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.
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
CRISIS IN CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKING IN THE HOLY LAND
THURSDAY, MARCH 25TH AT 1:00 PM EST