As reported by Exposing the ELCA in a previous blog (read here) the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Mark Hanson, and his liberal religious leader friends wrote a letter to the U.S. Congress seeking to stop military aid to Israel. Proud of their work, the church leaders publicized their letter on the newswire. Well, what do you know? Jewish leaders found out about Hanson’s letter and are not at all pleased.
Here are some snippets from recent news articles addressing the situation:
“The letter, signed by 15 Christian leaders, including representatives from the National Council of Churches and a number of mainline Protestant denominations, provoked angry and articulate responses from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), and the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Rabbis (RA). The JCPA was spot-on when it said the letter represents an escalation in anti-Israel activity.” (read here)
"When religious liberty and safety of Christians across the Middle East are threatened by the repercussions of the Arab Spring, these Christian leaders have chosen to initiate a polemic against Israel, a country that protects religious freedom and expression for Christians, Muslims and others." (read here)
“The letter calling for hearings and reassessment was issued without outreach to longtime partners in public advocacy within the Jewish community. It was released on the eve of Shabbat, just before a long weekend of Jewish and American holidays. And it was distributed at a time when Congress is out of session, in the midst of the general election campaign.
We find these tactics to be disrespectful of channels of communication that have been constructed over decades, and an essential declaration of separation from the endeavor of interfaith consultation on matters of deep concern to the Jewish community. Indeed, we find this breach of trust to be so egregious that we wonder if it may not warrant an examination on the part of the Jewish community at large of these partnerships and relationships that we understood ourselves to be working diligently to preserve and protect.”
“. . .to selectively invoke the representations of a Jewish organization for their own purposes is reprehensible." (read here)
“It is outrageous that mere days after the Iranian president repeated his call for Israel’s elimination, these American Protestant leaders would launch a biased attack against the Jewish state by calling on Congress to investigate Israel’s use of foreign aid. In its clear bias against Israel, it is striking that their letter fails to also call for an investigation of Palestinian use of U.S. foreign aid, thus once again placing the blame entirely on Israel."
“ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, ‘These church leaders are basically saying that Israel should be bullied by financial pressure into concessions to the unreconstructed, terror-supporting Palestinian Authority (PA), which does not accept Israel as a Jewish state and has not fulfilled its 19-year old commitments under the signed Oslo agreements to arrest terrorists, dismantle terrorist groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder that suffuses the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps. In fact, the PA refuses to negotiate at all and has not done so for several years. Indeed, it is shocking that, despite all these things, these church leaders have not criticized the $600 million in U.S. aid to the PA or called for the PA to fulfill its signed commitments.
At a time when Americans are being assaulted in countries across the Middle East (other than Israel) and at a time when Egypt, the most populous Arab state, has fallen under the domination of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, whose leaders have spoken with gusto about the coming demise of America, these church leaders are obsessed with penalizing and pressuring one country – Israel. Their preoccupation with and animus against the Jewish state seems boundless and is not disguised with pompous and insincere talk about their ‘moral responsibility’ to call for restricting aid to Israel.’”(see here)
“Their letter to Congress contains a brief appendix elucidating why they think conditions are deteriorating. There we learn of restrictions on movement in the West Bank, though not of the many ways in which the Netanyahu government in recent years has loosened those restrictions. There is no mention, for example, of the recent steps by the government of Israel to assist the Palestinian Authority as it faces a financial crisis. We learn of Israel’s 'comprehensive blockade' on Gaza but not that Gaza has a border with Egypt — or that it is still not fully open. We are told that Israel killed thousands of unarmed Palestinian civilians but not that the churches rely for this information on data provided by anti-Israel NGOs or left-wing Israeli groups.
Those statistics show that a suspicious preponderance of the casualties are young males, hardly a cross-section of the unarmed Palestinian population. This too is an old story: NGOs claim a high number of civilian casualties, while the government of Israel claims that a high percentage of those wounded or killed were combatants. In one famous example, Hamas after the 2008–9 Gaza conflict admitted to numbers far closer to Israel’s official figures than to those of the NGOs. Of this issue the churches’ letter says nothing, simply accepting the numbers that critics of Israel supply.” (read here)
“you realize that there is essentially nothing that Israel has ever done to defend itself that these people have approved. They object to
• the security fence;
• travel checkpoints, even into Israel from the Palestinian territories;
• targeted attacks on terrorists;
• demolitions of homes known to be used by terrorists;
• any military presence by IDF forces in the West Bank;
• sea blockade of ships seeking to smuggle weapons into Gaza;
• air strikes in any form;
• ground incursions into the West Bank or Gaza.” (see here)
“. . .the letter will affect cooperation between the signatory organizations and the Jewish community, as the reactions of major American Jewish organizations already demonstrate.” (read here)
The ELCA has once again shown itself to be an enemy of the people of Israel and now the Jewish people know it.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11