors and paid staff at any level of the denomination to focus on the views of lay members, who sometimes can seem voiceless in churchwide discussions.

 

Can you hear that? You can say what you may about polls but this reveals the tell tale truth. Yet we see the Bishops or officials, or statements emphasizing the GBLTQ agenda taking anti-Israel positions, and the BDS(boycott divest sanction) platform they are promoting.

Sure the hierarchy says they are not really calling for boycotting Israel businesses etc, but that is the agenda they have entangled themselves in. And then there are those calling for sanctifying gay marriage in churches.

Well, that lost voice in the church is not thrilled about or interested in all that. Palestine and Israel issues are not even on the poll, but apparently they rank high among clergy and leaders. A letter clergy signed in 2012 takes a stand, along with the recent divestment of certain companies doing business with Israel.

BDS Scorecard: Methodists recommend sanctions & boycotts; reject divestment

The passing resolution, entitled “Opposition to Israeli Settlements in Palestinian Land,” [view original and amendments] urges United Methodists to read Kairos Palestine, a document that calls for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) as tools of love and solidarity to support Palestinian liberation. The document in essence endorses the U.S. Campaign’s flagship End U.S. Military Aid to Israel Campaign, along with numerous member group-led campaigns challenging military aid and the costs of occupation.

The highest voting body of the United Methodist Church, which is the largest mainline Protestant denomination in the United States, has recommended boycotts and sanctions — as well as an end to individual and organizational financial support for settlements — as tools for ending Israel’s brutal occupation and discriminatory policies.

Not alone, as I said, it is one example:

BDS has entered the very highest levels of mainstream U.S. institutions. The Presbyterian Church (USA) also will be debating resolutions this summer at its General Assembly on boycott of Ahava settlement products and divestment from Caterpillar, Motorola, and HP. Presbyteries around the country have already passed local overtures calling for boycotts and divestment.

“Redistribution” included in the Methodist resolution:

Be it further resolved, that we urge the U.S. government to end all military aid to the region, and second to redistribute the large amount of aid now given to Israel and Egypt; to support economic development efforts of nongovernmental organizations throughout the region, including religious institutions, human rights groups, labor unions, and professional groups within Palestinian communities.

Can’t you feel the love?

RightRing | Bullright

Sderot, Israel under steady fire

Sderot, Israel has been hit by 5000 rockets over the decade. Name another place or country in the world subject to that.

This view of a Sderot neighborhood is from a hill outside town. Hamas wants to make this a “ghost town,” but so far all they’ve done is to strengthen the resolve of those who live here, and help create a population that can live under a rain of rockets and still keep going.

But do we hear the bleeding heart Left on campuses and media in the US calling for an end to it? Do we see student protests organized at universities signing petitions or calling for divestment and boycotts? Just a rhetorical question. (I think you know)


Welcome to Sderot. A sign welcomes visitors with a counting of the kassam rockets which have fallen on Sderot or nearby.

NYU students protest surreptitious Israel boycott conference on campus

By MAYA SHWAYDER — 03/01/2014 | Jerusalem Post
26 students and student leaders from the school’s Democrat and Republican groups send protest letter to school president. (protesting the BDS movement)

[NYU] NEW YORK – The American Studies Association hosted a large pro-Boycott, Divest, Sanction at New York University from Friday night to Saturday evening, sparking a backlash from NYU students, who wrote a letter of protest to the school’s administration.

The ASA-BDS event, which coincided with Israeli Apartheid Week in New York and was titled “Circuits of Influence: US, Israel and Palestine,” was not widely publicized and was closed to the press.

“We are immensely disappointed with both the nature of this event and how it has been met with complete silence from the NYU administration,” the letter said, citing the fact that invitations to the event were extremely selective and the event itself features only pro-BDS, anti-Israeli speakers.

US Student organizations boycotting Israeli academic institutions

[Daily Sundial] California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy White made a statement in early January denouncing a controversial move by a major academic association to boycott academic partnerships and investments made between American and Israeli universities.

