Photo: Galit Kosovsky
Photo: Galit Kosovsky

Perverting ‘peace’ and ‘justice’

Dan Calic slams Christian churches that back Arabs, reject Israel’s right to exist

The World Council of Churches has just launched a week-long event focusing attention on “peace” and “justice” in the conflict between Israel and the Arab Palestinians. Sadly this group has not adopted a narrative reflecting G-d’s covenant with the people, land and scriptures of Israel. Instead it has taken a decidedly anti-Israel stance.


Indeed, on the website promoting this event people are encouraged to “pray for churches living under occupation,” and become educated about “settlements in occupied territory.” Such views reflect adherence to replacement theology which essentially says the “Church” has replaced the Jewish people as the inheritor of G-d’s covenantal promises, and rejects the Jews’ right to claim Jerusalem as their holy city and Israel as their holy land.


Clear evidence of the WCC’s views had been published in several key documents in recent years. Further, these documents promote synchronicity with the general Arab narrative, which sees Israel as “occupier” of Arab land, perpetrator of injustice against the Palestinian people, and the enemy of peace. In spite of the fact that Arab Christians have been persecuted and killed by Arab Muslims, causing a huge decline of their population in cities like Bethlehem, when it comes to the conflict with Israel there’s little distinction between their respective views. Both see Israel as the enemy.


The majority of Palestinian Christians believe Jesus himself was one of their own, and if alive today would be a revolutionary in support of their cause and oppose Israel. It seems they - and many others - have forgotten Jesus was born, raised and lived his entire life as a Jew, and never abandoned his Jewishness.


Due to the sheer size of the WCC one must view its actions quite seriously. It has 349 member churches representing over 550 million Christians worldwide. Members’ denominations include Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, Episcopal, Greek Orthodox, and others.


At another recent event in March Pastors and numerous others Christian subscribers to this pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel narrative gathered in Bethlehem at a conference called “Christ at the Checkpoint.” Attendees from many countries including the US spoke, recounting stories from “oppressed Palestinians.”


In an attempt to dramatize their anti-Israel views the homepage of the conference website is dominated by a photo of the security barrier constructed by Israel, suggesting its existence aims to imprison the Arabs, rather than to prevent suicide bombers from murdering innocent Israeli civilians.


Gift of free will

One of the US churches that has played a leading role in criticizing Israel is the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA.) Starting in 2004, it launched a proactive campaign against Israel and championed the Palestinian cause when its General Assembly passed a resolution “opposing Israeli occupation of Palestine,” approving “selective divestment of holdings in multinational corporations doing business in Israel/Palestine.”


Invoking words such as “peace” and “justice” when describing what the Palestinians’ seek, PCUSA has assaulted the very meaning of such noble words when using them to describe people who are theologically committed to kill the Jewish people and wipe Israel off the map.


Currently, PCUSA’s Middle East Study Committee is holding internal discussions on another document labeling Israel as “racist,” asking the US government to impose sanctions on Israel and withhold financial and military aid. The report also endorses the “right of return,” and even apologizes to the “Palestinian people for conceding Israel has a right to exist.” Final vote is expected in the coming months.


Genesis 12:3 says “I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse,” referring to Abraham and G-d’s treasured possession, the Jewish people.


Next to Jesus, Christianity views no one else more significant to the faith than Paul. Indeed, his epistles are the basis for virtually all doctrinal interpretations. It was Paul himself who said in the book of Romans “did G-d reject his people? By no means!” Later he stated that gentiles are “grafted in” to the family of Israel.


Sadly - intentionally or otherwise - too many Christians appear to have interpreted this scripture incorrectly. Thus when it comes to “peace” and “justice,” I submit no other people in history have been victimized by a lack of these than the Jewish people. Scripture gives us a clear warning against mistreatment of the Jews saying the day will come when G-d will “enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided my land.”


G-d gave each of us the gift of free will, which means we can choose how we define “peace” and “justice.” It seems G-d’s choice is pretty clear. That’s good enough for me.The time has come for the rest of G-d’s followers to do likewise.


פרסום ראשון: 05.31.10, 01:20
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