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Methodist supporters of Israel-related divestment regroup after setback

Jessica Vargo, chair of the Finance Administration Committee at the 2016 Methodist General Conference, gives direction during a committee meeting on May 12, 2016, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore. Photo courtesy of Rick Wolcott

PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) United Methodists who want their church to sanction Israel are regrouping after a committee at their denomination’s General Conference rejected four divestment or investment screening resolutions over the weekend.

Those resolutions “pretty much went down in flames,” said John Lomperis, the director of the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s United Methodist Action Program and an opponent of divestment.

The church, which has 7.2 million members in the U.S. and 12 million globally, turned down similar resolutions at its last conference. 

At this year’s quadrennial policymaking gathering of the church, supporters of selective divestment from companies to pressure Israel out of the Israeli-occupied territories now are rallying around several different plans for the 864 delegates to consider.

Divestment related to the territories has been a contentious issue at the conference, as it has been in other mainline churches, on college campuses and in trade unions in recent years. Divestment supporters say it can help Palestinians achieve independence. Anti-divestment groups say the strategy seeks to delegitimize Israel as a nation and ignores Palestinians’ role in the conflict.

Positive investments are not a substitute for divestment, according to Susanne Hoder, co-chair of the United Methodist Kairos Response, which had prepared the resolutions related to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

But, Hoder said, “Where we see opportunities to move forward together, we’re going to seize them, and I think we’ve demonstrated that in a conference where there are a lot of strong differences of opinion, we’ve managed to find a way forward to work together with people who have opposing views.”


RELATED: 6 things to watch at the Methodist General Conference


Of the four resolutions related to the Israeli occupation Kairos had prepared, one was voted down Saturday (May 14) by the church’s Finance Administration committee. Then three resolutions encouraging divestment were also rejected, according to the conference’s legislation tracker. The committee decided instead to favor a petition that had been amended into a general commitment to responsible investment.

Kairos Response now is supporting another amended petition, which commends the denomination “for developing investment policies that address human rights violations around the world,” according to Hoder.

Jonathan Kuttab is a Palestinian Christian who splits his time between Washington D.C. and Bethlehem in the West Bank

Jonathan Kuttab is a Palestinian Christian who splits his time between Washington, D.C., and Bethlehem in the West Bank, where he is chairman of Bethlehem Bible College. He came to the Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore., to voice his support for divestment from companies to pressure Israel to end occupation of Palestinian territories. Photo taken on May 16, 2016. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

The church already opposes the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and Palestinian Christian Jonathan Kuttab, who supports divestment, said divestment would turn its well-known positions “into something concrete — into action rather than just words.”

Kuttab — who splits his time between Washington, D.C., and Bethlehem in the West Bank, where he is chairman of Bethlehem Bible College — had come to the General Conference to express support for the proposed divestment resolutions. He says every Palestinian living inside and outside the territories has been affected by the occupation — adding that he has had to smuggle people to church in Jerusalem with him on Sundays.

This setback for divestment supporters came after the May 9 release of a letter from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, a lifelong Methodist, in which she opposed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as unfair to Israel and counterproductive to peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians.


RELATED: Hillary Clinton: ‘Make countering BDS a priority’


Lomperis, who also opposes divestment, said the move was positive, if a little surprising given the number of “Ask Me About Divestment From Occupation” buttons he’d noticed people wearing around the convention center. “Adopting any of these petitions would be a step toward darker days in Christian history,” given Christianity’s history of violence toward Jewish people, he said.

Delegates still could introduce the petitions about divestment related to Israel later this week, and Hoder, of the pro-divestment Kairos group, pointed out several individuals and groups — such as the United Methodist Young People’s Legislative Assembly and General Board of Church and Society — that had submitted the original resolutions to the conference and might be so motivated.

But Lomperis said it is “rare” at the General Conference for issues to be revived once committees have voted them down.

The question of BDS and Israel’s occupation has been a prickly one within mainline Protestant denominations, though the movement has been gaining traction. Though the Episcopal Church has rejected BDS efforts, the United Church of Christ in 2015 and the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2014 voted to divest from companies they deem complicit in the occupation.

The vote at the Presbyterians’ General Assembly came after hours of emotional debate in which supporters painted desperate pictures of Palestinians who live under occupation, and opponents decried anti-Semitic elements within the BDS movement and its failure to address Palestinians’ role in the continuation of the conflict.

Among the four resolutions pro-divestment delegates had hoped to offer at the General Conference this week, one called for the church to divest from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions, companies that have been criticized for supporting Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.

About the author

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.

About the author

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe has been a national reporter for RNS since 2011. Previously she covered government and politics as a daily reporter at the Charlotte Observer and The State (Columbia, S.C.)

174 Comments

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  • Nobody cares what you do to your church, but approving it might have doomed hillary.

  • But it is anti-Jewish to deny Jewish connections to Jerusalem, in particular, and the Holy Land, in general. And for that matter, it is anti-Christian as well. That is part and parcel of Karios’s objective. Anyone who thinks otherwise is dreaming in color.

    The conflict is not about “occupation”. The Palestinians walked away from three reasonable proposals for settling the conflict. In fact, Abbas refuses even to meet with the Israelis. The real grievance is against the Jews: they want the Jews simply to disappear from Palestine or at least to return to their traditional subservient status.

  • Those offering resolutions are Methodists whose faith motivates what they do. You can argue about their wisdom but not their motives. The Institute On Religion and Democracy is an outside special interest group with an agenda motivated not by their faith but by their political persuasion and the money their supporters give them. They are paid agitators. Follow the money and you’ll learn what they are really after.

  • The only place in the Muslim world where Christians can live in peace and security is Israel. What is surprising is that there are no initiatives to protect Christians in the Middle East from the ongoing genocide, only moves to destroy their only safe haven. Ask Mr. Kuttab how Bethlehem has fared under the PA rather than under direct Israeli rule. There are very few Christians left in Bethlehem, and the Muslim terrorists have used the Church of the Nativity as a hiding place, knowing full well that Israel would not harm it.

    The whole BDS movement is nothing but a movement to destroy the only Jewish state in the world. There’s no nice way to say it.

  • “Israeli occupation” keeps repeating in the text.

    Fred Maroun (a left-leaning Arab based in Canada, has authored op-eds for New Canadian Media, among other outlets. From 1961-1984, he lived in Lebanon) wrote the following, which would help put “Israeli occupation” in its correct context.

    The Arabs’ Real Grievance against the Jews (URL http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7953/arabs¬jews)

    The Arab world still does not today accept the concept of a Jewish state of any size or any shape.

    Even Egypt and Jordan, who signed peace agreements with Israel, do not accept that Israel is a Jewish state, and they continue to promote anti¬Semitic hatred against Israel.

    During Israel’s War of Independence, Jews were ethnically cleansed from Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, and in the years that followed, they were ethnically cleansed from the rest of the Arab world.

    Jews demand the right to exist, and to exist as equals, on the land where they have existed and belonged continuously for more than three thousand years.

    We would rather claim that the conflict is about “occupation” and “settlements.” The Jews see what radical Islamists are now doing to Christians and other minorities, who were also in the Middle East for thousands of years before the Muslim Prophet Mohammed was even born.

    The real Arab grievance against the Jews is that they exist.

    As Arabs, we are very adept at demanding that our human rights be respected, at least when we live in liberal democracies such as in North America, Europe, and Israel. But what about when it comes to our respecting the human rights of others, particularly Jews?

    When we examine our attitude towards Jews, both historically and at present, we realize that it is centered on denying Jews the most fundamental human right, the right without which no other human right is relevant: the right to exist.

    The right to exist in the Middle East before 1948

    Anti-¬Zionists often repeat the claim that before modern Israel, Jews were able to live in peace in the Middle East, and that it is the establishment of the State of Israel that created Arab hostility towards Jews. That is a lie.

    Before modern Israel, as the historian Martin Gilbert wrote, “Jews held the inferior status of dhimmi, which, despite giving them protection to worship according to their own faith, subjected them to many vexatious and humiliating restrictions in their daily lives.” As another historian, G.E. von Grunebaum, wrote, Jews in the Middle East faced “a lengthy list of persecutions, arbitrary confiscations, attempted forced conversions, or pogroms.”

    The right to exist as an independent state

    Zionism stemmed from the need for Jews to be masters of their own fate; no longer to be the victims of discrimination or massacres simply for being Jews. This project was accepted and formally recognized by the British, who had been granted a mandate over Palestine by the League of Nations. The Arab world, however, never accepted the recognition formulated by Britain in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and it never accepted the partition plan approved by the United Nations in 1947, which recognized the right of the Jews to their own state.

    The Arab refusal to accept the Jewish state’s right to exist, a right that carries more international legal weight than almost any other country’s right to exist, resulted in several wars, starting with the war of independence in 1948¬1949. The Arab world still does not today accept the concept of a Jewish state of any size or any shape. Even Egypt and Jordan, which signed peace agreements with Israel, do not accept that Israel is a Jewish state, and they continue to promote anti¬-Semitic hatred against Israel.

    The right to exist in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem

    In 2005, Israel evacuated all its troops and all Jewish inhabitants from Gaza, in the hope that this would bring peace at least on that front, and to allow the Gaza Strip, vacated by Jews, to be a flourishing Arab Riviera, or a second Singapore, and perhaps to serve as a model for the West Bank. The experiment failed miserably. This is a case where Jews willingly gave up their right to exist on a piece of land, but sadly the Palestinians of Gaza took it not as opportunity for peace, but as a sign that if you keep on shooting at Jews, they leave ¬¬ so let’s keep on shooting.

    There are many opinions among Zionists as to what to do about the West Bank. These opinions range from a total unilateral withdrawal as in Gaza, to a full annexation, with many options in between. At the moment, the status quo prevails, with no specific plans for the future.

    Everyone, however, despite the treacherous UNESCO’s rewriting of history, knows that before that piece of land was called the West Bank, it was called Judea and Samaria for more than two thousand years.

    Everyone knows that Hebron contains the traditional burial site of the biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs, within the Cave of the Patriarchs, and it is considered the second¬holiest site in Judaism. Every reasonable person knows that Jews should unquestionably have the right to exist on that land, even if it is under Arab or Muslim jurisdiction. Yet everyone also knows that no Arab regime is capable or even willing to protect the safety of Jews living under its jurisdiction from the anti¬Semitic hatred that emanates from the Arab world.

    East Jerusalem, which was carved away by the Kingdom of Jordan from the rest of Jerusalem during the war of independence, is part of Jerusalem, and contains the Temple Mount, the Jews’ holiest site. The Old City in East Jerusalem was inhabited by Jews up until they were ethnically cleansed by Jordan in the war of 1948-¬1949.

    In May 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion expelled all of the approximately 2000 Jews who lived in the Old

    City of Jerusalem, and then turned the Jewish Quarter into rubble.

    Although Israel has twice in the past, first under Prime Minister Ehud Barak then under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, offered East Jerusalem as part of a Palestinian state, that offer is not likely to be made again.

    Jews know that it would mean a new wave of ethnic cleansing, which would deny the Jewish right to exist on the piece of land where that right is more important than anywhere else.

    The right to exist in the Middle East now

    During Israel’s War of Independence, Jews were ethnically cleansed from Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, and in the years that followed, they were ethnically cleansed from the rest of the Arab world.

    Today, Israel’s enemies, many of them Arab, are challenging its right to exist, and therefore the right of Jews to exist, on two fronts: threats of nuclear annihilation and annihilation through demographic suffocation.

    Iran’s Islamist regime has repeated several times its intention to destroy Israel using nuclear weapons. Just in case Iran is not “successful,” the so ¬called “pro ¬Palestinian” movement, including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has a different plan to destroy the Jewish state: a single state with the “return” of all the descendants of Palestinian refugees. The refusal of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his predecessor Yasser Arafat to accept any two¬-state solution presented to them is

    part of that plan.

    The right to exist elsewhere

    Anti¬-Zionists claim that Jews are imperialists in the Middle East, as were the British and the French, and like them, they should leave and go back to where they belong. This analogy is of course not true: Jews have an even longer history in the Middle East than do Muslims or Arabs.

    Do Jews belong in Europe, which tried only a few decades ago to kill every Jew, man, woman, or child? Do Jews belong in North America where until a few hundred years ago, there were no Europeans, only Indians?

    Saying that Jews “belong” in such places is not reality; it is just a convenient claim for anti¬-Zionists to make.

