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Author Topic: Zionist Lobbyists Bullying Protestant Churches  (Read 1665 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 17, 2004, 11:30:03 AM »

‘Paid Politicians’ Targeting Christian Boycott of Israel

By Michael Collins Piper

At the instigation of the Zionist Organization of America, 13 members of Congress have sent a letter to the Department of Commerce demanding that action be taken to stop the American branches of the Presbyterian and Episcopalian churches from divesting in companies that do business in Israel. They have suggested that the churches are in violation of the U.S. Export Administration Act (EAA), which prohibits Americans from participating in the long-standing Arab boycott of Israel. But the campaign by the “paid politicians” against the Christian churches goes much further than this: the members of Congress are going so far as to suggest that, along with the churches, students, academic organizations and other institutions that urge Americans to disinvest in companies doing business with Israel are also in violation of the EAA.

The members of Congress are charging that the very act of advocating divestment from Israel is illegal.

The ringleaders of the group are two New Jersey representatives: Jim Saxton, a Republican, and Rob Andrews, a Democrat. The 11 others include: Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), Michael McNulty (D-N.Y.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), Martin Frost (D-Texas), Philip Crane (R-Ill.), Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.).

A press release from the Zionist Organization of America, dated Sept. 28, 2004, claimed credit for inducing the bipartisan group of federal office holders to send the letter to the Commerce Department.

In the meantime, another group of congressmen, led by Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Calif.), have sent a strongly worded letter to the Presbyterian Church USA condemning the vote to begin selective disinvestments from companies doing business with Israel.

Those representatives joining Berman in attacking the Presbyterian Church for its action include: Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), John Lewis (D-Ga.), John Linder (R-Ga.), Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.), Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Tom Feeney (R-Fla.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), and Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

Joining the members of Congress in slamming the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches is Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, the “interfaith affairs director” of the Israeli lobby group known as the Anti-Defamation League. Bretton-Granatoor said: “The Presbyterian divestment could potentially create a snowball effect and resurrect what had been a moribund issue. Now it has provoked the Anglicans [the Episcopal Church—Ed.], and we know it will not end there.”

Although the rabbi added, in a threatening fashion, “We have to send a clear message to every church that they will have to face a united Jewish community on this issue,” the fact is that even many grass-roots American Jews have urged divestment in Israel, evidently shamed by the actions of Israel against the Muslim and Christian Arab Palestinian people under its domination.

Following the passage of measures in July 2004 calling for selective divestment of stock in corporations within the church’s $8 billion portfolio which profit by supporting violence in Israel and Palestine, the Presbyterian Church issued a statement saying it wanted to send a strong message to the U.S., Israeli and Palestinian governments, so they could begin to “lay aside arrogant political posturing and get on with forging negotiated compromises that open a path to peace.”

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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2004, 11:45:17 AM »


Ay caramba!!!
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2004, 02:54:43 PM »

Good for the Presb's and Episco's.  

What I find interesting is this:  "the fact is that even many grass-roots American Jews have urged divestment in Israel, evidently shamed by the actions of Israel against the Muslim and Christian Arab Palestinian people under its domination."
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2004, 05:54:32 PM »

I'm frankly appalled by the constant appearance of these topics here. And I feel perfectly entitled to comment, if only because the Anglicans do have a dog in this fight. The fight itself is beyond moral discussion; if any group be tainted by its past, well, then they are all hopelessly tainted. Maybe the Christians are marginally better for having let the Moslems commit the violence of late, but I think not.

The Episcopal Church's action is craven and self-righteous. It also forgets Jesus' answer to the question, "And who is my neighbor?"

I'm especially angered by the appearance of Jewish conspiracy stuff over here. Surely Orthodox Christians-- any Christians-- have better things to do than to mutter about Jews taking over the world.
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2004, 06:07:08 PM »

If a church business wishes to pull out of Israel, I don't see that as any different from a business pulling out of Apartheid South Africa.  "Who is my neighbor?" That's obvious: everyone, but especially the oppressed.

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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2004, 07:58:42 PM »

Quote
I'm especially angered by the appearance of Jewish conspiracy stuff over here.

I don't see anything about a Jewish conspiracy theory, but I do see concern about one organization (the Zionist Organization of America) lobbying Congress to harass and interfere with the religious freedom of many Americans. The government has no authority or jurisdiction to tell any church what they can and cannot do, and we should rally behind our beseiged brethren. The Jewish lobby is one of the most powerful and influential in all Washington, and to recognize their influence is not engaging in the propagation of conspiracy theories -- it is realizing the truth. It has been commented before by Washington insiders that Congress is now "Israeli occupied territory."
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2004, 08:21:08 AM »

If a church business wishes to pull out of Israel, I don't see that as any different from a business pulling out of Apartheid South Africa.  "Who is my neighbor?" That's obvious: everyone, but especially the oppressed.

You've fallen into exactly the same trap the Episcopalians have fallen into over and over.

