UCC-Disciples Exec Gives Interview to Holocaust-Denying, White Supremacist Publication (UPDATED)
Peter Makari is the executive for the Middle East and Europe for Global Ministries, the combined “mission” agency of the United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ. In his zeal for promoting the recent letter by mainline leaders calling for the U.S. to stop aiding Israel, he has given an interview to an anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying, white supremacist Web site.
The Web site is “American Free Press.” Here’s what SourceWatch from the Center for Media and Democracy says about AFP:
The American Free Press (AFP) is a publication launched by Willis Carto, who previously published Spotlight magazine through his now-defunct Liberty Lobby, an organization worked with racist anti-segregationists and neo-Nazi holocaust deniers. AFP was launched by Carto in August 2001 following the court-ordered closure of Spotlight. Many of the staff of Spotlight continued on with American Free Press.
Carto continues to publish deceptive materials in which history is treated as a huge Jewish conspiracy. During the war with Iraq, for example, his Barnes Review attempted to exploit anti-war sentiment by publishing fake whistleblower memos on media bias in the Iraq war, which cast the Iraq war as a conspiracy by “Jews who run the media and government.”
You get the idea. In addition, the interviewer to whom Makari spoke, Dave Gahary, has interviewed arch-Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, as well as anti-Semites such as Gilad Atzmon and Michael Collins Piper.
In other words, these are the nastiest of the nasty, people from whom those who pride themselves on their liberal thinking would normally run screaming. They have at least one thing in common, however: a hatred of Israel that is so virulent, so irrational, and so tunnel-visioned that it is indistinguishable from anti-Semitism.
These are the people to whom Peter Makari, spokesman for two mainline denominations on Middle East issues, chose to speak.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center had this to say about Makari’s choice of interlocutor:
“For a senior official of a church pledged to Biblical justice to conduct business with an extremist racist and anti-Semitic entity is an act of theological infidelity and a slap in the face to minorities and the Jewish community”, charged Rabbis Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein, Associate Dean and Director of Interfaith Affairs of the major Jewish NGO.
American Free Press (AFP) is regarded as the successor to the now defunct Liberty Lobby’s Spotlight. Willis Carto, one of America’s most notorious racists, is a founder of both. Carto is also the founder of the Holocaust-denying Institute For Historical Review. Some of the books that have been offered for sale by the AFP include The Judas Goats: The Enemy Within (details governmental infiltration of the American nationalist movement at the behest of “the alien force of international political Zionism”), The Conspiracy of the Six-Pointed Star, El Sicario: The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin, and March of the Titans: A History of the White Race. The AFP site includes this quote in one of their essays: “Israel…is contributing to the unification and activation of the colored world for war against the colonial and other outsiders.”
The interview with Makari concerned a controversial letter sent to all members of Congress by fifteen leaders on the Protestant left, including Makari, seeking to curb United States military assistance to Israel. “Exactly which constituency was Rev. Makari reaching out to through this interview? The Middle East situation and interfaith relations are fragile enough without such a provocation. In the past, churches have dismissed officials more senior than Makari for inappropirate activity. It is time for Makari to go,” Center officials concluded.
The Weisenthal Center has called for Makari’s dismissal, with which I agree whole-heartedly. I am going to contact officials from both denominations in the morning, and will let you know what, if any, response they have to this appalling news.
UPDATE: The “journalist” to whom Peter Makari spoke, Dave Gahary, has an article currently running at the top of the AFP web site (in a collection of rotating leads similar to what we do here at Stand Firm with our features). Here is how said article begins:
What is viewed by many gentiles as a Jewish unquenchable thirst for the ongoing murder, maiming and humiliation of not just Palestinian men, women and children, but of anyone with a conscience opposed to the longest military occupation in world history, may have finally reached a breaking point.
So why AFP, Dr. Makari? Was Stormfront not available?
UPDATE: Changed the headline on the story to make it clearer just how heinous this is.
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