    The Jews will not give up

    As Arabs, we complain because Palestinians feel humiliated going through Israeli checkpoints. We complain because Israel is building in the West Bank without Palestinian permission, and we complain because Israel dares to defend itself against Palestinian terrorists. But how many of us have stopped to consider how this situation came to be? How many of us have the courage to admit that waging war after war against the Jews in order to deny them the right to exist, and refusing every reasonable solution to the conflict, has led to the current situation?

    Our message to Jews, throughout history and particularly when they had the temerity to want to govern themselves, has been clear: we cannot tolerate your very existence.

    Yet the Jews demand the right to exist and to exist as equals on the land where they have existed and belonged continuously for more than three thousand years.

    In addition, denying a people the right to exist is a crime of unimaginable proportions. We Arabs pretend that our lack of respect for the right of Jews to exist is not the cause of the conflict between the Jews and us.

    We would rather claim that the conflict is about “occupation” and “settlements”. They see what radical Islamists are now doing to Christians and other minorities, who were also in the Middle East for thousands of years before the Muslim Prophet Mohammed was even born: Yazidis, Kurds, Christians, Copts, Assyrians, Arameans, and many others. Where are these indigenous people of Iraq, Syria and Egypt now?

    Are they living freely or are they being persecuted, run out of their own historical land, slaughtered by Islamists? Jews know that this is what would have happened to them if they did not have their own state.

    The real Arab grievance against the Jews is that they exist. We want the Jews either to disappear or be subservient to our whims, but the Jews refuse to bend to our bigotry, and they refuse to be swayed by our threats and our slander.

    Who in his right mind can blame them?

    © 2016 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved.

  • The UMC has no business coming against Israel unless they want the curses God promised in His Word.

  • Tom Downs – I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and allow that you are naive and uninformed.
    The Methodists offering these resolutions are anti-semitic, pure and simple. Any true Christian would stand with the Jews and Israel; not get in bed with these terrorists.

  • the most ironic thing is that BDS does NOT help the Palestinians. in fact, the only tangible effect BDS has had is in destroying jobs for Palestinians. when SodaStream closed its West Bank factory, about 600 Palestinians lost their jobs–good-paying jobs, with benefits. SodaStream had even built an on-site mosque for them so they could pray. it’s pretty obvious that BDS is all about Jew-hate and nothing else.

  • PRAISE THE LORD!! Common sense has prevailed, facts will always win from myths. ‘Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free’ .. (John 8:32) Well done United Methodist General Conference!

  • Never thought I’d find myself saying “bless the Methodists” but here goes: Bless those Methodists!

  • Correct. A LOT of Palestinians lost their good-paying jobs at SodaStream against their will when the company’s factory in the West Bank was forced by “BDS” proponents to relocate to elsewhere within Israel. Terrible.

  • Kairos is deeply bigoted. Shame on their double standards, when Christians are persecuted in Gaza.

  • The only Middle Eastern country with a Christian population that is increasing (and safe) is Israel.

    Jesus was an Israeli Jew, yet the Palestinian Authority try to pretend that he and the Apostles were Palestinian, even though they didn’t exist then!

  • Some people have been persuaded that harming the Jewish State promotes peace somehow. Naive or wilfully obtuse at best, anti-Semitic and hateful at worst. They are church people so a little Bible learning seems apposite: Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse …”.
    I can think of scores of examples of that precise outcome so tread wearily believers.

  • Note to the authors: If you are going to be real journalists, you need to report from a basis of facts and so make factual statements. There is no such thing as “Occupied Territories” (as used against Israel). Israel does not sit on a single millimeter of land that it does not have a full and modern legal right to be on. In fact, Israel has unilaterally given away land it rightfully had in order to make peace that never came.
    AND, more importantly, there is no such thing as a “Palestinian.” Until you can prove that there ever was an independent Muslim nation called “Palestine” or an ethnic people called “Palestinians,” the term is a political and subjective one, not a factual one.
    True journalists use qualifiers such as “alleged” or “misnomered’ or “so-called” to cover such vernacular. Any responsible editor would have caught such gross errors.

  • And for that matter, it is anti-Christian as well.

    Oh really?

    Tell me, book chapter and verse, where in the Bible it states that believers in Jesus have to recognize the modern state of Israel.

  • TIL that if you don’t give money to Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard, you hate Jews!

    That makes a ton of sense, thank you Joseph for explaining that so well.

  • Hey Methodists–get over yourselves and stop acting so…well, Christian! Jews do not need your permission to live on this planet, in our homeland, in all of our land that was ours long before the invention of your religion in a way that meets with your approval.
    So stop your imperialism about deciding what other countries are doing. Meanwhile, Muslims in Iran, Iraq and Syria to name a few countries, are doing more than b,d and s to the Christians living there.

  • As a tactic, BDS is not illegitimate. The problem is its sole focus on Israel – this exposes the hollow, racist core of the movement. When asked why BDS doesn’t target other nations with far worse human rights abuses, leading proponents have said, “well, we have to start somewhere.” And they’ve never, not ONCE, proposed any other nation. BDS, sadly, is a wolf in humanistic sheep’s clothing. And it’s essential to know that the end goal is not a state of Palestine, but an end to Israel. Imagine if all that energy, anger and focus had been devoted to building a state of Palestine. Former president Bill Clinton just said that the offer to Arafat under his presidency had been for all of Gaza, 96-97% of the West Bank and land swaps. It would be impossible today for that much of the West Bank to be in the offer. Every time the Palestinian leadership has rejected negotiations, the proposed state of Palestine has grown smaller and smaller (and not even contiguous). And instead, there have been violent pushes at Israel, which has only emboldened and rationalized rightwing Israeli behavior. In 1947, the partition would have given the Palestinians 60% of the land mass, with only 40% for the Jews. No one wants to acknowledge the basic truths that the Palestinian leadership makes too much money fomenting violence, and Fatah and Hamas would need two states just between themselves. I don’t believe that every proponent of BDS is an anti-Semite. But yes, anti-Semitism is an ingredient in BDS’ entire existence.

  • Point of fact: it is the “administered territories”. You can not occupy a county that never existed.

    No one seemed to be bothered when Egypt invaded and then annexed Gaza, and Trans-Jordan invaded and annexed Judea and Samaria and renamed it “The West Bank” of Trans-Jordan.

    But still, it is an “administered territory”, of which the PA has administrative control of 97% of the area.

  • Where in the bible does it state that believers in Jesus do not have to recognise the modern state of Israel.

    Citation please.

  • One must remember that ancient Israel included all of Gaza, Samaria and Judea, and most of what is today’s Jordan. Modern Israel is still on land of ancient Israel.

    BTW, what is your point?

  • The main issue is that there are two narratives at play and Palestinians do not seek to understand the Jewish narrative, even as Jews have come to understand the Palestinian one. Palestinians believe that BDS and terrorism, an anti-colonial tactic used to drive foreigners back to their homeland will work to free all of the land not just the parts that are designated for a future Palestinian state. Hamas and most other Palestinians cannot understand why terrorism is not working to expel Jews, a people they see as foreigners.

    However, terrorism doesn’t work on indigenous peoples, like Jews, who are already see themselves as living in their ancestral homeland. Jews are not running away from Israel to Europe, like previous “occupiers” in the Arab lexicon, instead Jews are running away from diaspora lives in Europe to live in their ancestral home in Israel.

  • It’s well known that the organized BDS movement is not seeking real peace between Palestine and Israel. They’re seeking a “one-state solution,” i.e., a nation consisting of the entire historic Palestinian region composed of Arabs and Jews that would, demographically, be majority Arab and thus consign the Jews to the same situation they suffered under in Europe and which modern Zionism was created to end. While the link I’m posting is not a peer-reviewed scientific study published in a major journal, you wanted a citation so here it is: http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/05/16/will-methodists-choose-peace/

  • Christians are being slaughtered from Pakistan to Egypt, to Syria and throughout a good part of the Islamic world. It took a Jew, Ron Lauder, to alert the world to this slaughter. Apparently the masses in the Islamic world want to make their existence, Judenrein and Christianrein.

  • Dear Methodist BDS supporter

    There is a small country in the Middle East (hint: it borders the Mediterranean) where even though you were born in that country, just because you’re an Arab Palestinian, you require a special permit in order to work. Needless to say, unemployment among Arab Palestinians is rife. Even if you do get a work permit, dozens of professions are closed to you, because you are an Arab Palestinian, even though you were born in that country. You cannot be a doctor or a lawyer or a judge or an accountant or an architect. You cannot join the armed forces of that country. As an Arab Palestinian, even though you were born in that country, you are not permitted to own land or a house. You are not permitted to study at University, to be treated with others in hospitals, to enjoy social welfare benefits, even though you were born in that country, just because you are an Arab Palestinian. The mistreatment of Arab Palestinians in this country has been cited in United Nations reports. This is apartheid. If you cared about the plight of Arab Palestinians in this country, you would boycott the products of that country, you would sail with an anti-apartheid flotilla, you would hold anti-apartheid rallies against this country.

    We all know the name of this small country in the Middle East which borders the Mediterranean Sea. The name of the country is………Lebanon. However, let’s be honest. You have no intention of protesting for Arab Palestinian rights in Lebanon or for their rights in any of the surrounding Arab countries such as Egypt, Syria or Jordan, where Palestinian Arabs face major discrimination. Nor will you stand up for the rights of Arab Palestinians living under the Palestinian authority in Judea and Samaria or under Hamas in Gaza, with its corruption and theft of public funds and aid, its rampant discrimination against women, gays, and Christians. A place where dissenters of these regimes are taken out and shot in the streets or dragged until their deaths chained to trucks or motorcycles.

    I believe there is a reason for your not protesting apartheid discrimination against Palestinian Arabs in Lebanon and throughout the Arab Middle East. The reason is that you do not really care about the plight of Palestinian Arabs, they serve no purpose unless they can be used as a weapon to spread lies and hate against the Jewish State. Perhaps you are truly ignorant of the truth, but there is no denying how willing you are to believe and spread the false and specious libels that the Jewish State of Israel is one of “apartheid” and of “genocide”.

  • The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity and must enjoy shooting themselves in the foot.

  • To understand why Christian Arabs side with Muslims against Jews even though it is the former who persecute them and the latter who don’t, one must understand that Middle East Arabs are brought up to hate all who differ from them, and non-Arabs are their priority. After the Jews, Persians, Kurds and Blacks are gone, the Christian Arabs will be happy to tackle the Muslims, as the Maronites did in Lebanon, during the brutal civil war from 1975 to 1990. Their antisemitism has nothing to do with how the Jews treat them (or how the Muslims do, either).

  • As a Jewish son of Holocaust refugees who were resettled in Indianapolis thus allowing me, in roundabout ways, the profoundly relevant blessing of birth per se, along with the equally relevant blessing of the peaceful serenity of my birth at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, I have always harbored a quiet soft spot for Methodists, and for Hoosiers — and for all Americans — who helped win the war among other things. In my own quiet way I believe the Jewish presence in America has rewarded our blessed and benevolent host nation. (E.g., “White Christmas;” God Bless America” and “Over the Rainbow”).

    I am now 61 and have lived in Florida since age 8 (and won a bet several years back with some folks from Indianapolis who drove by Methodist Hospital regularly but who, unlike me, DID NOT remember that there yet remains a lighthouse atop the hospital (or at least it was there during a visit in about 1991!).

    The point here is: I am gratified to learn of this “BDS” movement stumbling block. The squeaky wheel of BDS that is getting greased here, there and everywhere is finally starting to fall off its rotted axle.

    As I read the daily bombing report of coreligionists on each other, with suicide vests, beheading swords, and machete-bearing ‘dissenters’ — it strikes me that Palestinians (a made up name really, not so very long ago) who have summarily executed those even suspected of collaborating with Israel (with only an eye toward effecting peace after all, not death) are living in one of the safest places in the Mideast and central Asia — provided he or she does not launch rockets on the farms and towns of Israel.

    As for so-called apartheid, I just emailed to friends a YouTube clip of the South African Parliament member who this week politely but firmly disabused a questioner of the notion there is a parallel.

    Go Methodists!

  • Israel is not occupying “Palestinian lands.” Israel is occupying land in Western Palestine all of which was given to the Jews in which to reconstitute their historic homeland at the end of World War I by the international community via the 1920 San Remo Resolution, the 1922 Mandate for Palestine, and the 1924 Anglo-American Treaty. What’s more, Article 80 of the U.N. Charter preserves the rights of all peoples given them by previous legal instruments. Western Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea (though actually only a tiny strip of land), constitutes the Land of Israel. Jews, and Israeli Jews, have a legal right to “occupy,” or settle on, any vacant land there not already occupied or owned by non-Jews. When an Israeli settlement has been found to impinge on privately owned Arab land, Israeli courts have ordered the settlement moved. A case in point is that of a settlement called Migron.

