Interestingly enough, the conference that the ELCA “Christian” synods are co-sponsoring includes a Muslim prayer service. (read here)
The conference is called “US Policy in Palestine-Israel: Engaging Faith Communities in Pursuit of a Just Peace.”
When I look at the program for the conference, maybe it is just me, but I don’t think this gathering is all that interested in making sure Israel gets a “just peace.”
Notice some of the topics they will cover:
- Challenging US Military Aid to Israel
- Divesting from Israeli Occupation
- Palestinian Christians & the Kairos document (read about the Kairos document here)
- Debunking Myths About Islam
- Muslim Contributions to Knowledge
- Peace by Piece
- Organizing Within the Churches
- Fair Trade – Canaan
- Ethical Travel to Palestine
- Inside Gaza Today
- Christian Zionism
- Organizing on Campuses
- Youth travels in Palestine
One of the scheduled workshops is titled “BDS - MN Break the Bonds.” (see here) I looked up “BDS” and found a description on the organization's website outlining who they are and what they are about. It said, “(t)he global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), established in 2007.” (see here)
A few other things I noted about this conference:
- Phyllis Bennis, a keynote speaker, was a founder and remains on the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation.
- The speakers seem to be Americans and Muslims who have the same political/Middle East view point.
- It is worth taking a look at who the other conference co-sponsors are. (see here)
- The conference information pages use bias language and Palestinian talking points which are decidedly intended to put the Palestinian cause and positions in the best possible light while at the same time vilifying the Israelis. (see here)
If these people want to hold a conference, they certainly have every right to do so, but why are these two Evangelical Lutheran Church in America synods supporting a Muslim prayer service and an Israeli-bashing symposium? Do you as ELCA members want your denomination to be associated with this kind of thing?
So in an effort to set the record straight on the quest for peace in the Middle East, please watch this six minute video.