Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Presbyterian Holy War: Divestiture In The West Bank

Presbyterian holy war
An Israeli gay couple walk with their daughter in the annual Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv, Israel, June 13, 2014.

Dear Alan,

Read below the New York Post editorial criticizing actions of the recent (last week)  General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA.

The vote was very close.

But perhaps that has to do more with the ineffectiveness of corporate stock devestiture as a means of bringing attention to wrongdoing. For me, the more effective statement is a reminder from the Bible: Deuteronomy 19:14 says "You must not move your neighbour’s boundary marker, set up by former generations, on the property that will be allotted to you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess."

Since 1967, Israel has been an occupying power of Jordanian territory in the West Bank. Since the 1990's, Israel has, at an increasing pace, established settlements in the West Bank. Palestinians who grew up on their family homesteads for generation are evicted and their homes, bulldozed.

I guess what bothers me most is the gullibility of the audience of the New York Post, the Fox News, and other media.

J (venting)


Presbyterian holy war

By Post Editorial Board
June 23, 2014 

How ironic that, as the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest from Israel, it also voted to recognize same-sex marriage.

It’s ironic for two reasons. First, because Israel is the only gay-friendly country in the Middle East. For example, this month’s 16th annual Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv drew over 100,000 participants.

Try doing that in Saudia Arabia, Yemen or Iran.

Second, because Israel is also the only place in the Middle East where Christian minorities can practice their faith freely.

The hypocrisy of the vote, which declared that the Presbyterian church “cannot profit from the destruction of homes and lives,” is underscored by the group’s silence on the slaughter in Syria and Iraq, not to mention the persecution of its fellow Christians elsewhere in the region — including by the Palestinian Authority.

Sad to say, the narrow vote (it passed 310 to 303) reflects a growing animus within the Presbyterian Church toward Israel.

Its Middle East advocacy group has published a virulent anti-Israel “study guide” that perpetuates the Zionism-is-racism canard. Though the Assembly distanced itself from the pamphlet, it refused to repudiate it.

Presbyterian officials claim the vote is not an endorsement of wholesale divestment from Israel — only from three firms (Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola) that “abet the occupation” by selling products such as military and surveillance technology.

But it’s telling that the Assembly rejected a suggestion to reinvest its $21 million in Israeli companies involved in “peaceful solutions.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by urging the Presbyterians to come visit Israel — and then take a bus trip through Libya, Syria and Iraq to compare. And he offered them “two pieces of advice” for their travels into these other lands.

“One is, make sure it’s an armor-plated bus,” he said. “And second, don’t say that you’re Christian.

Follow-up correspondence:

On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 11:07 AM, Fred Owens <> wrote:

Considering the dwindling impact of the Presbyterian Church and its shrinking congregations, do you think they will still be here 50-100 years from now?
Do you think the state of Israel will still be here 50-100 years from now?
I'll bet on Israel.

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

send mail to:

Fred Owens
35 West Main St Suite B #391
Ventura CA 93001

Dear Fred,

Thanks for your email.

I think everything is flux and all things pass.

That said, I think the Presbyterian Church is more likely to be here in a hundred years than a majoritarian Jewish Israel.

I also think Israel will be prompted to make necessary changes in its body politic by a growing movement to divest - a movement that is animated by Israel's apartheid government.

The broad outlines of this energizing movement will parallel those of the divestiture evoked by South African apartheid.

If one or another "constituent" of the divestiture movement dies along the way, the transcendentally important thing is the enduring work of "the body of Christ."

To anticipate your possible reply that South Africa might have been better off were apartheid left in place, I prioritize democratic sovereignty and understand that this intrinsically messy method of governance is imbued with the fundamental virtue of enabling people to make their own mistakes rather than have Marie Antoinette make them for you.

Pax tecum


PS What will die along the way is traditionalist Catholicism. Any movement that is too far removed from the truth of Reality necessarily withers. Half a dozen years before the fact, I predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union on these very grounds. (I also predicted it would be a bloodless implosion, with no need for violent intervention.)

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