The World Council of Churches today announced the launch of a web site for its “Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum,” thus giving the rest of us a better look inside the mind of the Israel-bashing WCC. According to the site, the “core actions” of the PIEF are:
•Actions challenging government support for the occupation
•Actions challenging public support for the occupation
•Actions challenging theological and biblical justifications for the occupation and
•Actions maintaining viable the Palestinian Christian presence in the Holy Land.
Well, that’s nicely balanced. But surely the PIEF is going to do something to indicate that it isn’t simply the Geneva arm of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, right? Umm…no. Here’s a list of issues the Forum will tackle:
PIEF will function as an alert and agile rallying forum by focusing actions on current issues such as:
- Illegal Israeli settlements (by-pass roads and checkpoints, the security-military forces engaged to defend illegal settlements, products and services exported from illegal Israeli settlements etc)
- Gaza and the Goldstone report
- Human rights and international law in Israel and Palestine
- Economics of the occupation/boycott-divestment-Sanctions/fair trade products
- Emigration – Palestinian Christian populations in Palestine and Israel
- Freedom of movement/residency rights/access to holy sites for local communities
- The wall
- Forced evictions and demolitions
- Refugees/right to return
- Internally displaced people
- Status of Jerusalem
Focus will also be on theological debates and actions of churches in opposing the occupation.
So what’s missing from this list? How about:
•The Egyptian blockade of Gaza
•Hamas rocket launches into Israel
•Hamas’ continuing call for the destruction of Israel
•Arms smuggling into Gaza
•Hamas’ continuing receipt of financial and military aid from Iran
•The continued presence of anti-Semitic propaganda in Palestinian media and school textbooks
Of course, none of those items can be blamed on Israel, so for the WCC, they just don’t exist.
As if we really needed any, this is just more evidence that the WCC has dropped any pretense of being an honest broker in the Middle East (not that anyone ever listened to it, anyway), and has simply become a shill for one side. I’m sure the various denominational leaderships in New York, Cleveland, Louisville, Chicago, Indianapolis and so on, as well as their European colleagues, are tickled pink. I wonder if the members whose dollars fund this kind of propagandistic activity would be as pleased.