Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, October 2012
US Church Leaders Question Open-Ended Israel Aid
By Stuart Littlewood
Redress, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, October 16, 2012
Inter-faith dialogue, anybody?
Yeah, keep the gullible Christians talking – but some US churchmen now want action
Stuart Littlewood looks at how some US church leaders have begun to adopt a principled stance against the Israeli occupation, thereby raising the ire of Israel’s American stooges just as principled UK Methodists found themselves in the crosshairs of Israeli stooges such as Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.
I wonder if Anti-Defamation League (ADL) chief Abe Foxman and his mates ever read the Scottish poet Rabbie Burns, especially this verse from “To a Louse” (1785)”
Over here in the UK we are faintly amused at the way Foxman and his ADL throw their weight around and bully anyone who dares criticize the Israeli regime or question the rate at which it consumes American aid dollars to fund its illegal occupation of the Holy Land.
The ADL was founded in 1913 with the worthy aim “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all”. Today, nearly 100 years later, Foxman is its national director and probably the loudest voice in the hasbara (i.e. pro-Israel propaganda) firmament.
And today, after a century of talk of “fair treatment for all”, the Palestinians find themselves in desperate need of a defence league of their own to stop the defamation of Palestinians by Foxman’s friends, to secure even a small crumb of justice and fair treatment, and to get their lands and homes and natural resources, stolen by Jewish terrorists and Israeli uniformed thugs, restored to them.
US church leaders take a stand
But that won’t happen if people like Foxman continue to have their way. We’ve just been treated to the spectacle of him berating 15 church leaders, who represent many major faith groups in the US, for writing a letter to Congress asking for closer scrutiny of the massive flow of US military aid to Israel and measures to ensure compliance with US laws and policies.
In it, they said:
Making sure one’s tax dollars aren’t misused is a perfectly proper thing to do, surely. But it caused Foxman and company to take umbrage and go into a major sulk.
Does the ADL sound like the sort of organization Christians and Muslims could confidently sit down with and make useful progress?
Israel’s whinging mouthpiece
The ADL immediately issued a press release announcing it was pulling out of national Jewish-Christian interfaith dialogue scheduled for 22 October in response to “a serious breach of trust” by mainline Protestant church leaders. “Some of the Protestant leaders who were scheduled to be dialogue participants sent an outrageous and biased letter to members of Congress on 5 October, accusing Israel of human rights violations against Palestinians and calling for a re-evaluation of US foreign aid to Israel.”
Those living in the Holy Land under the Israeli jackboot will be surprised to hear that “sensitivity” and “respect” are actually in the Zionist lexicon.
Foxman then called on other Jewish organizations to respond to the “disrespect the American Jewish community is being shown” by also withdrawing from the interfaith gathering.
Many would say good riddance. Does the ADL sound like the sort of organization Christians and Muslims could confidently sit down with and make useful progress?
Only a few months before, Foxman was vilifying the Kairos Palestine Document and the US Christians who had written their own document supporting it. He said it was “part of an anti-Israel initiative” and called it “a deeply cynical and biased response to the already seriously flawed original Kairos document”, “a flagrantly one-sided, anti-Israel diatribe” and “a poison pill for Christian-Jewish relations”.
The ADL claimed that the original 2009 Kairos Document was “a toxic mix of bad history, politically motivated distortions and dangerous religious and theological attacks against Judaism and Israel. It included the heinous charge that some of Israel’s actions toward the Palestinians are ‘a sin against God’”.
Only a sin against God? Israel’s crime-sheet is regarded in many quarters as much worse than that.
In his condemnation of this new US document, A Call to Action, Foxman declared it antithetical to peacemaking. He says:
The US proponents of Kairos, he added, “are doing a monumental disservice to those truly interested in bringing peace between the Israelis and Palestinians”.
As all sensible people realize, there can be no peace while the occupation continues. Nothing useful will be achieved until international law is enforced and UN resolutions implemented. So who, I wonder, are these upright interfaith people who are “truly interested” in bringing peace as opposed to perpetuating the occupation, and how will they do it?
Kairos USA is a movement of US Christians who believe the time is right for decisive action to end the crisis in Israel and Palestine. It seems they’ve had enough of time-wasting interfaith claptrap. The Kairos US document actually says:
Of course, they speak from an American perspective. Why Christians should feel any impulse to atone for sins against the Jewish people, I don’t know. What sins anyway?
Let them stew
All the airy-fairy chit-chat is simply an extension of the Zionists’ lopsided “peace process” and just as fruitless. The purpose is to create the illusion of progress while they carry on abusing and dispossessing their weak and helpless peace “partner”. There is not, and never has been, the slightest intention on the part of Israel to make peace – at least, not until they’ve stolen everything they want and established irreversible facts on the ground to render a viable and independent Palestinian state impossible.
So yeah, keep the gullible Christians talking!
But, suddenly, along come Kairos USA, and the 15 US church leaders, to prick the Zionists’ pretty balloon. And the ADL goes ballistic.
Here in the UK we have something similar to the ADL. It’s called The Board of Deputies of British Jews.
It claims to serve and promote the interests of the Jewish community in the UK, but goes far beyond this:
When the British Methodists submitted a report Justice for Palestine and Israel to their conference, the Board of Deputies got quite obnoxious. The report’s perfectly reasonable recommendations included the following:
It also said that the Methodist Church had consistently expressed its concern over the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands by the state of Israel, and that its continuation not only compounded Israel’s illegal and immoral action but also made any accommodation with the Palestinian people and future peace in the region less likely.
The chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, declared the report “unbalanced, factually and historically flawed” without saying in what way it was inaccurate. And he warned that the implications would “reverberate across the hitherto harmonious relationship between the faith communities in the UK”.
The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council said the authors of the report had “abused the goodwill of the Jewish community”. Here is their full text:
What a silly outburst. This is the language of division not harmony. It is designed to widen the gulf not close it. Ratcheting up the tension perpetuates the uneven struggle for freedom, and that suits them just fine. For decades the “goodwill” of the Jewish community has counted for nothing in securing justice for the Palestinians and bringing to an end their misery at the hands of the state if Israel. Who are they to talk of “breathtaking insensitivity”?
Again, are these the sort of people Muslims and Christians could ever have any meaningful dialogue with? Perhaps it’s time the chief rabbi’s “implications” did indeed “reverberate” across the faith communities, not only in the UK but around the world including (and especially) the United States.
Disengage. Let them stew, at least until they see themselves as others see them.
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