Yes, well. Between Holy Week stuff, finishing a D.Min class paper, and regular pastoral duties, I’ve fallen down on the whole biblical commentary thing. Sorry about that.
I will come back to it. But for anyone who is still checking this blog out, I have something I have to do this week that I’m also cross-posting at Stand Firm. It has to do with Israel.
As several large mainline denominations prepare to meet in the next several months, political leftists are planning on using them to attack Israel and advance their agendas.
At their denominational meetings, both the United Methodist Church (April 24-May 4) and the Presbyterian Church USA (June 30-July 7) will be dealing with resolutions calling for divestment from Israel, and labeling the Israeli occupation of the West Bank “apartheid.” But it is not only Methodist and Presbyterian activists who are pushing those actions.
The denominational activists that are serving as the fronts for the political left include United Methodist Kairos Response and the Israel Palestine Mission Network of the PCUSA. Behind them is a collection of organizations of the far left, including:
- U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO)
- Jewish Voice for Peace
- Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
- Rachel Corrie Foundation
- Students for Justice in Palestine
- Green Party
- St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee
In addition, there are organizations from other Christian denominations that are not content to allow fellow Christians to conduct their own business, but rather are sticking their nose in to support the anti-Israel agenda. Among these are the American Friends Service Committee, the United Church of Canada’s Israel Palestine Network, and the United Church of Canada Maritime Conference Working Group for Just Peace for Israel-Palestine. Friends of Sabeel-North America, an interfaith group that supports the work of the anti-Semitic Sabeel Center in Jerusalem, is also helping.
All of the above organizations, among others, will have a presence of some kind at the United Methodist General Conference that begins next week.
Leading and coordinating this effort is the “national organizer” for the USCEIO, Anna Baltzer. Her biography on the USCEIO site describes her this way:
Anna is an award-winning lecturer, author, and activist for Palestinian human rights. Baltzer has appeared on television more than 100 times (including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and lectured at more than 500 universities, schools, churches, mosques, synagogues, and policy institutes around the world with her acclaimed presentation, “Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories & Photos,” and her full-color book: Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories. Both her DVD and her book are available in our store. She is co-founder of US Campaign member group, the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee.
Discover the Networks fills out the picture with stuff that the USCEIO would rather you not know:
Baltzer has worked with both the International Solidarity Movement and the International Women’s Peace Service (IWPS). The West Bank-based IWPS, which supports “acts of nonviolent resistance to end [Israel’s] brutal and illegal military Occupation,” is a communist organization that grew out of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. [Note the prominence that the IWPS gives to Baltzer's book on their home page--DF]
Adamantly opposed to Israel’s existence as an independent “Jewish state,” Baltzer favors a “one state solution” where Jews would be a minority surrounded by Arabs sympathetic to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
In an article she penned in March 2007, Baltzer condemned “the so-called ‘Land of Israel’” for practicing “ethnic discrimination” in many forms. She added:
“I know what Israel will say: this is only self-defense. On some level this is correct: if Israel desires control the territory that it has for more than two-thirds of its history, and to remain the state exclusively of the Jewish people, and to be democratic as well, it must find a way to create a Jewish majority on a strip of land in which the majority of inhabitants are not Jewish. There are only so many possible solutions: there’s forced mass transfer … there’s mass imprisonment (10,000 plus Palestinians are being held in Israeli jails as I write), there’s genocide … or there is apartheid.”
“Apartheid and segregation,” Baltzer concluded, “failed in South Africa and the United States and they will fail in Israel and Palestine. Ethnocentric nationalism failed in Nazi Germany and it will fail in Zionist Israel. But … [w]e cannot wait for things to get worse. The ethnic cleansing and apartheid have gone on long enough.”
In August 2007, Baltzer was the featured speaker at a Sabeel-sponsored conference in Berkeley, California. Claiming that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was rooted in a dispute over land rather than religion, she explained that Muslim Arabs do not hate Jews per se, but only resent that the latter have stolen their real estate.
In May 2008 Baltzer spoke to the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine, where she again denounced the “Apartheid Wall” but never once mentioned the epidemic of suicide bombings that had necessitated its creation. When a student attendee asked Baltzer to comment on those suicide bombings, she replied that while such acts were certainly abominable, they needed to be understood in context; that is, one could hardly expect the Palestinians to act non-violently in the face of their suffering.
An apologist for suicide bombers, an opponent of the existence of Israel as a Jewish state and Israeli self-defense, a denizen of the far left: this is who is leading the effort to infiltrate the highest decision-making bodies of the mainline churches in order to use them in the service of the anti-Israel agenda of the extreme left.
Tomorrow: the organizations behind the infiltration effort, and their mainline enablers.