Church Leaders Slam U.S. 'Unconditional' Israel Aid

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Church Leaders Slam U.S. 'Unconditional' Israel Aid

Post by zone on Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:49 pm

Breaking News
Church Leaders Slam U.S. 'Unconditional' Israel Aid
JCPA Upset at Demand for Reevaluation of Asssistance


By JTA
Published October 09, 2012.
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Fifteen leaders of U.S. churches and other faith-based organizations have asked Congress to reevaluate U.S. military aid to Israel.

The religious leaders sent a letter to Congress members on Monday, calling for an investigation into possible violations by Israel of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, which would make Israel ineligible for U.S. military aid.

“As Christian leaders in the United States, it is our moral responsibility to question the continuation of unconditional U.S. financial assistance to the government of Israel. Realizing a just and lasting peace will require this accountability, as continued U.S. military assistance to Israel – offered without conditions or accountability – will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories,” the letter, signed by leaders of the Lutheran, Methodist, UCC churches, and the National Council of Churches, said.

“We request, therefore, that Congress hold Israel accountable to these standards by making the disbursement of U.S. military assistance to Israel contingent on the Israeli government’s compliance with applicable U.S. laws and policies.”

“We write to you as Christian leaders representing U.S. churches and religious organizations committed to seeking a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” the letter said, adding that the organizations have “worked alongside our Palestinian Christian sisters and brothers to help build a peaceful and resilient Palestinian civil society.” The signatories said they were writing to Congress “to express our grave concern about the deteriorating conditions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.”

“Unfortunately, unconditional U.S. military assistance to Israel has contributed to this deterioration, sustaining the conflict and undermining the long-term security interests of both Israelis and Palestinians,” the letter said, citing the 2011 State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices covering Israel and the Occupied Territories.

The letter called on Congress to hold hearings “to examine Israel’s compliance, and we request regular reporting on compliance and the withholding of military aid for non-compliance.”

The letter also decried what it called “a troubling and consistent pattern of disregard by the government of Israel for U.S. policies that support a just and lasting peace,” citing Israel’s failure to halt settlement activity despite repeated U.S. government requests.

The letter was criticized by Jewish groups.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs rejected the call to reevaluate foreign aid to Israel. “U.S. aid to Israel is not ‘unconditional,’ as the letter claims. It reflects the shared values of America and Israel and furthers our shared goals for peace and security and is vital to advance the security of both peoples,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow.

The Rabbinical Assembly, the international umbrella organization of Conservative rabbis, called for a reevaluation of the interfaith partnerships between the assembly and the denominations represented in the letter.

“The letter calling for hearings and reassessment was issued without outreach to longtime partners in public advocacy within the Jewish community. It was released on the eve of Shabbat, just before a long weekend of Jewish and American holidays. And it was distributed at a time when Congress is out of session, in the midst of the general election campaign,” the Rabbinical Assembly said in a statement. “We find these tactics to be disrespectful of channels of communication that have been constructed over decades, and an essential declaration of separation from the endeavor of interfaith consultation on matters of deep concern to the Jewish community. Indeed, we find this breach of trust to be so egregious that we wonder if it may not warrant an examination on the part of the Jewish community at large of these partnerships and relationships that we understood ourselves to be working diligently to preserve and protect.”

The American Jewish Committee said it was outraged by the Christian leaders’ call. “When the world currently is focused on the Iranian nuclear threat to the entire Middle East and the world, Christian leaders have chosen to mount another political attack on Israel,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations. “When religious liberty and safety of Christians across the Middle East are threatened by the repercussions of the Arab Spring, these Christian leaders have chosen to initiate a polemic against Israel, a country that protects religious freedom and expression for Christians, Muslims and others.”



Read more: http://forward.com/articles/163937/church-leaders-slam-us-unconditional-israel-aid/#ixzz29rmwXoRQ
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Israel Lobby Threatens Church Groups With Congressional Investigation Over Call for Restricting U.S. Military Aid

Post by zone on Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:51 pm

Israel Lobby Threatens Church Groups With Congressional Investigation Over Call for Restricting U.S. Military Aid

by RICHARD SILVERSTEIN on OCTOBER 18, 2012 · 12 COMMENTS
in JEWS & JUDAISM, MIDEAST PEACE, POLITICS & SOCIETY

A coalition of U.S. church groups recently made public a letter which called upon the U.S. government to condition future military aid to Israel on its fulfillment of obligations under U.S. law. The statement was intended to express criticism of Israel’s use of U.S. weapons like cluster bombs in violation of our law and noted that U.S. military assistance provided Israel a buffer against undertaking any actions to advance a just and lasting peace. For example, its settlement policy, refusal to return to 1967 borders, and refusal to share Jerusalem, all directly contradict international law and stated U.S. policy.

