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July 14, 2016

Christian Group Accuses WCC’s Peace Activists of Violating Israeli Law

EAPPI Walking.jpg
EAPPI activists in the West Bank. (Dexter Van Zile)

A subsidiary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), an umbrella organization that is comprised of more than 300 Protestant and Orthodox churches throughout the world, stands accused of violating Israeli law.

The organization is called the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel, (EAPPI) which was founded by the WCC in 2001. EAPPI trains and sends “peace? activists into the West Bank to draw attention to the misdeeds of Israeli soldiers and settlers under the banner of “accompanying? Palestinians as they go about their daily lives.

EAPPI activists who come mostly from Europe and North America, spend several months in the West Bank and when they return home, they provide first-hand testimony to promote anti-Israel activism. EAPPI activists are regular supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in mainline churches, for example.

Activists from the so-called peacemaking organization rarely, if ever, draw attention to the misdeeds of Palestinians, indicating that the EAPPI is really more interested in demonizing Israel than they are at promoting peace. (For a detailed analysis of the EAPPI and its parent organization, the World Council of Churches, please read this 2011 report prepared by CAMERA researcher Dexter Van Zile and published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs about the WCC’s anti-Zionist history. The upshot of this report is that “During times of conflict, WCC governing bodies, staffers, and activists have, to varying degrees, promoted a patently hostile attitude toward Israel and a permissive and appeasing attitude toward its enemies.?)

Given the WCC’s hostility toward Israel, it should come as no surprised that peace activists associated with the ecumenical body stand accused of violating Israeli law regarding visas. The allegations, leveled by the Christian Empowerment Council (CEC) appeared in an article published in Israel Hayom on July 12, 2016. The article states:

From their investigation into the EAPPI, which began in February of 2015, the CEC found that the activists arrived in Israel on tourist visas and not volunteer visas, as required by law. These BDS activists violate their tourist visas by masquerading as tourists.

If CEC’s allegation is true, it would not be the first time that EAPPI activists have exhibited contempt for Israeli sovereignty. In 2007, the EAPPI published an article calling on its supporters to “hack? government websites as part of a campaign to bring the “occupation? to an end. In the context of the article, it was perfectly clear that the author was calling on activists to hack Israeli websites. (The article was eventually removed from the Internet after it was exposed.)

CAMERA has queried EAPPI informing the organization of the allegations and asking for a response. If and when the EAPPI replies to the article, Snapshots will post the response.

Posted by dvz at July 14, 2016 12:00 PM


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