    Jews have lived in Western Palestine for more than 3,000 years, despite persecutions, pogroms, and dispersions. Arabs came as invaders from the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century A.D. There has never been any state called Palestine. Rather, this was an area in the Ottoman Turkish Empire, and this Empire was dismantled at the end of World War I, with the lion’s share going to Arabs and Muslims. If you want to see how tiny Israel is compared to Arab/Muslim lands, look at Philippe Assouline’s Map of the Middle East at http://tinyurl.com/pz7yjmd.

    Many people in the world seem to have forgotten international law and history. But I have not forgotten.

  • Hi Rusty – quite obviously, there is no such Scripture ” As a Christian, you have to recognize the modern state of Israel ” – however, there are plenty of Scriptures from Genesis to Revelations addressing this very subject from many different angles … even a simple Google search shall provide you with much information.
    Are You a Christian?
    I am a Christian – a Bible-believing follower of The God of Israel.
    I would gladly engage in some honest discussions with you – but I am not interested in any political mud-slinging.
    Regards – B.

  • Good to see the Methodists slapping down the antiSemities. They should be expelled or put to death. Filth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • No problem, Rusty. I see from some of your earlier posts, you need as much help as possible.

  • Well said, Dedalus! There’s also the issue of why anyone would consider the disputed land as “Palestinian.” The only reason it was demographically dominated by Arabs in 1967, when Israel captured it, was because Jordan ethnically cleansed every Jew from the land, when Jordan captured it in 1948. Jordan desecrated Jewish cemeteries and synagogues, even using ancient tombstones to pave roads and build latrines. East Jerusalem has only been Jew-less when invading powers have exiled the Jews. Otherwise, there was constant Jewish presence for over 3000 years. Same for Judea/Samaria. This is my long-winded way of saying the territories were not “occupied;” they were recovered.

  • Would you rather “recognize” an Arab state which institutionally supports terrorism, to the point of naming kids’ soccer matches and day camps after suicide bombers who murdered hundreds of Jews? Go to Palestinian Media Watch and click on the section describing how they indoctrinate kids to murder Jews. Doesn’t sound very Christian to me. Don’t be so quick to give a state to people who are not morally equipped to run a state (at least not any kind of state the world needs right now).

  • Hi Georg (?) – thank you for your comment
    I have lived in SA since 1967. Apartheid as it was practised here was a terrible scourge inflicted on the majority of the SA population – comparing it to the modern, democratic State of Israel is a downright LIE and every right-thinking person inside SA knows it.
    You are quite correct > the Palestinian Arabs can count themselves lucky to have Israel as their neighbour – if it were not for Israeli ‘occupation’ (HA – what RUBBISH!) no doubt the customary Arab strife would overwhelm them in no time flat …. and lately more and more Palestinian Arabs are coming forward to say so, too.
    The true reason for the now almost world-wide Hate of Israel – and the Jew in general – can be found in Your Holy Books – the Christian Bible > a struggle between the Powers of Good (God) and evil (Satan/Lucifer) … but we know also Who will be ‘The Winner-Man’ – don’t we?
    Shalom from Cape Town – B.

  • This is a beautiful response Bridgette: I am a reluctant blogger, and so it is frankly astounding to receive such a reinforcing response, not just from some ‘me too’ person somewhere in the world but a person in South Africa! Thank you and be well, to one, from another, who revels in life!

  • disgusting… i love how the liberal christians seek to destroy israel, the only jewish democratic nation in the middle east, where christians have the most freedom, where women and gays can live openly and without fear…. and in place they want to give “independence” to the Palestinians, a people created based on lies and hatred of jews and who will create a “state” based on islamo-fascist ideology.

  • Thank you for the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps you might consider that the folks at the Methodist Convention deserve the benefit of the doubt too. The issue has been well studied and there is no naivete involved, just a difference of opinion of what the Christian faith requires of its adherents. Besides, please note that my comment was a caution about accepting at face value anything coming out of the Institute on Religion and Demoncracy.

  • Yes – indeed, Planet Earth has become a regular ‘global village’ via the world-wide net … there are no borders on the internet!
    As a son of Holocaust refugees, your roots are somewhere in Eastern Europe, I presume … and by The Grace of The Almighty and the diligent foresight of your parents – you now reside in ‘the Land of the Free’ – America. I was also born ‘over there’ – in Lithuania, which has one of the worst and most shameful Holocaust records … and may The God of Israel forgive my forebears (and in succession, me too)
    Therefore, it is a peculiar AND a particular Joy and Blessing to me to be privileged to share with you and to be of One Accord with You.
    Am Israel Chai …. because The God of Israel Lives!

  • This is what unbiased people would call “Collective Punishment” wherein all the citizens of Israel – Jew, Arab and Christian, plus not a few Palestinians themselves, would suffer.
    Blame and criticize the Likud, voted for by all segments of Israel’s population, including the Arabs if you want, but for what righteous purpose do you think you are going to achieve by supporting BDS?

    Also, why are there no boycotts of Arab companies and countries? Do you support rape, misogyny, slavery, summary executions, Female Genital Mutilation, 1000 lashes for political prisoners as practised in many Arab countries, or do you think Israel is worse than the barbaric countries who practice it? Perhaps you are naïve to think that by being nice to the barbarian he will become civilized and emulate you? No, he will think you are weak in your faith and have doubts in the truth of your religion.

  • Maybe it is a matter of do you support Hamas, ISIS, Abbas, the corrupt Palestinian Authority, misogyny, rape, summary executions, corruption, misuse of your tax-funded donations to the Palestinian Authority? If so, then you are no more a Christian than Mohammed.

  • Wonderfully written. I thought about using BDS against the Arab nations…but I couldn’t find anything they produce!

  • The irony is that all those anti-Israel people approve of all the real murderers, especially in the Arab countries, that not only kill those of whom they consider enemies but their own brothers, in the name of religion! They are also too ignorant to understand that the first to get hurt by all that so-called divestment (but in fact, we are talking about boycotts, which are against democracy and free speech, especially when related to the academia) are the Palestinians themselves, who are working in those companies in order to provide! Have any of your countries ever let their enemies, potential terrorists among them, legally enter (checked beforehand at the check posts to try to thwart terror actions- and everyone complains about that check…) to your country to work there? No! The authorities in your country would shoot them if they just get close to your border. But Israel does let them in, and they, instead of being grateful, return in murders of children, women and families!!!

  • It is great that UMC is considering various alternatives for standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people in there struggle for equal rights and freedom from the oppressive Israeli military occupation.

  • Anyone who wishes to see proof of G-d’s miracles all around us can look at two easy ones: first, that terrible ‘tragedy’ of the great dinosaur extinction (i hope they did not suffer too much), which, with a little patience, wrought the highly convenient and literal ocean of squished dinosaur blood that we “discovered” not so long ago and which fuels most of the world (light, personal transport, heating and air conditioning, flight, shipping, movies, and even cellphone chargers, not to mention everything that is also fashioned FROM it (and like the “whale oil” before it, and like the miracle of Hanukkah before that, we have “just enough” to last until the replacements start to come on line — again!

    Second: Israel’s birth (the event which ’caused’ the so-called Palestinians, who keep doubling down on their initial bet to exterminate us AT BIRTH, and, Israel’s CONTINUING existence (including thousands of rockets “missing”) since then. Of course, the rockets are supposed to also make Israeli’s ‘sad;’ but a recent poll shows they are among the happiest people on earth! And this, while fighting off the equivalent of what more and more is resembling a zombie invasion from all sides!

    AS IF THE PALESTINIANS , who teach their youngest to hate and kill, could not have achieved peace if that is all they really wanted! Ask Prime Minister Begin when the bus bombings intensified; hint, it was when the accords were signed, not because they weren’t! (And why is Anwar Sadat dead again, please remind me? Israel ‘didn’t want peace? No, that’s not quite right is it!)
    Try this simple test at home: be a Palestinian and say on a busy street corner in Gaza that the Jews aren’t so bad and peace should be negotiated. Now set your stop watches till death comes. Now try the same thing in Israel. No biggie. Happens all the time. It’s an old saying but quite true: they lay down their arms totally — no more war, and a lasting peace will ensue. Israel lays down its arms: no more Israel — but the victors will go right back to killing each other.

  • There is zero doubt in my mind that those who are anti Israel are anti-Semitic. Of course Israel is not a perfect nation. But there are many nations in the World and some people are obsessed with Israel. There has to be a reason for that and my conclusion is that these people are anti-semetic. And of course some of them are Jewish. George Soros was a good example of that.

    I am not a Methodist but I have been on the Advisory Board of my local Salvation Army unit. The Salvation Army is part of the Methodist Church so so I have a lot of respect for the Methodist Church and am glad to see they are slapping down the haters within their organization .

    Hating is not very Christian.

  • Very nice.
    For the most part, the Jew quietly says to the Methodists and others: please, PLEASE do as Jesus taught!!!! What did he say at the end of his ordeal, “avenge me down to the last generation!” No, that doesn’t sound quite right. Yet, how could so many have carried away precisely that message!

  • They even have an expression for this. First the Saturday, and then the Sunday.
    The Muslims have a Friday Sabbath, the Jews have a Saturday Sabbath, and the Christians a Sunday Sabbath.

  • Exactly. These “BDS” types are nothing more than anti-Semitic racist bigots. Any examination of their cheerio confirms there he are not seeking peace, rather the destruction of Israel.

    Christian denominations falling for this totallydishonest propaganda narrative are enabling this bigotry and should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Easy for Christians to forget at times one very central fact about Jesus – – he was Jewish!

  • It helps to remind people of the circumstances of Middle Eastern Jews at the time of modern Israel’s Declaration of Independence.

    At that time, Middle Eastern Jews had been 1) evicted from Jordan even though many of their families had lived there for many hundreds of years; 2) subjected to threats of total annihilation from the likes of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, whom Arafat called a Palestinian “national hero;” — the Mufti had organized Muslim SS troops in Bosnia and wiped out the Jewish population of that country; 3) subjected to random, periodic Muslim-led pogroms and on and on and on — Jews in the Middle East at this time were hardly any safer than they had been in Hitler’s Europe!

    There was no other place for them to go, and no possibility of their being secure with Muslims holding power over them.

    Despite those egregious circumstances, in 1947 Jews accepted, but Arabs rejected a two state solution.

    And, in marked contrast to the Arabs’ vow to “drive the Jews into the sea,” Middle Eastern Jews wrote these words into Israel’s Declaration of Independence:

    “WE APPEAL – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

    WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.”

    THAT is what Arabs initiated a war of attempted annihilation against.

  • In relation to the vicious bigotry and lies involved in a lot of anti-Israel hate speech, the following needs to be clarified: Many anti-Israel people who openly call for Israel to be destroyed, turn around and use the canard of “Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic.”

    It must be stated that portraying Israel in ways similar to how Jews are portrayed in “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” absolutely is anti-Semitic. And, disseminating the opinion that the Jews of Israel, and Israel itself, must be wiped out also is anti-Semitic, the more so that 50% of all Jews in the world live in Israel.

    The majority of Israeli Jews today do not have European origins — though the “Wipe Israel Out” crowd has as one of its favorite propaganda “factoids” the notion that Israeli Jews all came from Europe. The majority of Israeli Jews today are either from Arab Muslim-majority countries or descendants of Jews from those countries. Jews in those countries were always in a relatively precarious position — in each country throughout history from the earliest Muslim conquests these Jews’ ancestors were subject to periodic pogroms, or being treated as dhimmis required to pay special higher taxes than others, and other abuses.

    Notably, in the 1800s, Jews from Yemen, fleeing persecution there, founded what would become Tel Aviv in an empty area outside Jaffa. By 1947, the U.N. offered a two-state resolution accepted by Middle Eastern Jews but overwhelmingly rejected by Arabs, whose only counter-proposal was a war with the pre-announced goal of “Driving the Jews into the sea.”

    In Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, Jordan annexed the West Bank and ethnically cleansed all Jews from it. (Previously when Jordan was formed in 1921, it ethnically cleansed all Jews from its territory). Jordan also annexed East Jerusalem, at a time when Jerusalem had a Jewish majority, and ethnically cleansed all Jews from the Jewish Quarter of the city and then systematically destroyed historical evidence of a Jewish presence there — including the destruction of many structures hundreds and even thousands of years old.

