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September 08, 2016

UCC Peacemakers Promote Antisemitic Organization

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A so-called "peacemaking" document produced for worship leaders in the United Church of Christ promotes the work of If Americans Knew, an organization led by Alison Weir, who has been condemned by both the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Voice for Peace. (Screenshot.)

There are a lot of problems with a recent “peacemaking” document produced by the United Church of Christ "peace" activists, but one problem stands out like a sore thumb — it highlights the work of “If Americans Knew” an organization that has been denounced by the far-left group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

The document is produced by the United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network (UCC PIN), which is affiliated with the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ. (The Massachusetts Conference processes donations to the UCC PIN.) Titled “Promoting a Just Peace in Palestine-Israel: A Guide for United Church of Christ Faith Leaders,” the text purports to educate UCC pastors about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Predictably, the document omits crucial information that reasonable people would need to know about the Arab-Israeli conflict before expressing an opinion about it. For example, the text describes Israel as having “conducted full-scale bombardments of Gaza in 2008, 2012 and 2014” without even mentioning the rocket attacks that preceded these wars.

Moreover, the word “Hamas” appears nowhere in the text, which is so indifferent to violence against Israel that it seems as if it is produced with the intent of sparking outrage on the part of American Jews and their leaders.

On page 21 of the document, the UCC PIN encourages UCC faith leaders to visit the websites of a number of well-known anti-Zionist organizations such as Friends of Sabeel North America, the US Campaign to End the Occupation and, amazingly enough, “If Americans Knew,” an organization led by Alison Weir, who comments about Israel have proven so hostile that Jewish Voice for Peace has declared that it will not work with her or the organization she leads. (A screenshot of the section that promotes “If Americans Knew” can be seen at the top of this blog entry.)

In a statement issued on June 15, 2015, Jewish Voice for Peace explained its decision to disaffiliate with Weir and her group as follows:

Weir has been a repeat and friendly guest of white supremacist Clay Douglas on his hate radio show, the Free American. Clay Douglas is concerned primarily with the survival of the White race and sees malign Jewish influence everywhere. His racist, anti-Jewish, and anti-gay rhetoric can be found across the front pages of his multiple websites.

In the course of Weir’s appearance with Clay Douglas on August 25, 2010, for example, she was silent when Douglas invoked the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and engaged in a racist diatribe against Jews. Her troubling associations and choices further include giving interviews to a range of far-right outlets including The American Free Press, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a hate group, and the anti-gay, anti-Jewish pastor Mark Dankof.

Interestingly enough, Rev. Dr, Peter Makari, a UCC staffer, has, like Alison Weir, given an interview to American Free Press, which promotes white supremacism, in 2012.

It took some work, but eventually, CAMERA was able to prompt the UCC’s Global Ministries Board to distance itself from this appearance.

For more information about the antisemitic agenda of If Americans Knew and its leader, Alison Weir, go to an ADL article available here. No "peacemaker" worthy of the name would ever invoke If Americans Knew as a reasonable source of information, but that's what UCC activists have done.

Hopefully, leaders within the UCC will take a closer look at the so-called peacemaking document produced by UCC PIN (and which is promoted on the denomination’s Twitter feed) and respond appropriately.

(For a list of articles detailing UCC’s hostility toward Israel, please go here.) The articles indicate that the denomination has had a problem with the Jewish state for a long time.

Update September 9, 2016

Just in case there's any doubt that the United Church of Christ is "promoting" the document briefly summarized above, and by extension, the work of If Americans Knew, here is a screenshot of part of an email sent out by the denomination's "Justice and Peace Action Network" (or JPAN) on September 8, 2016:

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JPAN is described on the UCC's website as "the arm through Justice and Witness Ministries of the UCC carries out its mission statement. It is our denomination’s grassroots advocacy network composed of individual members and local UCC congregations across the country."

In other words, JPAN, which promoted UCC PIN's document, is part of the UCC and the denomination is ultimately responsible for what it promotes to its members and to the general public, including this document.

Posted by dvz at September 8, 2016 05:00 PM

Comments

First off, let me say that I'm Jewish. I have a cousin who is a UCC minister. She and her husband visited Israel about a year ago. I asked her about her visit as I value her opinion on issues such as the Middle East. Needless to say I was both hurt and angered by her response. She said that she saw examples of racism by Israelis towards Palestinians. She said Zionism was a big disappointment. This type of rhetoric is so typical of people from both the PCUSA and UCC churches who visit Israel claiming to be witnesses to all the horrible things Israel is doing to the Palestinians. They are NOT witnesses. They're given scripts by their churches which have them look for the worst in Israel. I know of this first hand as there is a PCUSA/UCC blended church in my community that does this very thing, i.e. provides scripts to its church members who visit Israel. I've seen and heard these people get up in church and tell of their "witness" to the horrible things they see Israel do. All the blame is placed on Israel. Terrorism against Israelis by Hamas,etc. is never mentioned. I should mention that a member of this particular church had been foremost with leading the charge for BDS for more than twenty years. At this time I think of the words to the song Utzu Eitzah - Contrive a scheme but it shall be foiled, construe an evil plot but it shall not prevail, for G-d is with us. We should sing this song to these so called "witnesses" from these churches.

Posted by: Jim Robinson at September 15, 2016 02:29 PM

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