In December 2013, the American Studies Association (ASA) joined a small, but growing number of academic associations calling for academic divestment from Israeli universities, which can mean cutting financial support to and ending partnerships and exchange programs with Israeli higher institutions. The ASA resolved to do so in protest of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, which the organization described as violating “human rights and international law.”

Academic divestment is inspired by a worldwide political movement known as the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) of Israel, started by Palestinian organizations in 2005. BDS protests Israel’s controversial policies toward the occupied territories of Palestine — the Gaza strip and the West Bank — by encouraging individuals and organizations to financially and symbolically boycott the state of Israel. Its goal is put enough pressure on Israel to cease their policies. More

No Universities have formally signed on to the ‘academic divestment’ campaign. However, aside from this California University, their collective silence on the movement agenda is deafening. But only when the few who stand up to protest the agenda does it get any attention. That’s only coupled with the lack of attention about the rockets flying, and the intercepted shipments by Israelis.

Source:  http://www.gazaborder.com/sderot1.html

RightRing | Bullright

Op-Ed: Mainline American Christians Against Israel


Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld – Arutz Sheva
Published: Monday, July 08, 2013 8:07 AM

Manfred Gerstenfeld interviews Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein of the Wiesenthal Center:
“They claim to support the underdog against ‘powerful and evil Israel.’”

“The leadership of most American ‘mainline’ Protestant churches is top-heavy with anti-Israel agitation, especially among those on mission committees. By now, a substantial number of their members have been influenced by anti-Israel rhetoric. Furthermore, younger members, due to anti-Israel attitudes on campus, are increasingly hostile to Israel. If the Palestinians make further progress here, it will be a great blow to the self-understanding of America as ‘firmly in Israel’s camp.’

“These very liberal churches include Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, and the United Church of Christ. They presently number about 16 million. Their membership and influence in the United States continue to decline. These churches’ rhetoric is usually outdone by an even harsher one of a small group of so-called ‘peace churches,’ including the Mennonites and Quakers.”

Rabbi Yitchok Adlerstein is the Director of Interfaith Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He is the Adjunct Chair, Jewish Law and Ethics at Loyola Law School. He is the Founding Editor of the Jewish Orthodox blog Cross-Currents.

“Mainline churches claim many members from Congress. They represent America’s heartland and have adopted a range of resolutions hostile to Israel. They include calls for boycotts plus divestment and sanctions (BDS). Some are aimed at Israel, others focus on the ‘settlements.’ Several churches supported the hateful Kairos Palestine Document published in 2009 by some Palestinian Christians. There is also tourism to Israel under Palestinian auspices.

“BDS started with the passage of a resolution in 2004 at the Presbyterian Church (USA) calling for selective divestment of shares of American companies doing business in Israel. Long before that, the World Council of Churches (WCC) founded in 1948, aligned itself with ‘third world’ countries and thinking. This is an international umbrella group of mainline churches which claims denominational membership of 590 million people. It has frequently condemned Israel, yet never protested attempts by Israel’s neighbors and by terrorists to erase it from the map.

“The churches’ salaried officials often harm Israel, without a specific mandate from a convention floor. For example, in fall 2012 just before the U.S. presidential elections, a consortium of church officials sent a letter to members of Congress questioning how U.S. military aid was being used by Israel, and calling for cutbacks in that aid.

“Several of these churches also publish extremely anti-Israel educational materials. These are often the only ones members will view. The Methodists produced a study guide a few years ago authored by an apostate Jewish pastor. He admitted to hating Judaism. It featured illustrations of Israeli soldiers reminiscent of Nazi guards at a concentration camp.


Easter message 2001: ‘It seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him.

“The motives of these churches differ. Some aim to delegitimize the State of Israel as ‘a colonialist enterprise conceived in sin.’ Others desire to give Christian witness to the lack of peace in the Holy Land. These churches have discarded much of their grandparents’ beliefs and practices, retaining sympathy only for the powerless. In defending the Palestinians, they claim to support the underdog against ‘powerful and evil Israel.’