    Any demonizing of Israel – talking about the country as though it had no right to exist, and/or without acknowledging its struggle to survive in the face of enemies who want it wiped off the map is blatant anti-Semitism (characteristic of prejudice against and hatred towards Jews).

    Every single day you have rampant incitement and children being taught to hate Israel and to hate the Jews. It has to stop.

    When you live in a society where the firefighters are the heroes, little kids want to be firefighters. When you live in a society where athletes and movie stars are the heroes, little kids want to be athletes and movie stars.

    In Palestinian society, the heroes are those who murder Jews. We can’t let this continue. We can’t let this happen any longer.

    You cannot achieve peace if terrorists are treated as martyrs. Glorifying terrorists is a tremendous barrier to peace. It is a horrible, horrible way to think.

    In Palestinian textbooks and mosques, you’ve got a culture of hatred that has been fomenting there for years. And if we want to achieve peace, they’ve got to go out and they’ve got to start this educational process. They have to end education of hatred. They have to end it and now.

    There is no moral equivalency. Israel does not name public squares after terrorists. Israel does not pay its children to stab random Palestinians.

  • The Hebrew Scriptures are part of the Christian Bible, so if you don’t believe in the Hebrew Scriptures, are you even a Christian? Yeshua lived at a time when Judea and the Temple still existed. The connection was self evident and there was no need to say anything about it.

  • Well, unfortunately, there are also people of the Israeli political left who spread out those lies and “The Palestinian Narrative”, and they have managed to “sell” those lies, because most of the world is totally ignorant about the truth! Israeli Arabs don’t need any permit to work, or do anything else for that matter; they study at the Jewish universities, and – how ironic – even are permitted to have a protest within the university against Israel, putting up the enemies flag, and having a stage (mic) at the Israeli media to say all the lies about their past and present. They can work in any profession, they build (many times illegally) nice houses for themselves, they serve in the Israeli army if they wish, and they enjoy the freedom no Arab person has in any Arab country!

    Moreover, Palestinians don’t live in Israel, only Israeli Arabs, although in recent years (about 15), once again initiated by the Israeli left, they call themselves by that name. By the way, there has NEVER been any other state in The Land of Israel but a Jewish one, neither Arab, nor Muslim, nor Christian etc. The name was The Land of Israel for centuries, and the name Palestine was given to it by temporary conquerors, and after they left, the state was called again The Land of Israel. The latest and last conquerors were the British, who got a Mandate over Israel, and even then they issued a British passport to anyone (who could afford to pay for that…), Arab, Jewish etc., on which it was written “Palestine – (The Land of Israel)”, and the citizenship was Israeli!!! If I could upload photos of such passports, I would have shown you them.

    Israel was always there- it wasn’t established in 1948; it was so-called re-established following its political recognition as a State (The State of Israel) by the UN. Many years prior to that it has had functioning state-run regular national offices that continued to run upon the re-establishment of The State of Israel!!! A reminder: Israel, according to the UN resolution, was willing to become even smaller than it was prior to the Israeli War of Independence (1948), waged on her by seven Arab armies as a result of the Arab countries’ refusal to accept the UN resolution- they wanted it all! Should they got it they would have kept their promise to throw all the Jewish Israelis to the sea! Lucky us, our grandparents, parents and uncles and aunts gave their hearts and lives to give us life. On the other hand, the Arab leaders called upon the Israeli Arabs (everyone were so-called Palestinians- Arabs, Jews, Christians etc., under the British Mandate) to leave Israel, because “we’ll conquer it all, throw the Jews to the sea, and you will have more than you have now!” (yes, there were some deportations, not many, by the Israeli army; but, on the contrary, in most cases the Israeli Officers called the Israeli Arabs to stay, promising them they will come to no harm! There are written testimonies by that time
    Syrian Foreign Minister [“We should admit that we have caused the Arab refugees problem by ourselves!”], and British newspapers).

    Just a quick mentioning regarding the Six-Day War, yet another one initiated by the Arab states, they luckily lost again: yet another ignorance, also among Israelis! Israel did not conquer most of the places inhabited by Palestinians (yes, in Jordan…) or Bedouins (in Sinai, which was a no-man land adjacent to Egypt), but rather conquered it back- in 1948 the Jordanian legions conquered those Jewish places, such as East Jerusalem and Gush-Etzion, and the Egyptians conquered Jewish places like K’far Darom. And the same story goes for the Syrians. Nevertheless, Israel, in good face and eager to have peace with its neighbors (enemies), has given “back” a lot of Jewish land, such as Gush Katif, an area where Jewish families have built beautiful homes and prosperous enterprises, giving well-paid jobs to Gazans and other Arabs. When being evacuated from their homes and properties after 30 years, they have left it all for the Gazans, but instead of keeping that to make a living the latter destroyed it all, starting with the synagogue!!! So, yet again the Israeli good will resulted – instead of the promised peace – in more hatred, more animosity, more terror on part of the Arabs, teaching (in school) and training their children since infancy to kill Israelis and Jews!!! But for the rest of the world murdering Israelis, until this very day, does not count as an act of terrorism, and they keep encouraging that by promoting the terrorists in their media, and by demanding that Israel give more of its land “for peace.” How sarcastic and shameless!!!

    … Let me get back to the present time- issuing work permits: those Arabs who get work permits to work in Israel come from the West Bank area of the Palestinian Authority, and despite the fact that they are enemies of Israel, and there are terrorists among them, the Israeli government issues work permit for them to enable them to provide, but many of them are not grateful, but rather take advantage of the Israelis’ good heart (Israel also provide the Gazans with food, medicines, concrete [which they use, instead of for rebuilding houses, to build tunnels for the use of their terrorists, trying to penetrate underneath the border into Israeli houses to kill the Jewish families], and Israeli hospitals and doctors take care of enemies’ children and adults even at times of war!!!), and in return they try hard to kill as many Israelis as they can, including babies and whole families!!!

  • “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – Jesus Christ. BDS are anti Christianity as well as being anti Israel and Jewry. There is no defense for BDS as it is harmful to all those it seeks to help. To me it sounds like BDS is inspired by Islam for the good only of Islam.

  • I respect your obvious aiming for a fair, objective approach… but there’s a very fine line between seeing both sides of a story, and merely tossing coherence & logic out the window.

    If you apply to the Palestinians themselves (& their ’cause’) the same laudable standards that you have espoused regarding the ‘hollow, racism’ of the BDS movement—-of fairness, of holding all nations or peoples to the same standards of justice, of looking clearly & honestly at the facts—then you wouldn’t consider Palestinian statehood quite such a fair or desirable outcome, much less a historical imperative.

    This is a ‘people’ that only formed an nationalist identity in reaction to the Zionist yishuv in Israel gathering momentum—and this goes double for all their phony sympathizers among the other nations, Arab, European, et al: All the time Jordan controlled the West Bank, no one was crying in anguish for the creation of a Palestinian state. Why not?—didn’t they have their own identity, independent of ‘Arab’ or ‘Muslim? Of course not—this exposes the BS that lies at the heart of all the talk of a ‘Palestinian homeland’.

    Moreover, the Palestinians have accomplished & produced virtually nothing as a civil society (like every other Arab state in modern times) —other than to make suidical, homicidal hatred & despair their creed—actually taught in their schools! Why on earth would anyone who is fair or rational feel a yearning—in the name of historical justice, of all things— to grant this group of people a state, one which never before existed in history?

    With all the strife & oppression in the world, how can anyone who claims to care about increasing justice & freedom on a global scale think that one more repressive, corrupt Arab state built on undemocratic, illiberal principles–and born out of people’s embrace of a false, inherently anti-semitic alternate version of history—would make the world any better?

  • Well you don’t know scripture because those who don’t will have their branches taken off as Romans 11
    11Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!
    13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
    17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
    22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
    All Israel Will Be Saved
    25I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26and in this waye all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
    “The deliverer will come from Zion;he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.27And this isf my covenant with them

    when I take away their sins.”g 28As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may nowh receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. says…I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you…says the Lord forever. Isaiah 43
    3For I am the Lord your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;I give Egypt for your ransom,Cusha and Seba in your stead.4Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,I will give people in exchange for you,nations in exchange for your life.5Do not be afraid, for I am with you;I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.6I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— 7everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”8Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.

    9All the nations gather together

    and the peoples assemble.

    Which of their gods foretold this

    and proclaimed to us the former things?

    Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,

    so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”

    10“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,

    “and my servant whom I have chosen,

    so that you may know and believe me

    and understand that I am he.

    Before me no god was formed,

    nor will there be one after me.

    11I, even I, am the Lord,

    and apart from me there is no savior.

    12I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—

    I, and not some foreign god among you.

    You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.

    13Yes, and from ancient days I am he.

    No one can deliver out of my hand.

    When I act, who can reverse it?”

  • The scriptures are so numerous that it is absurd, but, you obviously do not read….Isaiah 49…We who are the Lords’ children, grafted through Yeshua the Branch to the root and tree of Israel…we are the wild olive Branches grafted to Christ/Yeshua who is a Branch of Israel the root Romans 11 and we are the gentile saved called to carry them on our shoulders…for you who do not read…..
    21Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?

    22Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

    23And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

    24Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?

    25But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

    26And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

  • Well the Methodist Churches are in flush….shock to Wesley in heaven I am sure…ahh the great flush of Christendom Churches with the Papal Whore who said that all roads and religions leads to heaven… get out of Babylon my People for the UN/EU?NA/Papacy/Churches given over to Islam and the leftist Illuminati are the Whore Babylon that rides the Beast of Islam today. Come out of her my people that you be not partakers of her sins!

  • AMEN – I so very much enjoyed your comment!
    My Compliments > for an ‘reluctant blogger’ you are Tops – and I love your humour too – and all that besides the fact that you are ‘telling it as it is’.
    Please come over to ISRAEL TODAY sometimes – there’s also a Forum and a nice crowd of posters to welcome you.
    Hope to see you there – Shalom – B.

  • I blush! I read HonestReporting .com (love it) and United With Israel, daily; i will check it out but have so little time to add more to the list!

  • Les – I agree with what you say.
    Unfortunately, that can also be applied to the millions of “refugees” who have entered Europe over the last few years – & whose “culture” is completely at odds with Western morals, norms. Rather than insisting they confirm and applying the law equitably, Europe is bending over to “understand” the invaders; one forsees Sharia Law coming into effect shortly. The West and its liberal acolytes is in thrall to this “culture” despite the fact that persecution of gays, Jews, discrimination against women, FGM and the rest are 180% removed from all they claim to stand for..
    Yes, “he will think you are weak in your faith and have doubts in the truth of your religion”.

  • Christianity and the modern state of Israel: King James Version, Second Esdras, 1:24-27 and elsewhere, especially 35-37. “I will turn me to other nations, and unto those will I give my name, that they may keep my statutes. Seeing ye have forsaken me, I will forsake you also…for ye have defiled your hands with blood, and your feet are swift to commit manslaughter….Ye have not as it were forsaken me, but your own selves, saith the Lord….Your houses will I give to a people that shall come, which not having heard of me yet shall believe me; to whom I have showed no signs, yet they shall do that I have commanded them. They have seen no prophets, yet they shall call their sins to remembrance, and acknowledge them.”
    I am not a theologian but have been wrestling with Second Esdras for a while. I hope, and believe, that salvation is for religious Jews as well. ( Edit: elsewhere in this thread are Biblical quotes, not from me, that support this.) They say that Jews were looking for a political, “kingly” messiah and Jesus was a religious, “priestly” one instead. Modern Israel was a gift from the “spoils of war” on the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire– a political gift, not a religious one, created by international law, and the terms of that gift should be observed. Land acquired by aggression isn’t. (Of course, acts of aggression by anyone else are equally abhorrent.)

  • I am new to the whole BDS issue, having just learned of it in January. And it is a complex issue that I am over simplifying, particularly if one tries to separate BDS re occupied territories from BDS for the rest of Israel. But I have to say, BDS does seem to be about “occupation” and it does seem to be the moral “high ground”. As a United Methodist, I am surprised that BDS was rejected if indeed it was. Peres said recently that the choice was a two state solution or apartheid. So a two state solution it should be, with special treatment for Jerusalem sites that are holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Will Israel give up what it has built in the Occupied Territories when that time comes? If not, Israel should be pressured by BDS to stop building there.

  • I lived in Israel for several years and witnessed firsthand the “benevolent” occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands. This occupation — in defiance of U.N. mandates that the lands are to be part of a future Palestinian state — is brutal and oppressive and has continued now for half a century while Christendom has looked on silently. How absolutely shameless that the United Methodist Church would witness this oppression and fail to act. I am leaving the United Methodist Church.

