For the second time in less than two weeks, a PCUSA institution (the first being Macalester College in Minnesota, the second a congregation, First Presbyterian Church in Oakland, CA) is hosting a traveling band of Israel haters. Organized by the far left International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), their “Never Again–For Anyone” tour has also recently been at my alma mater, Rutgers, and DePaul University, former home of Israel hater Norman Finkelstein. According to the pro-Israel organization Stand With Us:
Last month, this event was held at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where event organizers suddenly instituted an admission fee (in violation of university policy) to discourage Jewish pro-Israel students from entering the event.
StandWithUs also reported on this event when it was held February 4 at DePaul University in Chicago. Here are some excerpts from that report:
“The organizers created an intimidating atmosphere. One attendee likened it to a Ku Klux Klan rally. No audience members were allowed to record, film, or photograph the speakers. Members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which sponsored the event, patrolled the aisles looking for “contraband” recording devices. This created a tense atmosphere, which one audience member described as fascist.”
“The speakers vilified current peace efforts and praised the terrorist group Hamas. They repeatedly attacked the moderate Palestinian Authority for “collaborating” with Israel by engaging in peace talks and extolled Hamas as “the democratically elected representatives of the Palestinian people.” They attacked Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, with Bazian claiming that the treaties were simply an Israeli plot to “extend its strategic borders all the way up to Iraq.””
“Hajo Meyer [a survivor of Auschwitz who is a leader in IJAN] made the Nazi-Israeli equation more explicit. Exploiting his status as a Holocaust survivor, he compared IDF soldiers to Auschwitz guards. He denigrated Jews and Judaism. “The Jewish people are not a civilization,” he charged. The only religion that pro-Israel Jews share is the “Holocaust religion. . . . They cannot claim they are Jewish, so therefore they had to invent the Holocaust religion, that is, with its high priest Elie Wiesel,” he said.”
IJAN is explicitly dedicated to the destruction of Israel (which it refers to as the “decolonization of Palestine”) and its replacement with a single state in the Holy Land. The San Francisco chapter of Voice of Israel and Stand With Us will be having a vigil outside the church on Thursday from 6 pm until 7:30 pm to protest the hate. Even if you aren’t in the Bay area, you can let your presbytery, synod, and denominational officials know that you don’t appreciate the growing alliance between elements in the PCUSA and the destroy-Israel movement.
(Hat tip: Gary Green, Presbyterians for Middle East Peace.)