IPMN hosted a luncheon on Tuesday titled “The Effect of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) on Muslim, Jewish, and Christian Relations.” The speakers, Anna Baltzer (presented as “Jewish,” and “a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors”), and Fr. Fadi Diab, an Arab-Palestinian Anglican pastor who is one of the authors of the Kairos Document — a viciously anti-Israel document — are exclusively and rabidly anti-Israel. According to the agenda, they presented “the rationale for the BDS campaign launched by Palestinian Civil Society…”
On Wednesday, July 4th, the IPMN hosted another luncheon, “Israel and Palestine’s Place in the Arab Spring and U.S. Foreign Policy,” with Rami Khouri, Editor-at-Large of the Beirut Star and a pro-Palestinian Lebanese Christian, as the keynote speaker.
In an attempt to ward off criticism of its shameful anti-Israel obsession, the PCUSA MRTI (Mission Responsibility Through Investment) issued a FAQ regarding divestment recommendations. Hypocrisy is rampant. Of particular note is #9: the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) divests from companies profiting from involvement in human rights violations in Israel and Palestine, so why isn’t the church divesting from American companies that do business in Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, China, Burma and many other countries where massive human rights violations are documented? Part of their response, “Not all of the human rights violations involve corporate complicity,” is telling:
MRTI along with its ecumenical partners engages many other companies doing business in countries with serious human rights challenges. Not all of the human rights violations involve corporate complicity. In addition, corporate engagement has resulted in changes in corporate policies and practices. However, in other cases where companies have refused to change, the General Assembly has placed them on the divestment list until the practices were changed. Examples are Talisman Energy in Sudan or sixteen key companies involved in South African apartheid in the 1980’s.
MRTI puts Israel in the same category as South Africa (where Apartheid was the law of the land) and Sudan (guilty of genocide in Darfur). Such out of touch associations are on the scale of comparing Netanyahu to Hitler and Stalin. FAQ #11 attempts to assure that the PCUSA is not anti-Semitic. While probably true when dealing with individual Jews, their hostility towards the Jewish collective — the Jewish State of Israel — is more than obvious. The PCUSA has a longstanding history of anti-Israel bias, and an extraordinary toleration for and indulgence in anti-Semitic themes.
Presbyterians For Middle East Peace (PFMEP), a voice of reason that was established to create balance on Middle Eastern issues, had this to say, “In spite of facts, the next GA will again be asked to put pressure on Israel to remove the Israeli security presence in the West Bank through calls to ‘end the occupation.’” Such an approach flies in the face of the approaches recommended by the Middle East Quartet (US, UN, EU, and Russia). It also challenges the approach taken by objective individuals such as Judge Goldstone who wrote in the NY Times 10/31/11), “It is important to separate legitimate criticism of Israel from assaults that aim to isolate, demonize, and delegitimize it…”
The PFMEP, unfortunately, failed to stop the torrent of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish statements. The Pittsburg Post-Gazette reported (7/3/12) that “The Committee on Middle East and Peacemaking Issues of the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly approved a resolution in Pittsburgh this morning by a vote of 36-11 with one abstention to divest from companies whose products are used by Israel to enforce occupation of the West Bank. The resolution recommends that the church divest from Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard after an eight-year corporate engagement process yielded no reforms. The general church body will vote on the resolution later this week.”
Hypocrisy and malice won the day at the PCUSA GA.
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