  • This has nothing to do with hating Jews, and it is a fraud to pose the debate in such terms, and you know it. If the Germans had won World War Two and were still occupying France, would there be a moral imperative for the world to remain silent? You know better.

  • Jewish communities in the area that came to be known as Palestine were tiny for centuries. Jewish settlers from Europe then recolonized their historical homeland. In doing so, they created massive dislocations of the existing Arab population. Since recreating the Jewish state, the settlers have practiced ethnic cleansing by expelling Palestinians, erasing their communities and infrastructure forcibly, and violently oppressing them. They have done this through the unilateral support of the United States, to the tune of three billion dollars annually, and by exploiting the Christian proclivity to grant Jews the mantle of “the chosen people.”

  • “Morally equipped.” In the recent onslaught against Gaza, 2,200 people — mostly women and children — were killed by Israel’s U.S.-funded war machinery. Such morality.

  • They are using your religious beliefs to make you complicit in their violent occupation. You are too myopic to comprehend it.

  • A red herring. No one has any problem with Israel existing. The problem stems from a brutal military occupation of Palestinian lands, designated by the U.N. as belonging to a future Palestinian homeland.

  • Trolls? Who are the real trolls here? As a member of the UMC, I haven’t met many with surnames like Katz, Rose, Neuman, etc., and I have never met any who were descendants of holocaust survivors. Some of you are here because you have an agenda. The agenda is to de-legitimize the people you fear will de-legitimize Israel’s brutal occupation of a civilian population. For that reason, you attempt to demonize anyone objecting to this occupation as being either misinformed, beguiled, or a “Jew hater.” And your collaborators in Christendom make me ashamed to be a Christian and a member of the UMC.

  • By your logic, you hate all Arabs. There are no boycotts of Arab companies and countries because there is no situation identical to the one in which Israel has now occupied a civilian population for half a century — while being funded by the U.S. to the tune of three billion dollars annually. Mr. Netanyahu recently rejected a $45 billion dollar aid package proposed by Mr. Obama. It wasn’t “sufficient.”

  • Yes. These companies move into Palestinian areas, open shop on forcibly confiscated land, then exploit the locals as cheap labor. Nothing to object to here. Move along, folks. Right.

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu has stated otherwise, on many occasions. As have many other prominent South Africans.
    Who are all of these shills for Israel’s war machine? Are readers aware that Israel utilizes U.S. tax monies, sent to it in the form of military aid, to run computer banks in Israel in which occupation proponents make posts like these in social media?

  • “citation needed” is lazy trolling for someone who can’t be bothered to refute another poster.

    Your position is nonsense. BDS people couldn’t give a flying —- about the situation of the Palestinians or any beleagured arabs in general. There have already been examples given how BDS hurts Palestinians.

  • The Germans said the same thing about many of the lands they attempted to hold militarily and/or colonize in World War Two.

  • Such a comment constitutes the kind of “hate” against which pose objections.

  • Ask any Palestinian living in Israel about the nature of its “democracy.” Ask them about how much freedom they have.

  • The problem with that logic is that for two thousand years — aside from tiny communities in places like Jerusalem and Hebron and Safat — the Jewish presence in that region had pretty much vanished. Others filed the vacuum and settled in the area. Then the Diaspora decided to return home….and that gives you the right to simply come in and confiscate the land by force? What’s so rich about this discussion is that so many of you would be first in line to condemn Americans for displacing their indigenous population. Hypocrites.

  • The bible says the Jewish people have ownership of everything from the Nile to the Euphrates. Stalin had his “useful idiots.” Christendom does also. Or, “Janju,” should Christians also gleefully fund Israel’s occupation of Egypt, Jordan, etc.? Your logic is convoluted. Don’t be a tool for those who would engage in a brutal military occupation. Look into your children’s faces and know the answer.

  • Shills, shills, shills and trolls. Here for a reason. Here to conflate and obfuscate. Here with very transparent agendas. I will take the BDS issue directly to my church’s board and ask that we become signatories to the effort. All of this prattle about “Jew hating” requires such a response. We have a moral obligation to resist such deceit and obfuscation. You have overplayed your hands.

  • Can’t take the truth? Not a drop of hatred in my comment. Inform us, please, of a recent contribution to the world from the Arab nations. I can literally list hundreds that have come from Israel.

  • Try to get some real news, George. Have you even been there? Visited one of these factories? Spoke to the workers there who are thrilled with their work, their pay, and how they are treated? Didn’t think so. I have and many others have,

  • There were no Palestinian people before Israel and not a peep out of these “Palestinians” when Egypt occupied Gaza and Jordan occupied the “West Bank”. Israel, having been created and recognized by the UN, has more legitimacy than almost any Arab nation, all of which were created by strokes of the British and French pens after WWI and WWII. Do you know that there was no Jordan before 1948? Why is there existence more legitimate than a land that has been been occupied by Jews for over 3,000 years?

    Almost all the Arabs who left in 1948 (they weren’t Palestinians yet for some reason), were told to leave by the warring Arab nations. They were told to get out so that the Jews could be wiped out and driven into the sea and they would then be able to move back. Didn’t quite work that way.

    Why are the Palestinians still living in refugee camps in Gaza which they have had total control over for over 10 years? Politics.

    Why don’t you weep for the Kurds, a truly great people whose country was stolen from them by Iranians, Iraqis and Syrians? We all know why. Because they’re not Jews.

  • Even the UN admits that most of those killed were terrorists and most of the others were being used as human shields.

  • There ain’t no occupation, Georgia. The Palestinians have said no to a state 4 times now. If they had a state they would have to operate within international law and would actually be condemned for the terror acts that we all know will not stop, state or not. They want all Jews dead. Period.

  • Lies. Please read the charters of Hamas and there PLO, the current governments of Gaza and the “West Bank”. They both deny Israel the right to exist. There is no brutal occupation. The lands are designated in the UN as “disputed” and are open to negotiation which the Palestinians refuse to do in good faith.

  • Ah, the real Georgia out herself (if that’s even her real name). Just another Jew hater who has a problem with Katz, Rose, Neuman and me, I’m sure.

    You are misinformed and you are a Jew hater.

  • Problem with that analogy is that would have been Germany conquering France.

    Israel was declared a State and asked it neighbors to live in peace. It’s charter recognizes all people of all races and religions. It was immediately attacked by every neighbor and some Arab nations that we not even neighbors. They lost, as they did in 1967 and wars have consequences. You act as if Israel planned to “occupy Arab land” and ignore the fact that they have been repeatedly attacked without any provocation other than their existence.

    There are Arabs, Christian and Muslim, on Israel’s Supreme Court, in it’s Parliament, as officers in the military as leaders of businesses and hospitals. Enough with your crap about apartheid.

    Jews are not allowed to even live in most Arab countries never mind hold any position of authority there. If you’re true to your outrage you should be working to deal with Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, etc., etc. where Jews are banned and women are treated like property.

  • Stated and answered. The Germans took all those lands in offensive, not defensive, actions. Have you forgotten that Israel gave the entire Sinai desert back to Egypt in order to secure peace? I’m sure you must have.

    The analogy with Germany that you keep trying to put forward is laughable and you know it.

  • Please read “Innocents Abroad” written by Mark Twain in 1869. He describes beautifully what the land looked like and who lived there and had no bone to pick when he wrote it.

    Why do keep saying Israel came in and confiscated the land when they were created by the UN?

  • I don’t have to ask, I lived there. I was the supervisor for the largest medical center in the north, in Haifa. Haifa is the epitome of what Israel could be. It’s a place where everyone lives together peacefully. The head of our ER was a Christian Arab. The head of our lab was a Muslim Arab. The Chief of Security was a Druse and on and on. I invited CNN to come and visit but the story didn’t fit their narrative.

    My dentist was a Christian Arab in Nazareth, a wonderful and peaceful city until the Moslem Arabs started driving out the Christian Arab majority.

    I know that you have never been to Israel and have just sucked down the lies you choose to read and watch. I just wonder why.

    Jews will I’ve in peace with anybody. The Muslims cannot live in peace with anybody.

  • Ah, it’s all about the children. Looks into the faces of Jewish children in Israel whose parents have been murdered in the street or in their cars or in a cafe. Then look into the faces of the parents who have lost children in the same way.

  • Where is your moral obligation to deal similarly with other countries with worse records than those you ascribe to Israel? Until BDS deals with ALL nations deemed to be destroying human rights, or whatever it is that you believe Israel to be doing, than it will always be easily proven to be an antisemitic movement.

    Please, show us your outrage with Syria’s use of chemical weapons on the Kurds. Show us your outrage of Somali Muslims who are raping and murdering Christian women and enslaving their children. Show us you outrage for the many Muslim countries where slavery is still legitimized.

    But you won’t and the BDS movement won’t. That is what proves our point. QED

  • I don’t believe for a minute that you lived in Israel for several years. If you did, you lived in a totally different country than I lived in for 11 years – both in the 70s and in the 1990s to 2001.

    I’m sure the church will miss you and your hatred. Why don’t you just convert to Islam ad be done with it?

  • The Holy Land includes Judea-Samaria that is currently under Israeli protection (aka so-called ‘Occupied West Bank’).

  • You are taking the Arab narrative at face value. The reasons the Jewish community was so small were from two primary causes: there were few people of any kind outside of Druse and Bedouin, and that also includes the great majority of Arab Sunnis who migrated at the same time as the Jews in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from Syria and Egypt mostly, and are now known as “Palestinians.” The concept of a Palestinian arose when Egyptian Ottoman Arabs attacked the local Ottoman Arabs and Jews, who fought together, in 1834. Many of the Jews were slaughtered in Hebron and Tsefat, while the local Arabs, Bedouin, and Druse started to see themselves as distinct for the first time.

    The second reason is because Jews, as Dhimmis subjects of Islams, were subject to various degrees of violence and pogroms at many times, but certainly not all times, over the last 2000 years, especially in the 12th, 16th, and 19th centuries. Quite simply, dead people do not produce many offspring, although their dated graves are numerous on the Mount of Olives. Simply, too many Jews are buried there for the Arab narrative to be the only one worth consideration. The argument that there were no Jews there, is like the Chinese saying in 200 years that there were never any Tibetans in Tibet, since the land would be filled with Chinese who had lived there for generations.

    What if one day, the offspring of Tibetans come back a family at a time at first, and then en masse, to purchase plots in their ancestral land, and then aggregate the plots into a contiguous area, and then petition for this area to be called Tibet? If one applies the Arab logic to this situation, the Chinese and the UN might be adamant that the Chinese settlers who now occupy the land simply have more indigenous rights and that the “Tibetans” should go back to Europe where they belong…

  • I definitely have an agenda. In elementary school a group of kids attempted to through me in the school furnace..that was a while ago and there were giant coal-bed furnaces used to heat the school and provide hot water. True there was a special ed branch at that school and the kids were from that program but it was because I was Jewish. So yes I have an agenda. NEVER AGAIN Jew haters are scum. They can attempt to cover up their hate under a rubric of disagreement with the policies of Israel. But it is transparent. Jesus was a Jew. It is time for Christians to stop being antisemites. Churches should not be advocating the FINAL SOLUTION. It is hardly Christian.

    I think I am being very clear. There are only less than 15 million Jew left in this World. How come that is too many for you? Jews and Arabs have lived together in harmony at many times in the past and will do so again when the haters butt out. It is the haters that cause the misery in this World under the guise of protecting others. Their true motives are very transparent.

    Jesus would never support BDS. It is very unChristian. It is also counterproductive. The best solution for the Middle East is prosperity. Prosperity tends to dull differences. Economic stress tends to make differences seem overly important. Those who advocate creating economic stress are simply ignorant. I guess that gets you a pass in your religion but not in mine. Jews expect their children to be responsible once they achieve adulthood. I assume you are an adult. Act like one!

    You will be a happier person. The Palestinians need to shed their leaders and become part of the community and work with Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey to build a better life. Kicking companies out of the area does not help.

  • As usual, a detractor of Israel lies. Although Hamas claimed mostly civilian victims, and the UN blindly accepted those fake figures, fewer than half the casualties were civilians, which is unbelievably low for an urban war. In fact, civilian casualties would’ve been even lower if Hamas hadn’t used its civilians as human shields, preventing people from leaving combat areas, storing munitions in schools, hospitals and mosques, plus launching attacks adjacent to same. Amnesty International recently reported that Hamas missiles killed numerous Gaza civilians. Of course, every time a Hamas missile fell short and killed a bunch of Muslims, Hamas merely blamed Israel, the UN didn’t question it, and suckers like you drank their Kool Aid. Also, your use of “onslaught against Gaza” ignores what started the conflict: thousands of terror missiles fired into Israel. Not that you care how many Jews had to run to bomb shelters, how many Israeli kids have PTSD, or how many Jews were killed or injured. Georgia, hang your head in shame!

