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December 03, 2012

Global Ministries Finally Comes Clean on Makari Interview

Makari  Eyes Wide Shut.jpg
Peter Makari, Executive for the Middle East and Europe of the Common Global Ministries Board of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)(Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

Rev. Dr. Peter Makari, area executive for Europe and the Middle East for Global Ministries for the United Church of Christ and The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) spoke to a reporter from the American Free Press in earlier this year about a letter to Congress. The letter, sent to lawmakers on Oct. 5, 2012 was problematic, but the his decision to give an interview with the American Free Press was also a bad one. The publication was founded by Willis Carto, a man described by the ADL as ”one of the most influential American anti-Semitic propagandists of the past 50 years.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a press release calling for his ouster. CAMERA wrote about the interview, here and here and contacted the leaders of both the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ, asking about the interview.

After getting no response, CAMERA began corresponding with Conference Ministers in the United Church of Christ and Regional Ministers with the Disciples of Christ.

After sending out more than 70 notes about Rev. Dr. Peter Makari’s interview with the American Free Press, CAMERA obtained a statement from Global Ministries sent to officials in both the UCC and Disciples. It reads in part as follows:

In the flurry of press coverage … [Rev. Dr. Peter Makari] was contacted by a number of reporters seeking comment. A person purporting to be an independent writer contacted Peter, who conducted a cursory background check before speaking with him. No mention was made of American Free Press as the outlet. While the interview was factually accurate, Peter did not know that it was going to be published on the American Free Press site which is clearly a virulently anti-Semitic website. This was one of many interviews Peter did in his capacity as spokesperson for the 15 letter signatories and not specifically in his role within Global Ministries. It is not our intent to feed hate speech on either side of any issue.

It appears that Rev. Dr. Peter Makari did not know he was speaking to a writer for The American Free Press when he gave the interview.

Why didn’t Global Ministries come right out and say this once they realized what had happened? Why didn't Rev. Dr. Peter Makari say this as soon as the interview was published?

Update: It should be noted that if you google the name of the writer who interviewed Rev. Dr. Makari, (David Gahary), the first link to come up (after his personal website) is to American Free Press. Rev. Dr. Makari's background check must have been very cursory.

Posted by dvz at December 3, 2012 03:33 PM

Comments

The disingenuous lie in the church's response is even more insulting from the standpoint of offering it as such a lame excuse. Don't they require, or demand, that their reps vet their sources of information? To let it go on that basis is disgusting. And these people think they know anything about Jesus? I think that their pious ministry mouthings about morality are hypocritically countered by having to live with the fact of their jealousy, that their Jesus was a Jew. Therefore they can love and hate at the same time. How superficial these so-called men of the cloth are.

Posted by: Joel Steinberger at January 25, 2013 07:26 PM

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