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January 24, 2008

Christian Silence Monitor -- Jan. 24, 2008

While Christian leaders in Jerusalem and their supporters in the U.S. have called on Israel to end the "seige" of Gaza, they have been predictably silent about violence and aggression against Israel. For example, where are the howls of outrage over Hassan Nasrallah's barbaric comments about Hezbollah's possession of Israeli body parts.

Reuters covered the outrage, which took place Saturday, Jan. 19, 2007.

"Oh Zionists your army is lying to you ... your army has left the body parts of your soldiers in our villages and fields," the black-turbaned leader said in a live speech transmitted to the crowd on a huge screen.

"Our mujahideen used to fight these Zionists, killing them and collecting their body parts. I am not talking about regular body parts. I tell the Israelis, we have the heads of your soldiers, we have hands, we have legs."

Nearly 1,200 people in Lebanon, mainly civilians, and 157 Israelis, mostly soldiers, died during the 34-day war.

"There is even a near-complete body, a half or three-quarters of a body, from head, to chest to the torso," said Nasrallah, who earlier walked among the Ashura procession. He last appeared in May at the opening of a book fair in Beirut.

What do the Heads of Christian Churches in Jerusalem have to say about this gruesome rhetoric?


Surely, the churches in the U.S. that have relentlessly condemned Israel for the past few years have something to say.

You must be joking. Go check a few of their websites devoted to the Middle East and their news services here, here, and here.

The National Council of Churches? Nothing. The World Council of Churches? Nothing. Churches for Middle Eeast Peace. Sabeel? Nothing. Nothing. Friends of Sabeel North America? Nothing.

At the time of this posting -- mid-afternoon EST Thursday, Jan. 24 -- five days after Nasrallah made these abhorrent remarks, the mainline community in the U.S. and its "ecumenical partners" have issued nary a word of criticism.

What exactly must Israel's adversaries do to warrant strong moral condemnation from these churches and the institutions they support? Palestinian rocket attacks don't seem to have much of an impact the refined mainline sensibilities -- until of course, Israel responds.

To be sure, these churches and para-church institutions are not obligated to respond to every act of violence or display of hostility against Israel, but given their repeated and persistent condemnations of Israel, one has to wonder exactly why these churches remain so persistently silent about outrageous misdeeds of Israel's adversaries.

The Israelis put a shovel to dirt at the foot of the Temple Mount and CMEP writes a letter. Hezbollah's leader boasts of possessing Israeli body parts and the organization says nothing. Hamas and Fatah duke it out in the streets of the Gaza Strip, and these churches say nothing.

These churches and the "peace" institutions they support have worked assidously to portray Israel as an aggressor nation while systematically suppressing, downplaying or omitting from their proclamations any information that would contradict this portrayal and demonstrate that Israel does in fact, face real threats that will not go away in the face of Israeli concessions and peace offers. Any information that would undermine faith in the "land-for-peace" prescription proffered by mainline churches is conveniently ignored, as if making this information available to church members and to the general society would contravene some more "truthful" and more "hopeful" narrative that will lead to "peace."

But ignoring or downplaying these facts undermines the pursuit of justice. And isn't it about "peace" AND "justice? Or is it about unilaterally disarming Israel while its adversaries lie in wait?

Posted by dvz at January 24, 2008 02:33 PM



Arun Gandhi's resignation from non-violence institute at the University of Rochester accepted; Gandhi claims he may return to his post in 6 months

It is noteworthy that Mr. Gandhi doesn't do himself any favors in the article [linked at the Anti-Racist Blog post above]. Arun is quoted as saying that the opposition to his anti-Semitic statements came primarily from the "the Jew-dominated Rochester community."

The permanence of the resignation is also cast into doubt by the article. Arun Gandhi is quoted as saying "In six months, this storm will blow over and I can get back to the institute, if necessary." I hate to break it to Mr. Gandhi, but his anti-Semitic statements will not be forgotten. The Institute and the University of Rochester would be wise to ensure that Mr. Gandhi does not return to his former position.

I hope that CAMERA ensures that Arun does not return to his former position.

Posted by: Anti-Racist Blog at January 25, 2008 09:30 AM

where does this statistic that 1200 people "mainly civilians" come from? i don't believe that those killed were mainly civilians.

Posted by: dubi at January 28, 2008 03:43 PM

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