  • You assume that the disputed territory actually belongs to the Arabs. A detailed look at history reveals that this is not so. Jews had a country there centuries before any Arabs lived there (so who are the colonizers?). The Jews had a constant presence there, except when they were exiled by foreign powers. The region was ruled by the Romans, Turks, British and Jordan (for all of 19 years). There was never an Arab country there. Just because the Palestinian-brand Arabs claim it doesn’t make it Arab land. Arabs/Muslims rule 99.5% of the Middle East. Israel sits on .5% of the land. Don’t be so quick to clamor for yet another Arab country, which, in this case, will be a terror/welfare kleptocracy. And please, please, please, don’t get your information from BDS websites, Electronic Intifada or Students for Justice for Palestine. Pure propaganda. You know what they say about “garbage in, garbage out…”

  • Wrong, Georgia! As the Jews from Europe returned to their ancestral homeland, the Arab population INCREASED. Jews did not “dislocate” Arabs. It was the opposite; Jewish development of the region drew in thousands of Arabs from Egypt, Yemen, etc. Here’s a census which illustrates my point: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Society_&_Culture/israel_palestine_pop.html You’ll note that the Arab population didn’t decrease until the ’48 war, launched by 5 Arab armies invading Israel. Every war creates refugees, and there were at least as many Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Those Jews had been in the Arab countries a lot longer than Arabs had been in Israel, FYI. The two main differences between the Arab refugees and the Jewish refugees: 1. The Jews were forced out; the Arabs were told to leave by Arab leaders, to facilitate the anticipated slaughter of every Zionist; 2. The Jewish refugees moved on with their lives, but the Arab refugees were politicized, kept in camps in numerous Arab countries, and given refugee status in perpetuity (unlike any refugees in history), solely to attack Israel. They should be called “Pawnestinians,” given how they have been used by the Arab world.
    You can toss around “ethnic cleansing” all you want, but the Arab and Christian populations have increased, so it must be a pretty inefficient “cleansing.” Perhaps you can comment on Palestinian laws that prescribe the death penalty to any Arab who sells his land to a Jew. Arab leaders, including Abbas, promise that a future Palestine will be Jew-free. They teach their kids to kill Jews. The Hamas Charter states their mission is to kill Jews worldwide. You, My Dear, are on the wrong side of history and civilization. Time to learn the real facts, not the propaganda.

  • The same U.N. whose mandates for land being reserved for a Palestinian homeland you faithfully ignore.

  • Garnoo alyad Kikar haAtzmaoot ba Netanya. Gadaltee shom ba Netanya al Rehov Jabotinski. Alyad Bet Sefer Tchnekovsky. If you lived in Israel, you’ll know enough Hebrew to translate those phonetic pronunciations from Hebrew into English. I am also a once upon a time convert to Judaism, one appalled by some of the things I saw in your / our motherland. Your morality is defined by nothing more or less than your ethnocentrism. The same kind of ethnocentrism and chauvinism you so readily and immediately condemn in other groups when you encounter it or suspect you have encountered it.

  • And that makes you no different than the worst of the people you so enthusiastically condemn.

  • There will be justice in Palestine, in our lifetime. Get on the wagon. You are losing the war of demographics. Make peace while you’re able to do so.

  • I have responded to your post in Hebrew, elsewhere. Please review the post. Your certainty is misplaced.

  • Wow. Ethnocentrism. I was responsible for mentoring Ethiopian Jews who were newly arrived in Israel. Don’t know what ethno you’re centering on but I centered on the people from over 100 nations who live together in peace in Israel.

    Your statements reek with your anger. I’m sorry for whatever happened to you to turn you so hateful and unable to see the truth.

    Israel is not perfect. Nor is any country. It is also not the pariah you depict in your posts.

  • Do you mean UN 194? The one about the refugees who will live peacefully should be able to return? The one Israel voted yes, while all the Arab countries voted, no?

  • I believe you just proved my assertion: some people only want to believe the Arab narrative while they completely discount the Jewish one. But, please do not be selective. The rest of the Arab narrative says that Jews have no historical connection to Jerusalem, that Jesus was a Palestinian, and that Jews descend from apes and pigs.

    Yes, Arabs are correct. Jews made up a tiny portion of the population. The more important question is why? Pogroms against Jews in the 1100s, the 1500s and 1800s? Dhimmi laws? Pact of Omar laws forbidding Jews from travel on horses, and from rebuilding synagogues? Could any of these have been a factor?

  • You make good points, and you are articulate. And, yes, your responses are germane. But also reflect on the displacement of Palestinians during the War for Independence in 1948, and reflect on the exodus of Palestinians from Israel ever since its declaration of independence in 1948. Reflect on the number of Palestinian homes and communities that have been demolished, the land confiscations, and the systematic imposition of restrictions on Palestinian movement, land ownership, and civil liberties. Are these things substantively different? Some of them have also included carnage, perpetrated by Israel. Both groups have ties to the land, and any peaceful future must include respect for the ties that both groups have to it. Israel has a right to exist, but Israel now holds most of the power in this situation. It must search ceaselessly to achieve a peaceful resolution. Left unresolved, this situation is what creates the greatest existential threat for Israel. Does a Palestinian state further complicate the picture? Yes. But a one-state solution, one comprised by factions constantly in conflict with one another, will complicate things in a much more ominous manner.

  • No one disputes that Palestinians have not come out on top nor anywhere near an equal position in this dispute. The question I ask you to reflect upon is whether Israel is the sole oppressive force responsible for this outcome.

    Which half dozen countries attacked Israel on its first day of existence? Which Arab countries did not accept the UN resolutions to let refugees peacefully resettle? Which Arab countries went to Khartoum after the 6 day war and came up with the Three No’s? Which neighboring country of Israel perpetrated Black September to rid the country of Palestinian militants? Which neighboring country of Israel has never allowed Palestinians to work nor vote in Lebanese elections? Who, in their anti-Semitic, Jew-hating Charter, still declares that all of Israel, including Tel Aviv, is occupied land? Which “moderate” Palestinian leader in the 12th year of his 4year term claims that even today Jews must abide by apartheid conditions at the site of the ancient Jewish Temple and refrain from praying, and even visiting with “their dirty feet?”

  • Let’s be frank. Dogma cannot replace history no matter how much, how often and how loudly “they Doth protest.” The persecuted souls you describe were standing by Israel’s birth table with sword drawn waiting to kill the new born: when the baby miraculously survived this birthing process (literally miraculously) these dear souls moved aside to let the combined Arab armies do their job. When that gamble failed, they began lifetime(s) of doubling down on their bets to reverse the clock and realize their homicidal wishes; but the baby grew up, planted a garden, got married and had a family, went to school and began inventing things that continue to help the world DAILY, just as was prophesized by the way.

    The other side stood at the site of their disaster, lamenting; ‘what is to be done for me, what is to be done for me,’ while sending their youth to try to finish their illegal and botched abortion on the JEWISH state lo these 70 years later; they, who are not being treated kindly by your standards, have pledged only one simple thing and that is the extermination of the Jewish State. World, ‘won’t you help me’: they decry! ‘You know how long I’ve been at this! Can’t a guy get a break around here? I’m using all kinds of new media savvy to hook you !’ My needs are so simple.

    And, like the kindly naïve spirit who accepts a marriage proposal from a condemned killer through letters to and from jail, you accept the ‘proposal’ from the dear, misunderstood guy. Good luck with your marriage, because you too will very likely end up dead.
    Forgive Israelis for not being quite as trusting (while nevertheless healing the wounds of any among their injured who come to their attention for help) .

  • The “shill” you have so casually besmirched is a current member of the parliament of the Union of South Africa, as reported, and the apparent proof of his ‘guilt’ (being a shill) is disagreement with you and what you hold to be true.
    By such standards you are a very good candidate for “Witch Finder General,” a position which no longer exists, thank goodness, but your rigorous methodologies are quite similar; and he would be ‘burning’ now, following your deep investigation into his guilt, if you were in position of authority.
    And of course the litany of Israeli crimes is long in your mind, and the list of those whose avowed purpose is to destroy the Jewish state is very short, in your mind.
    In short: I love the fact that you and people like you are spokespersons for the pro-BDS movement. Please keep up the good work; the world is slowly awakening to the shallowness of the loud and persistent drumbeat it has succumbed to in recent years, naively believing it to be the equivalent of a good deed: the devil dresses alluringly to the eye of the superficial mind. Perhaps the scourge of BDS and its myopic supporters will soon perish from the face of the earth, and good will return (and the sometimes necessarily extreme measures of those seeking to protect themselves from extermination will no longer be needed).

  • In the bigger picture, the BDS-or-not debate is somewhat of a sideshow. Many many more people will die due to climate change than due to whatever happens in Israel or the West Bank. Yet, the UMC continues to invest in companies marketing fossil fuels (coal, oil & natural gas), which is arguably inconsistent with the social principles on the UMC Book of Discipline.
    Maybe, one could say, we need those fuels for a few more years, as we transition to better sources of energy. Fine. However, the truly inexcusable operations of those companies are their misinformation campaigns, in which they convince voters that climate change might not be happening or might not be caused by humans.

    If the UMC really wants to preserve or improve social welfare, shouldn’t it stop funding the fossil fuel companies?
    To learn more, go to fossilfreeUMC.org

  • I assume that Israel, the modern state, was a gift under international law from “spoils of war” after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. You have to separate the religious Israel from the political Israel; if God gave, God also took away, and God was rather specific about why in the Christian Apochrypha. (From a Biblical point of view, Israel is the Promised Land for those who believe in Him and being Jewish by heritage without faith isn’t enough.) I am pro-Israel, if Israel follows the terms of its 1947 creation and behaves as a non-aggressor democratic state for all citizens regardless of race or religion, because those were the terms of Israel’s creation under international law. (And perhaps not so coincidentally, the Torah as well.) I understand that Israel is surrounded by countries who might not agree, and its Jewish citizens might be outvoted by non-Jewish Israeli citizens if all were given a right to vote, which, I think is why Shimon Peres and others have said that a two-state solution or apartheid are the only options. Therefore, it is my opinion that, since apartheid and the current occupation policies are not consistent with international law, BDS re: the occupied territories is probably appropriate to influence Israeli policy. Influencing Palestinians to compromise would be appropriate as well.

  • “Israel repelled an attack by the United Middle East in 1967.” This is what I heard back then , as a young Californian teenager whose classmates and friends were predominantly Jewish. We were all on Israel’s side. Just recently, though, online at places like alanhart.com, I have heard that Israel knew the threat was insufficient and used it as an excuse for a pre emptive strike. That would make Israel the aggressor. Even if the surrounding nations are determined to wipe Israel off the map, Israel cannot be the aggressor.

  • I agree. But if a two state solution is repeatedly rejected by the Palestinians, at what point is an ultimatum issued? How does the international community force a peaceful, permanent solution ?

  • The news in America is manipulated, so I tried to find an impartial source, and not on this issue but just in general. I saw a video on The Intercept.com of an Israeli soldier nonchalantly strolling over to a wounded, non-threatening Palestinian and shooting him in the head. Even if this was an isolated case, this is absolutely unacceptable.

  • Is there anything like BDS that could be used to force Palestinians to accept a state? Were there specific objections to the statehood offers or did they just refuse to negotiate? If Israel must follow international law, so must Palestine.

  • First of all, the basic concept of a one-state BDS, on any side, is immoral. BDS could indeed be an effective measure if it were used for all states deemed to be “rogue states”. That would not include Israel except in the minds of antisemites.

    Specific objections usually fold when they refuse to meet the Israeli criterion of recognizing Israel as a sovereign Jewish nation. They won’t do it which says a lot. BTW, President Abbas is in the 12th year of his 4-year presidency. He refuses to hold elections making the PA just another dictatorship.

    Also, as I’ve mentioned, since there is no clear leadership on the Palestinian side, there is actually no one to negotiate with. Abbas does not speak for Hamas who rules in Gaza. Anything he might negotiate can and will easily be rejected by Hamas.

  • Why does BDS need to be confined to rogue states? Why not rogue behavior of legitimate states? I have seen a video of an Israeli soldier murdering a wounded, non-threatening Palestinian, and there is an article now in Algemeiner of police abuse of power against an Arab delivery boy as confirmed by his boss, a Mr.Cohen. Reports of such actions would be front page news in the U.S. but are tolerated, no silenced, in Israel. BDS seems appropriate if targeted against such behavior.

