What Does PCUSA Want of Israel? Surrender
I’m not sure what kind of stimulus causes the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness (PCUSA) to engage in its public tic of periodically bashing Israel, but whatever button it is got pushed this week. I got an email from them that wanted to me contact Congress about the need for “a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
There’s a mind-numbing sameness to these appeals, but I thought I’d throw this one out as an illustration of the way mainline leadership thinks about the situation in the Holy Land:
Although the media tends to focus on violent incidents in Israel and Palestine, nonviolent actions for peacemaking occur daily with little fanfare. As people of faith, it is our duty to help raise the voices of both Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers against the ongoing acts of horrific violence and terror. Urge your members of Congress to seek a true resolution to the conflict, not just a swift action that will perpetuate the suffering of our sisters and brothers in the middle east.
If any peace agreement is to succeed, it must address core concerns of the conflict, including:
• The cessation of systematic violation of human rights by any party, specifically, practices of administrative detention, collective punishment, the torture of prisoners and suspects, home demolitions and evictions, and the deportation of dissidents.
Notice anything about those “systematic violations of human rights by any party”? They are all actions of which Israel is accused exclusively. Terrorism? Nope. Anti-semitism in school curricula? Nada. Indiscriminate shelling of civilian populations? Not a chance. The words “by any party” are the only indication in this appeal that the OPW recognizes that the Palestinian side is not composed entirely of saintly innocents suffering under a regime of total evil. That’s the case with the rest of their catalog of what must happen for justice to prevail:
• The end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and diversion of water resources.
• The dismantling of the wall between the regions.
In other words, Israel must stop trying to put a halt to terrorist infiltration of its territory. How dare they defend themselves!
• An immediate freeze both on the establishment or expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and on the Israeli acquisition of Palestinian land and buildings in East Jerusalem.
• A shared status for Jerusalem.
• Equal rights for Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel.
But the West Bank must be made Judenrein for justice to prevail. (PCUSA has made clear that it believes settlements must not just be frozen but dismantled, and all Jews repatriated to Israel.)
I read this list of demands, and observe the utter one-sidedness of it, and I can’t help but ask: is it OK to call them anti-Semites now?
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