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Christian Peacemaking, Anti-Jewish Bigotry and the WCC

Tricia Miller, Ph.D. and Dexter Van Zile

Dear Christian Leader,

Antisemitism and anti-Zionism continue to be alive and well in much of  the Christian world because they are actively promoted by  self-identifying Christians. One of the ways opposition to Jews and the  Jewish State manifests is through Christian peacemaking efforts, in  which self-proclaimed peacemakers advocate for Palestinian  self-determination while rejecting the right of Jews to  self-determination in their ancient homeland.

In the process, Palestinians are encouraged in their intransigent  anti-Israel position and any motivation to work for peace is thereby  discouraged. Palestinian violence against Israeli citizens is justified  and Israeli efforts for the sake of self-defense are condemned. As a  result, Jewish Israelis are demonized and Israel's right to exist as a  sovereign Jewish State is delegitimized.

Another problem with the Christian peacemaking movement is that its  proponents tend to focus solely on the Arab-Israeli conflict, while  ignoring gross violations of human rights and persecution of Christians  in Muslim-majority countries throughout the Middle East. The double  standard employed to demonize Israel - the only democracy and protector  of religious freedom in the Middle East - while ignoring the suffering  of fellow Christians and other persecuted minorities is nothing more  than blatant anti-Jewish bigotry. 

This hypocritical intolerance of the Jewish State - whose population is  20% Arab - is demonstrated regularly by the World Council of Churches  (WCC) as a whole and by individual representatives of the organization.  This is alarming because the WCC unites 350 denominations and church  fellowships in over 110 countries throughout the world, representing  over 500 million Christians, including some who identify as Evangelical  and Pentecostal. Among other things, this influential organization has  been an ardent and persistent supporter of the BDS campaign that falsely  portrays Israel as a singular human rights abuser on the world stage.  In so doing, it has fomented a plague of hostility towards Israel and  Jews. 

In recent statements, the moderator of the Commission of the Churches on  International Affairs (CCIA) of the WCC, Rev. Frank Chikane, employed a  number of ugly polemics, including the characterization of Israelis as  “demons.” In order to understand how and why such polemics incite  dangerous hostilities, and to be better equipped to counter inflammatory  libels against Jews, the Jewish State, and Christians who support both,  please read this week's article by Dexter Van Zile.

Christian Pastor and Friends Double Down on Anti-Jewish Bigotry

Somebody  needs to tell Rev. Frank Chikane and his friends that the first step to  getting out of a hole is to stop digging. Yet, in their efforts to  absolve the pastor of inciting hostility toward Israel and Jews, Chikane  and his friends are adding sin upon sin.

Chikane, as readers of The Algemeiner will know,  is the South African pastor and politico who serves as “moderator” of  the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the  World Council of Churches (WCC). He portrayed Israelis as “demons,” and  declared that the world will seek “blood” from people who support Israel  during an online event on February 6. He also declared that “the sins  of the past which were committed against the Jews must not be used as a  way to and reason to allow more sins to be committed against the  Palestinians.”

After Christians and Jews in South Africa responded forcefully  to Chikane’s abusive rhetoric in an February 18, 2021, article in the  “South African Jewish Report” (SAJR), the reverend and his friends  doubled down with more ugly polemics in the following weeks.

Chikane  spoke in conciliatory tones while speaking with the SAJR, but the  overall message he and his supporters offered in interviews with a  Muslim radio station was that Chikane’s comments were taken out of  context; that Christian Zionists are evil; that Jews abuse others  because they themselves have been abused; and that the Palestinians, who  have done no wrong, are entitled to a state of their own without any  preconditions (even as they deny Jews the right to self-determination).

During his attempt to prove that he is not “anti-Jews,” Chikane declared  that he supports the two-state solution and the right of Palestinians  to return to their “homes.” Ironically enough, Chikane missed the  contradiction when he denied the right of Jews to return to their homes.

Read More Here

In  summary, anti-Jewish bigotry, dangerous polemics, and inflammatory  libels that are part of the so-called Christian peacemaking narrative  effectively legitimize Palestinian intransigence and violence, and  delegitimize Israel's right to exist and defend itself.

To learn more about the problems
caused by the Christian peacemaking movement
please join CAMERA's Partnership of Christians and Jews for 


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