Thursday, June 15, 2006
New Olmert-Peretz Policy - Send New Arms to Terrorists
I wish I could tell you this is just another Plaut spoof. But I am afraid
this is for real!
The banner headline in Yediot Ahronot, Israel's leading daiy, today (June
Israel Transferred Rifles to The Palestinians
Three trucks with 950 American M-16 automatic rifles arrived from Jordan
and were allowed to be shipped into Ramallah and Gaza, in convoys
protected by the Israeli army.
The new Israeli policy of the Olmert government is to provide rifles to
Palestinian murderers that will now be used to murder Jewish children and
2. Leftists write to Prez Bush, redux:
3. June 15, 2006
Turn Left at the Presbyterian Church (to anti-Semitism)
By JIM ROBERTS
June 15, 2006; Page A14
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A growing number of Presbyterians are engaged in a
battle for the future of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Over the past two
years, this denomination -- my denomination -- has taken a turn toward
radicalism that threatens to tarnish a once-proud institution. At issue is
the Presbyterian Church's decision in 2004 "to initiate a process of
phased, selective divestment in multinational corporations operating in
Israel." The fallout was immediate, painful and damaging.
Not only are a handful of church leaders taking positions that are highly
unpopular in the pews, they are doing so with heavy-handed, top-down
measures, actions that run contrary to long-honored traditions. Not
surprisingly, the church is experiencing problems with declining
membership and dwindling financial support -- due in large part to
widespread frustration over the direction the leadership has taken.
Instead of developing policies to unite us, the leadership is sowing seeds
for further defections by large numbers.
My denomination, once revered as an icon of socially progressive thinking,
is now tainted by perceptions of anti-Semitism and naive support of
Islamic terrorists. The Presbyterian bureaucracy seems unwilling to
confront difficult problems in Africa and the Middle East that do not fit
its hard-line, pro-Palestinian political viewpoint. Interfaith relations
with Jewish friends are also in shambles after decades of efforts by
Presbyterians to reach out and create healthy working relationships based
on mutual respect.
* * *
How did the church fall so far so fast? In June 2004, with scant attention
and without fair debate, the leadership foisted a divestment resolution on
an unsuspecting church. While the action was likened to similar divestment
from South Africa under apartheid in the 1980s, attempts to draw analogies
between that country then and Israel now are factually indefensible. Only
a few months later in the fall of 2004, senior church leaders were among a
contingent that met with Hezbollah in Lebanon and praised them -- the same
international terrorist organization that has killed thousands, including
Americans, without remorse over several decades, and that receives major
funding from Iran.
The church also funds fiercely pro-Palestinian committees, sends
representatives to Palestinian advocacy conferences, and has written
obsequious congratulatory letters to the terrorist leaders of Hamas on
their recent election victory. Simultaneously, the church remains
remarkably docile on profoundly serious issues such as genocide in Darfur,
the Iranian nuclear buildup and mistreatment of Christians in communist
and Muslim countries.
Presbyterian delegates also take leadership roles in organizations that
blame the U.S. and capitalism in general for most of the world's
catastrophes. The 2004 manifesto of the World Alliance of Reformed
Churches, for instance, went on about America's "imperialism,"
"domination" and "massive threats to life." And the Presbyterian Church's
2004 Stony Point Declaration was a similar self-parody, noting that "our
nation . . . pursues global empire, backed by unprecedented military
supremacy. Its un-qualified commitment to economic growth through a
global, capitalist economic system has not served God's purposes of
justice, peace, community and the integrity of creation, but has enriched
the corporate ruling class . . . [creating] monstrous inequality and
Instead of admitting in 2006 that the Middle East has changed dramatically
since 2004 -- the rise of a land-for-peace consensus in Israel, the
election of Hamas to the Palestinian government, and the equally (if not
more) disastrous election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran -- the
Presbyterian Church clings stubbornly to flawed policies that are now all
the more embarrassing. Some leaders continued as late as a few months ago
to attend world-wide church meetings to encourage divestment among other
churches. This they attempt while simultaneously downplaying and trying to
isolate a groundswell of objections within our own church. What the
leadership now faces are nearly two dozen formal requests from regional
Presbyteries across America to change or terminate our divestment policy.
At the very least, a large majority agrees that we need to abandon
divestment as a hostile action against Israel in favor of "investment" in
Israeli and Palestinian groups that are working as bridge-builders for
Most people also agree that, with Hamas now in power in the Palestinian
territories, Presbyterians need to clearly and unequivocally denounce
Hamas's longstanding call for the destruction of Israel in its charter,
and to demand that Hamas stop its many hateful indoctrination practices
against Jewish people.
Key Presbyterian church leaders, however, are balking at considering such
necessary action. Many now have a huge personal and professional
investment in the Palestinian political agenda and the cause of divestment
from Israel. Some leaders seem to savor the global attention such advocacy
has brought them. They cannot admit that they have politicized our church
in ways that prevent healing and salvation.
Today, we Presbyterians begin our national General Assembly in Birmingham,
Ala. The problem is that the leadership appears to be working overtime to
come up with parliamentary and other maneuvers to stop the anti-divestment
movement. At the 11th hour, for example, the worried leadership proposed
that a new task force be created to "study" the divestment "option." The
plan would populate the task force with supporters of divestment and would
preserve divestment momentum while the task force works through the summer
This helplessly transparent scheme, if adopted by General Assembly, would
override the overtures from Presbyterians, putting them on hold and
delaying a clear up-or-down vote on divestment for at least another two
years. It would, however, allow other denominations to continue to cite
the 2004 divestment resolution as justification for their own actions.
With such efforts, the church leadership hopes to preserve their stature
-- along with their failed vision for the church. The vast majority of
Presbyterians long for our church to return to its core purpose: to help
nourish a closer relationship with our Savior. Instead, the leadership is
forcing many of us to spend countless hours trying to rescue the church
from those who hew to terrorist liberation politics.
Those of us who oppose divestment are not unqualified supporters of Israel
nor insensitive to the plight of Palestinians. We believe that this
country and our church need a wise and well-funded program to provide more
aid to those suffering in the Palestinian territories, Darfur and
elsewhere. However, the problems these societies are facing cannot be
blamed on democracy, capitalism or even current Israeli policies. They
suffer most from the excesses created by their own preachers of hate and
generations of corrupt and dysfunctional leadership.
This year, Presbyterian commissioners voting at General Assembly can steer
the Presbyterian ship back on a prudent path, which begins with reversing
the divestment course charted two years ago.
Mr. Roberts is chairman of the Committee to End Divestment Now.
URL for this article:
4. From Rabin Conspiracism to "Jews for Jesus":
5. Several people told me that Haaretz is now no longer censoring out
political correct letters to the editor, but even political incorrect
(meaning pro-Israel) posting as talkbacks on its web site!