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Episcopal Church Bias in favor of Palestine Reveals Anti-Israel Hatred

Episcopal Church Bias in favor of Palestine Reveals Anti-Israel Hatred


By David W. Virtue, DD
May 12, 2024

When General Convention delegates gather in Kentucky in June they will discuss ten resolutions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Eight directly support the non-existent state of Palestine; one recognizes the Hamas slaughter of Jews and one "would reject the theology of Christian Zionism that sees a Jewish-led nation of Israel as a prerequisite for Jesus' second coming."

Most of the resolutions would hamper Israel's ability to fight Hamas by demanding that the US stop the flow of arms to Israel until it agrees to stop the war.

Stacy Anderson of the Diocese of Olympia, Washington, put it like this; "We need to not only stop the killing but build a lasting peace, which will require the dismantling of Israel's military occupation, the blockade of Gaza, its settlements and its systemic discriminatory laws favoring Israelis over Palestinians at every turn."

There you have it. Don't mention Hamas, the instigators of the war, blame Israel, dismantle its military 'occupation,' and allow Hamas to go back doing what they do best -- killing Jews with rockets and guns and any other weapon the terrorists can manufacture.

The Palestinian people have been under the thumb of Hamas for 17 years. There has been no democratic rule, no real business growth, no chance to make Gaza look like Qatar; just the unrelenting power of Hamas to go back to doing what they do - building tunnels to hide their true intentions -- the total destruction of Israel.

For Episcopal leaders to carry on as though the real enemy is Israel and not Hamas is disingenuous at best and horrific at worst.

"U.S. aid to Israel is in conflict with Episcopal policy, U.S. law, international law and the Gospel message, 'in as much as you have done to the least of these, you have done to me,'" Pricilla Read of the Diocese of Chicago said in her testimony May 2 on Resolution D012, entitled "Conditioning U.S. Military Assistance to Israel on Human Rights and a Negotiated Peace."

Since when has U.S. aid to Israel suddenly been against all these agencies? The U.S. has been supporting Israel since 1948 when Harry Truman recognized Israel's proclamation of independence on the same date. Since the 1960s, the U.S. has been a strong supporter of Israel. It has played a key role in the promotion of good relations between Israel and its neighboring Arab states--notably Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt--while holding off hostility from countries such as Syria and Iran.

Fifteen people argued in a resolution rejecting the theology of Christian Zionism that sees a Jewish-led nation of Israel as a prerequisite for Jesus' second coming.

Christian Zionism is not the guiding philosophy behind Bibi Netanyahu's war on Hamas. A Zionist is someone who advocates for an independent Jewish state where Jews can live in safety. To many religious Jews, Israel is 'the promised land'. But many non-religious Jews, too, value the fact that there is a country where Jews can live in freedom and safety. Nowadays, the word Zionist is often used as a swearword. As a negative label.

That millions of Christians support the state of Israel based on a theology of Jesus' return is problematic as Jesus himself said he did not know, neither did the angels, only the Father knew and he wasn't saying. (Mt. 24: 35-37). It is not unusual for Christians to side with the underdog. Jesus liberated women from an inheritance of sin and bondage. William Wilberforce helped end the slave trade and so on.

Another resolution would put The Episcopal Church on record as supporting the pro-Palestinian movement known as "boycott, divest and sanctions," which aims to apply economic pressure on Israel.

And what would that achieve? Sanctions will never happen and divestment will change nothing.

An article in The Atlantic noted that institutions of higher education hold close to $1 trillion in their endowments, much of it parked in index funds, hedge funds, and private-equity funds that invest in equities, bonds, derivatives, real estate, start-ups, and so on. They do not generally make individual investments themselves, meaning that divestment would not be as simple as executing a few stock orders.

Episcopalians are enormously naive about money and how it is spent, except when it dries up and dioceses are forced to merge, which is increasingly the case.

Kathleen Christison, of the Diocese of Rio Grande and a long-time member of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network, urged the church to join international human rights organizations and other Christian denominations in calling out Israel's system of oppression as "apartheid."

The "apartheid" label is a failed lie. The comparison with South Africa and Israel is ludicrous. As British journalist Melanie Phillips observed; "The claim is as fatuous as it is pernicious. Apartheid was the name given to South Africa's systematic oppression of its black inhabitants who were denied political, civic, and human rights."

"By contrast, Arab Israeli citizens have fully equal rights. They study in Israel's universities; enjoy Israel's beaches and parks; receive equal treatment as patients in Israel's hospitals and work there as doctors and other medical staff; serve as members of the armed forces and as judges; and are represented by members of Knesset who are currently lynch-pins in Israel's governing coalition."

One person who did understand the situation said this. Adam L. Gregerman, a Jewish professor at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and associate director of the Jesuit university's Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, testified against all the "apartheid" resolutions, calling them "anti-Israel," and he lamented the absence of language acknowledging the resurgence of anti-Semitism.

"Why is it that there's so many resolutions explicitly hostile to Israel, the one Jewish state, and not a word about other countries whose evil acts are far more worthy of attention and critique?" Gregerman asked, referencing Syria, Myanmar and Iran.

Episcopal Church's leaders have been on the wrong side of history on so many issues. For four decades they pushed against the binary world of sexuality and paid the price of a split church resulting in the formation of the Anglican Church in North America. They have written the book on supporting most of the woke issues of our time and watched as churches have bled out and died. Dioceses are now merging to stem the tide of losses.

Bashing Israel is another example of a failed policy that will only see the church further disintegrate. When you sow to the wind reaping the whirlwind is the consequence.

My YouTube interview with Dr. Gerry McDermott on the War in Israel can be seen here: https://youtu.be/98nNyRRWIz4?si=HEnsrJHU1eRYNjC2

My SUBSTACK scribblings on the Middle East can be seen here: https://substack.com/@davidvirtue2?utm_source=user-menu

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