  • Thank you for posting the Biblical reference that shows salvation is for religious Jews as well as Christians. Too many of my fellow Christians ignore this. But remember that being a Jew by heritage alone is not enough; according to the Bible and especially non-canonical Apochrypha, God has turned his back on Jews many times for their actions and lack of faith.

  • Someone on this thread cited an Algemeiner article titled “Islamic State threatens Israel with Global War.” It would have been more appropriate to substitute “Middle East” for “Israel” in the title, since buried at the bottom was the comment that they’d fight Israel “only after the jihadist group conquers the Arab states in Israel’s neighborhood.” Terrorists, not Arabs per se, are the enemy.

  • So why not use BDS to force Palestinians to the negotiating table? If they refuse, isn’t there some way to impose an ultimatum, a date perhaps, by which they come to a two- state solution or Israel falls back to some internationally-recognized territory?

  • Maybe that’s why BDS is one sided? Not by intent but because there is no product or investment to boycott? I’m not being hostile, just trying to figure this out.

  • That would be fine but it must be rogue behavior everywhere to be a legitimate movement.

    Israel is a democracy with free courts. Criminal actions by the IDF are investigated and have been punished. You know about these events, which occur in every country, because Israel has a free press and they are publicized.

    Do you think the same would ever happen in Gaza. Do you know that 13 men are being murdered in Gaza this week for “collaboration” with Israel? Do you know that it is a crime punishable by death to sell land to an Israeli Jew? Do you know that Palestinian police routinely beat and murder people without trial?

    What do we hear from BDS and the international community about such abuses? Crickets. If the international press wants any access to Gaza at all they can only print what they are allowed to print which means they are shills and not a free press at all.

  • Finally, Geogia, you made a calm and peace-seeking post. I agree. How do we get to the two-state solution? What will bring Palestine to the table? If they won’t come, what fair solution could be imposed that international law would sanction? And meanwhile, is BDS the best way to force Israel to behave morally in the occupied territories?

  • If you know the true story, it was not nonchalant and without reason. The “non-threatening” Palestinian had just carried out an attack and the soldier believed him to be reaching for a gun.

    And, if you know the true story you know that the soldier went to court for manslaughter for these actions.

    As I said before, there are no repercussions when Palestinian police are guilty of similar actions. There were no trials when Palestinian police dragged 2 Israeli soldiers into the police station and murdered them while a crowd screamed for their blood.

    Why do you hold Israel to a higher standard than any other country? No one says that they are perfect or blameless in every deed and action. No country could withstand the scrutiny given to Israel’s every move. No other country’s right to exist is questioned. There are more international reporters per capita in Israel than in any nation in the world. Pretty bizarre when they represent about 0.02% of the world’s population.

  • By that analogy there U.S. needs to wait until Iran or North Korea actually fire their nuclear weapons before responding to defend itself. Once again, holding Israel to a standard that no other country is held to.

  • Thank you for supplying the missing facts that the soldier did go to court; in the video, all the soldiers were standing around, smoking and chatting, but an impartial court would analyze the videos. I don’t hold Israel to a higher standard than any other country– although God might– but I definitely hold Israel to a higher standard than terrorists. Gandhi won because his protests were non-violent, that’s the moral way to protest. I don’t know that I support BDS but I am considering it because it is a non-violent means of protest. Hillary lost my vote in the CA primary for using her Methodist connections to influence the General Conference without addressing the issues raised by the BDS movement. It’s kind of ironic that Bernie, a Jew, backs BDS and has the moral high ground on this. Clearly this is a more complex issue than I originally thought, and I have never questioned Israel’s right to exist. I question Israel’s right to expand her territory and act as an aggressor.

  • Not true. If the Israeli military admitted that the Egyption battalions were no real threat, that is hardly the same as firing nuclear weapons.

  • Israel was one of numerous countries carved out of the defeated Ottoman Empire. If it was a “gift,” so were Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, etc. Funny how the world only objects to the one Jewish state, out of all these.
    I agree that faith helps, but who decides how much faith is enough? That’s really between each Israeli and G-d, isn’t it? As far as Israel’s behavior, you should be aware that Israel is the only Middle Eastern country whose Christian population has increased. Israel’s Arabs have more freedom than Arabs anywhere else in the Middle East. Higher life expectancies, too. The 1947 borders are irrelevant. The Arabs rejected them and 5 genocidal Arab armies attacked Israel in ’48 (Arabs inside the British Mandate killed Jews in Israel all through ’47). They don’t get to reject the borders, lose the war, then say, “Now we want the borders we rejected!” Doesn’t work that way. Besides, “Palestinian” leaders routinely say in Arabic that any peace agreement will only be a stepping stone towards conquering all of Israel. Uh, thanks, but no thanks!
    Even your use of “occupied territories” is flawed. From whom are they occupied? Jews were there for centuries. It was their country. The Romans conquered them and exiled them. Eventually, the Turks ruled the region, then the British, then Jordan (for 19 years). There was never an Arab country in east Jerusalem, Gaza, Judea or Samaria. So unless you think the land is occupied from the Romans or one of the other conquerers, I don’t really get how any of it belongs to Arabs, who have 26 countries in the Middle East already. Besides, 1.2 Arabs live in Israel. Mahmoud Abbas says in Arabic no Jews will be allowed in “Palestine.” The “Palestinians have a death penalty for any Arab who sells his land to a Jew. So who’s being apartheid and racist, Jews or Arabs? Think about it!

  • Your argument about 1947 vs 1948 borders is logical; it is not unfair for Arab aggressor states who lost the battle they initiated to lose territory as a result, although it is nobler to give it back (as the U.S. did with Japan.) But I found Alan Hart’s arguments convincing, that Israel was really the aggressor in 1967. I don’t think it is a valid argument that Jews in a 2000 year diaspora still had a political or religious right to Israel, no matter how despicable the Holocaust. Suppose all Native Americans had fled when the colonial Americans “conquered” them by giving them smallpox-infested blankets and other atrocities. Would they be justified in returning to the 21st century USA and asking for their continent back? Yet Native Americans, whether they ever had a “country” or not, have rights as citizens, and so should Palestinians. As for the difference between Israel and the other post-war countries, I’m reasonably sure that the difference is the massive influx of Jews to the new state rather than the drawing of borders around people already there.

  • No. Israel Lost. Stop with the Islamophobic Spin:

    Here’s what really happened (and thats our story, and we’re sticking to it)

    United Methodist General Conference Calls on Israel to End Unjust Practices Toward Palestinians

    Despite fierce opposition, which included calls to delegates from Israeli ambassadors and consulates, the United Methodist General Conference passed strong measures calling for an end to Israel’s unjust practices toward Palestinians.

    One of these measures, Resolution 60206, calls on Israel to correct the unequal distribution of water in the West Bank, where illegal Israeli settlers receive four times as much water as the indigenous Palestinians. It also demands that Israel recognize existing titles to land owned by Palestinians within the West Bank.

    Another measure passed by the conference, Resolution 60843, calls for accountability from the Israeli government for the destruction of land and life. It urges US officials to contact the Israeli government to halt the expansion of illegal settlements and confiscation of Palestinian land.

    A third resolution, Resolution 60868, calls for a church-wide Task Force led by key agencies to review and research actions that respond to the requests by church missionaries and Palestinian Christians. All United Methodist missionaries who have served in the Holy Land and thousands of Palestinian Christians have asked the church to cut its financial ties to the occupation.

    Resolution 60206 reflected concern that Israeli settlers have access to four times as much water as Palestinians, though the major aquifer is located beneath Palestinian land. This allocation of water according to ethnicity is a violation of United Methodist principles and international law. Throughout the West Bank, Palestinian land is being surrounded and confiscated for Israeli settlements, which the church opposes. Orchards and homes are being destroyed.

    Resolution 60843 focused on the Palestinian village of Wadi Foquin, where the UMC has a partnership with the village. Church members traveling to Wadi Foquin have seen the human rights abuses villagers suffer, including raw sewage running from the large illegal settlement of Beitar Illit onto the village farmland below it. In 2014, the Israeli government declared over 1,000 acres of private land belonging to Wadi Foquin and neighboring Palestinian villages to be “state land,” in violation of international law. In June 2015, the Israeli army accompanied bulldozers that destroyed 1300 fruit trees belonging to farmers in the village. The Israeli government also issued a stop work order for construction of a soccer field funded by United Methodist donations through the church’s Board of Global Ministries.

    The task force created by Resolution 60868 was established in recognition of the growing movement within the church working for Palestinian human rights. The rationale included in that measure referenced Resolution 6111 from 2012 that called on all nations to ban the import of goods and services coming from illegal settlements. In addition to the boycott action, the church’s pension board excluded five Israeli banks from investment this past December, divesting from two of the banks and one Israeli construction company.

    Rev. Michael Yoshii, Co-chair of the advocacy group United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR), said, “We were humbled by the widespread support for Palestinians, especially among indigenous people and ethnic caucuses within the church. Bishop John Yambasu of Sierra Leone delivered a powerful sermon during the conference calling for justice for the Palestinian people.”

    An event during the conference featured four Bishops, including the President of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, who called for the use of decisive action by the church to cut its ties to the occupation. Japanese Americans, Filipino Lumad natives, Africans and the head of the Native American International Caucus were among those highlighting the parallels between the Palestinian plight today and the ethnic cleansing of other indigenous peoples.

    Rev. Yoshii also noted the strong interfaith support for UMKR and its efforts in Portland, saying, “We are grateful for the chance to work with such dedicated people in this continued quest for justice as we seek to answer the Palestinians’ call for freedom.”

  • And by “exploit”, Georgia means gives the Palestinians the same wages as the Israels, along with full benefits

  • No!!!! The Jew-haters , er, the peace and justice activists won. Didn’t you seen the press release?

    United Methodist General Conference Calls on Israel to End Unjust Practices Toward Palestinians

    Despite fierce opposition, which included calls to delegates from Israeli ambassadors and consulates, the United Methodist General Conference passed strong measures calling for an end to Israel’s unjust practices toward Palestinians.

    One of these measures, Resolution 60206, calls on Israel to correct the unequal distribution of water in the West Bank, where illegal Israeli settlers receive four times as much water as the indigenous Palestinians. It also demands that Israel recognize existing titles to land owned by Palestinians within the West Bank.

    Another measure passed by the conference, Resolution 60843, calls for accountability from the Israeli government for the destruction of land and life. It urges US officials to contact the Israeli government to halt the expansion of illegal settlements and confiscation of Palestinian land.

    A third resolution, Resolution 60868, calls for a church-wide Task Force led by key agencies to review and research actions that respond to the requests by church missionaries and Palestinian Christians. All United Methodist missionaries who have served in the Holy Land and thousands of Palestinian Christians have asked the church to cut its financial ties to the occupation.

    Resolution 60206 reflected concern that Israeli settlers have access to four times as much water as Palestinians, though the major aquifer is located beneath Palestinian land. This allocation of water according to ethnicity is a violation of United Methodist principles and international law. Throughout the West Bank, Palestinian land is being surrounded and confiscated for Israeli settlements, which the church opposes. Orchards and homes are being destroyed.

    Resolution 60843 focused on the Palestinian village of Wadi Foquin, where the UMC has a partnership with the village. Church members traveling to Wadi Foquin have seen the human rights abuses villagers suffer, including raw sewage running from the large illegal settlement of Beitar Illit onto the village farmland below it. In 2014, the Israeli government declared over 1,000 acres of private land belonging to Wadi Foquin and neighboring Palestinian villages to be “state land,” in violation of international law. In June 2015, the Israeli army accompanied bulldozers that destroyed 1300 fruit trees belonging to farmers in the village. The Israeli government also issued a stop work order for construction of a soccer field funded by United Methodist donations through the church’s Board of Global Ministries.

    The task force created by Resolution 60868 was established in recognition of the growing movement within the church working for Palestinian human rights. The rationale included in that measure referenced Resolution 6111 from 2012 that called on all nations to ban the import of goods and services coming from illegal settlements. In addition to the boycott action, the church’s pension board excluded five Israeli banks from investment this past December, divesting from two of the banks and one Israeli construction company.

    Rev. Michael Yoshii, Co-chair of the advocacy group United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR), said, “We were humbled by the widespread support for Palestinians, especially among indigenous people and ethnic caucuses within the church. Bishop John Yambasu of Sierra Leone delivered a powerful sermon during the conference calling for justice for the Palestinian people.”

