There’s an old political expression that goes, “no enemies on the Left.” It means that no matter how vile someone’s views might be, if they identify as being against conservatives, reactionaries, imperialists, capitalists, etc., they are an ally. Here’s an example that implicates the mainline churches.
The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a political organization dedicated to getting Israel to surrender in its conflict with the Palestinians and with terrorist groups. It has never spoken an ill word regarding any act of terrorism or any Palestinian refusal to honor agreements made. It has never spoken a good word about any Israeli concession, except to say, “more, more.” Anyway, on its blog this week, I came across this item:
On Sunday, 10 October, 2010, the International Action Center, of Atlanta, GA, held a demonstration, in and around the hotel where a national conference of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) was being held. The JNF was instrumental in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948, and continues to play a central role in maintaining Israel’s regime of apartheid.
Presumably, if USCEIO staffers take note of an anti-Israel event, it’s because they approve of the message and the messenger. After all, they don’t pick up reports regarding anti-Israel activities by the American Nazi Party, right? So what is the International Action Center?
It is an organization started by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark in 1992 for the purpose of directing left-wing activity and propaganda. It is the parent organization of International ANSWER, the anti-war front group started in September of 2001 to represent the pro-terrorist perspective on the extreme far left (which takes the notion of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” very seriously, in this case al-Qaeda’s opposition to the United States and Israel being the operative link, regardless of methodology). The IAC, as well as ANSWER, is run by the Workers World Party, a Stalinist outfit whose willingness to associate with some of the world’s slimiest rulers (including Saddam Hussein, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Castro brothers, Kim Jung-il, and Robert Mugabe) caused even some of its own members to gag and split in 2005.
In other words, the IAC is an odious organization that will support any dictator, any thug, any totalitarian anywhere in the world as long as they stand against the West, particularly the U.S. and Israel. So what is the USCEIO doing trumpeting their activities? I can only come to one conclusion: following the precept of “no enemies on the left,” it has embraced the IAC as an ally. Now, what does that have to do with the mainline churches?
The sad fact is that the mainline is well represented in the leadership and membership of the USCEIO. To wit:
•David Wildman, a staff executive of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, sits on and co-chairs its steering committee, as does Jennifer Bing-Canar, of the American Friends Service Committee.
•A former moderator of the PCUSA General Assembly, Rev. Dr. Fahed Abu-Akel, is on its advisory board, as is Kathy Bergen, coordinator of the Friends International Center in Ramallah.
•Among the supporting churches and Christian organizations are the Christian Peacemakers Teams (supported by the Church of the Brethren, Quakers, Mennonites, and Presbyterian Peace Fellowship); the Church of God (Anderson, IN) Peace Fellowship; Episcopal Peace Fellowship; the Fellowship of Reconciliation; the aforementioned General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church; the Methodist Federation for Social Action; Pax Christi; the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina; the Women’s Division of the United Methodist Church; as well as a variety of local and state organizations with ties to various Christian denominations.
So there you have it: the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation–led, advised, and supported in significant ways by mainline Christian denominations–marching merrily alongside one of the most loathsome extremist political organizations in the country. Surprised?