South Africa was an easy situation to comprehend for, well, nearly everyone. The analogy to the Jim Crow South was precise, and all the wrongness of the situation could be fit in a single simple sentence. Not a single one of these statements is true about Palestine/Israel, whose story is not one of simple oppression, but rather of a complex, lengthy struggle among religiously identified factions. In a sense, everyone in the middle east is oppressed by this struggle over territory; the palestinian Arabs are worse off for having backed the wrong horse, and the Christians doubly so for having allied with the (loser) Moslems instead of the (winner) Jews.

There's no moral high ground to be found in backing one side, but that's what ECUSA is doing here. And since divestment from Israel costs the church almost nothing-- maybe even exactly nothing except for the cost of trying to figure out whether they even have any such investments-- it's cheap self-righteousness. Actually settling in and working through things that Jesus said-- like, fighting for a territory where anyone can live and work where they please without worrying about getting their house bulldozed or their flesh sprayed over the street by a passing bomber: that's hard. But it's the only thing it is moral for the churches to fight for.

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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2004, 09:39:59 AM »

Good points, Keble.
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2004, 01:34:35 PM »

This appears a difficult issue. The Zionists basically approaching this from a partisan position. The Zionists from the beginning never really considered the people living in Palestine. Israel's establishment from the beginning saw the doing away with of 400 out of 700 villages. The inhabitants were not responsible for the anti-Jewish activities of others elsewhere.

The protestants might have a stronger moral case if their actions were based on a wide spread ethical investment strategy or advice to their members.

Israelis tend to label the Palestinians as fostering terrorism, and the Palestinians tend to see themselves as the victim of state terrorism. Outsiders and Israelis often ask why the Palestinian Authority does not do more to tackle terrorist groups while at the same time Israeli Defence Force repeatedly demolish the command and control as well as the infastructure of the PLA. If someone were to subject your state authorities to such destruction your police and health services would collapse. The population would get behind the terrorists, as the Brits found in the north of Ireland. Israels early heroes and some of its present grand old men were, to put it midly, terrorists. With the blood of Brit soldiers and policemen plus that of Arab men, women and children on their hands. The Israeli prime minister himself may have a case to answer in regard to the massacres of Palestinians in occupied Lebanon.

A question for the protestant churches would be, are you clear why you are doing this and what are you trying to achieve? If it is an ethical approach to your investments what other areas are you considering in either avoiding or withdrawing monies in order to sustain an truly ethical approach to investment? Usury? The exploitation of child labour? Fair trade policies? If you are singling Israel out alone, then you lay yourselves wide open to applying a standard to them alone, and consequently using the cover of 'ethical' investment rather than an anti-Israel investment policy.

Personally, I have had for many years a long list of companies and countries I try to avoid buying products from. This is based on principles of ethical and fair trade purchasing strategies. Such strategies carry their own difficulties and are open to misinterpretation.

But as an Irishman, and was we who invented the term, I support the right of free peoples to boycott any who oppress, dispossess or exploit others. Whoever they are and no matter how well connected their lobby contacts are. (Captain Boycott was a landowner who used bully boy tactics on his tenants, raising rents and driving off those who could not pay or who he did not favour - The local population struck back in a way that captured the popular imagination and even the full panoply of the landed classes and the British Army could not turn the poor folks action).
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2004, 02:55:58 PM »

I'm especially angered by the appearance of Jewish conspiracy stuff over here. Surely Orthodox Christians-- any Christians-- have better things to do than to mutter about Jews taking over the world.

I haven’t been around long enough to have seen conspiracy theories such as that brought up, and I would think it would be a shame if they have been.  I don't see such a thing in this thread.  The problem to me, and I’ve run across this elsewhere, is that to be critical of the state of Israel instantly raises cries of anti-Semitism.

Certainly the history is convoluted as you stated.  During the British mandate of Palestine there were certainly Muslim leaders who showed their sympathies with the Nazis as they saw the rising tide of Jewish immigration from Europe changing the population balance before the start of WWII.  Since the failure of Arab nationalism of the likes of Nasser, the humiliations of the Six Day and Yom Kippur wars, we saw the rise of the Intafada and extremist terrorism.  Yet we know equally dubious things have happened on the other side.  There was the bombing of the King David Hotel, the emptying of Arab villages following WWII, the dirty war in South Lebanon in the 80’s and the bulldozing of houses we see in Gaza today.

The problem to me in general is that we are unable to maintain a critical balance, perhaps because the sins of our Western history cast too long of a shadow.  Clearly you’re dealing with an issue of a unique character when people such as Roy Blunt and Barney Frank or Alan Dershowitz and Pat Robertson are all singing the same song.  It is really our uncritical support of Israel (along with friendly autocratic regimes) since the Kennedy administration that has created so much of the Arab rage we now find directed at us.  Israel went nuclear without anything being heard from us.  It is now and has been for a while our largest foreign aid recipient.  I believe something like $3.6 billion this year (3.2 of which is direct military assistance).

We are generally pretty upfront, if not overtly active, in expressing our points of disagreement with the Arab world.  We don’t do the same with Israel, and unless we find a way to engage Israel in a critical manner, 9-11 will probably go down as the opening salvo in what might be a long running war.  
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