    An event during the conference featured four Bishops, including the President of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, who called for the use of decisive action by the church to cut its ties to the occupation. Japanese Americans, Filipino Lumad natives, Africans and the head of the Native American International Caucus were among those highlighting the parallels between the Palestinian plight today and the ethnic cleansing of other indigenous peoples.

    Rev. Yoshii also noted the strong interfaith support for UMKR and its efforts in Portland, saying, “We are grateful for the chance to work with such dedicated people in this continued quest for justice as we seek to answer the Palestinians’ call for freedom.”

  • This was the homeland of the Jewish people well before the birth of Christianity and well before the birth of Islam. Much of the BDS rhetoric denies that the Jews have any relationship to this land. incidentally, over half the population of Israel are the Jews from Arab lands, (not European sellers!) ethnically cleansed from their homes in the Middle East and North Africa

  • So you’re inclined to toss out centuries of Jewish connection to Israel, in favor of an Arab connection that mostly started in the late 1800s, when Arabs were drawn to the region by economic opportunities created by Zionists? Ironic and illogical at the same time. Keep in mind that, even during the diaspora, there were still Jews living there, most of the time. I am curious at what point you feel the “statute of limitations” ran out for Jews to reclaim the land that is the center of their religion? Did they relinquish their right to come home after 100 years? 500? Since Israel is the first country in history to witness a rebirth after so many centuries, complete with a revival of its ancient language, we are on virgin ground here. Of course, this is all moot, since Israel isn’t going anywhere.
    BTW, starting in the 1880s, Zionists essentially bought back Jewish land in Judea and Samaria. All those purchases were temporarily abrogated when Jordan conquered the territory in ’48, and ethnically cleansed every Jew. I find it hard to accept that the illegal ethnic cleansing by Jordan would magically transform the disputed land into Arab land, and Jews who reclaim property that was stolen from them in ’48 would in turn be accused of ethnic cleansing. In other words, Arabs claim title to land gained by conquest, but whine like babies when Jews claim the same land, gained by conquest. I think you see where the inconsistencies lay. Don’t concern yourself with bending over backwards, trying to be fair to the Arabs, who created 99% of this mess, when they could’ve easily lived alongside Jews in peace, with no refugees (including the 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries) and no wars. The Arabs are excellent at shooting themselves in the foot; no need to let them shoot you in your foot!

  • Are you saying that Jews out numbered everyone else in the affected lands until the late 1800s?

  • If Alan Hart is your source for Egypt not being a threat in 1967, you need to study history from real sources. And, the 1967 war was not only with Egypt, as you well know.

    After 19 years of war, Israel attempted too shut it down once and for all. And, with Egypt, it actually worked. I haven’t seen you comment about Israel’s return of the entire Sinai to Egypt. BTW, when Israel controlled the Sinai you could actually fly out of Sharm-el-Sheik without being shot down.

  • Nope. Here’s a demographic chart going back into the 1800s. It clearly shows a moderate amount of Muslims and a small number of Jews. Then the Zionists starting buying up land (buying back stolen Jewish land, ironically). As the Jews came home, more and more Arabs started colonizing from surrounding Arab countries (which they had previously colonized, after they swept out of the Arabian Peninsula). The chart shows how the more Jews came, the more Arabs were attracted to the land, due to economic development created by the Jews. Remember, most of the land was desert or swamp. The Jews transformed the land into agrarian miracles. Anyway, this trend continued until 1948, when the war emptied Israel of hundreds of thousands of Arabs. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Society_&_Culture/israel_palestine_pop.html
    Incidentally, if you look at demographic charts of Jews in Arab lands prior to ’48, you’ll see a stable Jewish population (going back 2500 years), which was decimated by Arab anger towards their Jewish residents. It’s likely that Arab refugees and Jewish refugees passed each other on the road, going opposite directions. A similar phenomenon occurred in ’47, during the partition of India-Pakistan, between Hindus and Muslims. Massive refugee population transfers are a lot more common than you might think.
    I should point out that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin Al-Husseini, a rabid Jew-hater, did everything in his power to prevent Jewish emigration to the Holy Land. He fomented unrest between the Arabs and the Jews, and the Arabs and the British. He was personally responsible for the Hebron massacre of 1929, as well as others, spreading lies that the Jews had attacked the al Aqsa Mosque (sound familiar?). He met with Hitler and planned a Middle East Holocaust, averted when Hitler was defeated. The only reason I mention this in the context of our exchanges is that the Mufti’s efforts kept thousands of Jews out British Mandate Palestine, most of whom ended up murdered by the Nazis. Otherwise, the demographics would’ve been skewed even more towards the Jews. In any event, the Jews didn’t displace Arabs – they were living alongside them, as they still do. If Arab leaders hadn’t instructed their people to leave Israel, to facilitate the anticipated genocide of the Zionists in ’48, there wouldn’t be perpetual “refugees” today. It didn’t have to be this way, Oh, well.
    BTW, please don’t respond that the Jews had no right to rule Israel, unless they were in the majority, unless you also criticized Sunnis running Iraq or Hashemites running Jordan. The Israeli Declaration of Independence promised full rights to everyone, and the Arabs who stayed are Israeli citizens, with more rights than their brethren anywhere else in the Middle East. The ones who listened to Arab leaders and left got the short end of the stick.

  • Doubtful whether it would work for the following reasons:
    1/ No-one has ever threatened the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. The only country that is ever threatened is Israel.
    2/ The Palestinians and their supporters would complain about Israel’s victimisation of the Palestinians and Israeli aggressiveness and intimidation of Palestinian Arabs. Of course it’s not true, but whatever the Arabs say, the West will buy without a second thought as is the situation today.
    3/ There is no internationally recognised border apart from the pre-1967 armistice line. Israel calls this line the “suicide line” because without the Palestinians becoming demilitarised, it will place major Israeli cities, town and the Ben Gurion Airport within range of primitive rockets and mortar fire. At its narrowest point, the pre-1967 Armistice line is within 13 kilometres of the Mediterranean Sea, threatening to cut Israel in half in the case of a conflict.
    4/ I’m not sure how using BDS is any better than using France, or the US, the EU or the UN.
    My way of doing it would be for Israel to say that the PA either comes to the negotiating table or Israel will annex more territory in the West Bank. With more and more Jews feeling uncomfortable in Europe due to rising anti-Semitism, and as a result wanting to emigrate to Israel, the extra land will come in handy.

  • I never said Jews don’t have a right to rule Israel, only that Israel’s citizens, and the people there when Israel was created, have to have full rights as citizens no matter what their religion. How that would work in reality escapes me, as my thoughts are solidly rooted in America’s separation of church and state. (Some have said that our Founding Fathers were only thinking of Christianity but Jefferson mentioned Judaism, Islam, etc.) The fear of Jews being outvoted by non-Jews seems to be a factor in Israel’s policies and negotiations, but it sounds like that fear might not be justified, if life in Israel is so much better than in surrounding countries. Didn’t the two-state solution arise as an alternative to a one-state solution where an Arab majority could not vote? I could be very wrong about that but I thought that was implied from something Shimon Peres said. By the way, UM Kairos Response does not advocate either a one-state or two-state solution (despite accusations to the contrary.) They said that’s up to Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate.

  • The problem with so many “refugees” entering Europe is whether:
    a/ Are the really refugees fleeing persecution or just opportunists?
    b/ If Europe admits these “refugees” risking a dangerous sea voyage which has already claimed hundreds of lives, Europe will only encourage these people to take that risk.
    c/ Europe is condoning Human Trafficking which is illegal.
    d/ The refugees are entering without any identification, so it is hard to check whether the person who has arrived is a refugee fleeing persecution or, say, an affiliate of ISIS. After the refugee enters Europe they are often lost to the system.

  • All the Arabs who stuck around in ’48 do have full rights, which is more than I can say for “Palestinians” in Arab countries. There are 1.2 million Israeli Arabs, who live better lives than Arabs anywhere in the Middle East, are represented in the Knesset, the Supreme Court and in every facet of Israeli life. Demographics is a concern, of course, but the “Palestinians” have been overstating their population for years. The “right of return” is the main issue there. Why should descendants of some Arab who moved from Egypt to British Mandate Palestine in ’47, left in ’48, have any rights whatsoever, in regard to Israel? Even Arafat was born in Cairo. The whole definition of “Palestinian refugee” is singular and bizarre. My grandparents came to the U.S. during the Bolshevik Revolution. Under the standards adopted for the “Palestinians,” I would be a Russian refugee, and so would my kids! Ridiculous.
    The problem is that the majority of Judea/Samaria Arabs don’t want to live under Jewish hegemony. But they can’t refuse to accept the legitimacy of the Israeli govt., while demanding that same govt. grant them the rights of citizens. Perhaps Israel will have to come up with some sort of loyalty oath?

  • There must be a way to identify who is entitled to property rights , etc as a Palestinian/displaced resident/whatever. (As an aside, haven’t some treasures taken by Nazis been returned decades later?) A loyalty oath or similar commitment makes sense. People who want to stay, want to be citizens, want to contribute to society. I would argue that even those who don’t want more than subsistence, deserve charity–that should be true in the U.S. as well, a moral rule and Biblical command–but not citizenship. What would change in Israel if it were not a Jewish state per se, but were a democracy that could not be changed by demographics? So even a non-Jewish majority couldn’t change its status as a safe homeland? More like the U.S. from a political standpoint? I know that this won’t happen, it would be considered unthinkable, but if it could, what would change?

  • Actually, several property disputes have made their way through Israeli courts. What often happens is Israelis produce proof of ownership of an apartment building and seek to evict Arab squatters who have never paid rent. When the court finally rules in favor of the Israelis, the Arabs claim “ethnic cleansing,” even though the court determined they had no legal right to live there! The next thing you know, there’s a story on the internet about the family being evicted, due to Israeli attempts to “Judeaize” Jerusalem.
    It’s a difficult situation, but look anywhere in the Middle East, and you’ll see the failure of the different peoples to get along. Sunni vs. Shiite, Kurdish conflict, treatment of Yazidis, Coptic Christians, etc. Israel has to constantly guard against terror attacks, but it is an oasis in the storm that is the Middle East. Imagine what Israel would look like if it were being run by either Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. Most Israeli Arabs who are polled freely admit they would rather live under the Israeli government than the Arab alternatives.

  • All I know about Alan Hart is online but 1) he was quoting military and political leaders and 2) his credentials as a reporter are solid. I have learned a lot in this discussion but still believe that all of the countries created from the Ottoman Empire post 1947 were essentially political gifts with obligations to international law and the people living in those lands. Of course Jews (and Christians) have a long history in Israel but it’s shaky ground theologically to say God gave the land to the Jewish people for all time (whether a majority of modern Jews believe in Him or not?) but wasn’t involved in taking it away from them. So an Israel based on modern law is more logical, more solidly grounded, and if need be, a fall-back position. If a peaceful compromise can’t be reached, acts of aggression by either side, still shouldn’t be awarded. Terrorists are terrorists, individuals not races or religions, and an eye for an eye is no one’s religion anymore. Israel should avoid “even the appearance of impropriety;” I doubt Israel would go so far as to “turn the other cheek” but is it possible because that’s Zionism talking and not observant Jews? There must be some kind of compromise that would be so fair that even Israel’s enemies would agree, except, of course, the terrorists.

  • The Illegal Nation-State of Israel is not from YHWH. The ones who forced this evil abomination on the sons of Ishmael are spoken of in Revelation: “Those who say they are jews, but are not, but are of the synagogue of satan”. They are the tares among YHWH’s wheat, and He will thresh them out and cast them in the furnace in His due time, when He brings back His children and gives them the land.

    Pharisees never learn. Their Talmud is not Torah. They made their deal with the false gods. Do not fall into the trap of supporting them.

  • Israeli terrorists assassinated Yitzak Rabin their own military hero because they refuse peace. The Likud like the Irgun are terrorizing Palestinian children. This abomination will be stopped. Palestinians would accept peace, they have no choice. Israel holds all the power currently. This is child abuse and a war crime right in plain sight.

  • You are out of your mind. Ongoing genocide -the only genocide happening is what the zionists are doing to the Palestinians -the only really organized terror groups are Mossad and the IDF -CAREFUL – some people have the facts at hand and know the history.

  • If you carefully research actual facts, rather than the “facts” on anti-Semitic and BDS-related web sites, you will get a different picture. If the Israelis were committing genocide against the Arabs, why is the Arab population increasing? How many Arabs has Israel killed? How many (fellow) Arabs has Assad killed? Your reply is long on volume and short on sense.

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