“Theology is playing an increasing role in mainline churches’ anti-Israel activity. It began with the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center and its head, Dr. Naim Ateek. Many liberal churches have partnered with Sabeel. Ateek used crucifixion imagery in his Easter message of 2001: ‘It seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him.’

” This reintroduces the ancient murderous Christian charge of deicide against the Jews. Ateek and others deny that the Bible speaks of any covenant of land with the Jews. This is a renewal of the replacement theology and supersessionism, and is extremely dangerous for Jews around the world, especially at a time of rising anti-Semitism.

“Palestinian influences in anti-Israel hate mongering is huge. They have sent teams of Palestinian Christians around the U.S for a decade, tugging at Christian heartstrings with emotional tales of woe. They are more effective than Palestinian Muslims, who don’t come as ‘brothers.’

“Still, there are surprises. In 2012, several denominations substituted positive investment resolutions in place of divestment. In some cases, votes that looked like they were heading in the anti-Israel direction were saved by impassioned speeches by pastors who spoke about the impact such a resolution would have on Jewish-Christian friendships and partnerships in their churches.

“I frequently converse with friends in churches, pondering the sundry causes of anti-Israel sentiment. When I attribute much to the misdirection of Christian love, I am often interrupted by someone saying: ‘Rabbi, I wish it were true. There is far more old-fashioned anti-Semitism in this church than any of us would like to admit.’”

“The actions of these mainline churches have poisoned the well of Christian-Jewish dialogue. Jews entered the dialogue, which has been fruitful at times, on the basis of assurances that Christian partners left contempt for Jews and Judaism behind, and had made serious attempts to understand what was important to Jews. The way in which these churches treat Israel shows that neither is true.”

About author: The writer has been a long-term adviser on strategy issues to the boards of several major multinational corporations in Europe and North America.He is board member and former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and recipient of the LIfetime Achievement Award (2012) of the Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/13524#.Ud33_6x-r4v

Boycott Divestment Summer Camp

Students will learn anti-Israel tactics at Quaker-subsidized camp

[*sign up before the registration rush]

By: Alana Goodman  – Washington Free Beacon

June 14, 2013 10:30 am

Anti-Israel college students will trek to a scenic campsite in upstate New York this summer to learn how to launch campus boycotts against the Jewish state at a program subsidized and run by one of America’s largest Quaker faith groups.

The American Friends Service Committee “We Divest Campaign Student Leadership Team Summer Training Institute” describes itself as a “five (5) day intensive program for campus [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] organizers—those with campaigns already running and those hoping to get one launched in the 2013-2014 school year.

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign was officially launched by a network of pro-Palestinian groups in 2005 and seeks to use economic and cultural boycotts to isolate Israel, force the government’s hand on Palestinian negotiations, and evoke comparisons between the Jewish state and South Africa’s Apartheid regime.

Students attending the AFSC’s Summer Training Institute, which is also sponsored by the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace, will participate in “anti-oppression analysis workshops,” “non-violent direct action planning,” and “strategy sessions with BDS movement leaders,” according to the AFSC website.

The program runs from July 28 to Aug. 1 and promises “fun in a summer camp-like environment!” The cost of room and board is subsidized by the AFSC and the JVP, according to the website.

/….

The Simon Wiesenthal Center report said the BDS program meets Natan Sharansky’s “three D’s” test for anti-Semitism: It follows “double-standards” by criticizing Israel while overlooking human rights abuses across the Arab world; “demonizes” Israel by comparing its actions to those of Apartheid regimes; and attempts to “delegitimize” the Jewish state by targeting its existence.

Read more: http://freebeacon.com/boycott-divestment-summer-camp/

Let me understand, promises fun for everyone. What’s next, an anti-Israel theme park. I bet they’re already working on that one.

Try that with Muslims and see how far it gets. These days, with all the attention on so-called “hate”, this comes off as pretty hypocritical, to put it mildly.

And they’re turning it into an educational program. Kids learn the fine art of name calling, protesting, and good old-fashioned anti-Semitism. You’ll be the hit of any event after you learn these simple techniques. Something the whole family can do together.