Though these church groups have been critical of Israeli policy in the past, threatening to lobby for withholding military aid would really cut the Israel lobby to the quick, as it’s a position held by a number of anti-Zionist groups that are much farther to the left. The fact that mainline Christian denominations, who generally support liberal Zionist positions, would be moving in a more critical direction has to be deeply concerning to the lobby.

Though they refuse to consider or acknowledge it, such a development indicates a growing alienation of American churches from Israel and the draconian positions advanced by its government. The churches are willing to lose their interfaith dialogue with the Jewish community over such an issue, which indicates how seriously they take their opposition to the Netanyahu regime.

First to lash out in anger was (typically) Abe Foxman followed by one of Israel’s leading hasbara outfits, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. It appears to be taking the lead in “handling” the BDS efforts of a number of the Christian denominations. As such, it’s a key player in Israel’s campaign against so-called “delegitimization.” Those guys at JCPA play hardball. Not content merely to criticize the churches, they lashed out at the “anti-Judaism” elements within their ranks. They used terms like “vicious anti-Zionism,” “relentless attacks on the Jewish state,” and “delegitimizers of Israel” to up the ante and level of vitriol. They also threatened to call out the Congressional dogs through mounting investigations of the groups themselves:

“JCPA is considering as a response asking Congress to investigate delegitimizers of Israel and to issue a resolution against their efforts.”

I’m not sure what this is supposed to gain the lobby. Do they think that parishioners will be mortified to find their particular denomination is called out by name in a Congressional resolution? Should these groups then call on their particular Congressional allies to respond tit for tat? Should we have a mini-religious war in the halls of Congress?

For anyone who still naively believes that J Street is a real force for progressive values regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, read M.J. Rosenberg’s devastating critique of their decision to join the Israel lobby coalition denouncing the churches. People like M.J. make the mistake (in my opinion) of calling J Street “Aipac lite.” I don’t think J Street’s allegiance is to Israel particularly. I think J Street is Obama’s Jewish wing. They are nothing more than a cover for him pursuing the Jewish vote. They never deviate from administration positions on any matter related to Israel. They attacked the Goldstone report, opposed Palestinian statehood at the UN, and now join with Israel lobby hysterics in railing against Christians for insisting that Israel obey U.S. law in its use of American weapons systems. In each of these positions they’ve betrayed progressive values, which is why they deserve support from no Jews who support a just resolution of the conflict.

Also, read Alex Kane’s excellent reporting here.
http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2012/10/18/israel-lobby-threatens-church-groups-with-congressional-investigation-over-foreign-aid-initiative/
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Re: Church Leaders Slam U.S. 'Unconditional' Israel Aid

Post by zone on Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:55 pm

Israel Lobby Threatens Church Groups With Congressional Investigation Over Call for Restricting U.S. Military Aid



http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/israel-lobby-threatens-church-groups-with-congressional-investigation-over-call-for-restricting-u-s-military-aid/#more-45898
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ADL Boycotts Interfaith Meeting Over Israel Letter

Post by zone on Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:58 pm

ADL Boycotts Interfaith Meeting Over Israel Letter
Church Leaders Asked Congress to Reconsider 'Unconditional' Aid

By JTA
Published October 11, 2012.
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The Anti-Defamation League withdrew from participating in a national Jewish-Christian interfaith dialogue after church leaders asked Congress to reevaluate U.S. military aid to Israel.
The ADL in a statement called the request “a serious breach of trust by mainline Protestant Church leaders” participating in the annual interfaith meeting, which will be held on Oct. 22.


Read more: http://forward.com/articles/164099/adl-boycotts-interfaith-meeting-over-israel-letter/#ixzz29rpUuyR4
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Re: Church Leaders Slam U.S. 'Unconditional' Israel Aid

Post by zone on Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:07 pm

7 Jewish Groups Withdraw from Dialogue Demonizing Israel

Seven Jewish groups pulled out of a interfaith dialogue, in response to letter sent to Congres accusing israel of human rights violations.


By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 10/18/2012, 3:02 PM


ADL National Director Abe Foxman
Yoni Kempinski

Six Jewish groups joined the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in pulling out of a national Jewish-Christian interfaith dialogue, scheduled to take place October 22, due to a recent letter sent by 15 Protestant leaders to members of Congress accusing Israel of committing human rights violations and calling for a re-evaluation of U.S. foreign aid to Israel.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC), B’nai B’rith International (BBI), Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), Rabbinical Assembly (RA), Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) all joined the ADL, which had been the first Jewish group to withdraw from the dialogue.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/161074#.UIMf5sU7150
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AIPAC Rosenberg: 15 Church organizations are “anti-Semites.

Post by zone on Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:16 pm

Churches In U.S. Call On Government To Review Aid To Israel

Friday October 12, 2012 08:40 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

The Israeli Radio reported that 15 church organizations in the United States issued a statement calling on the United States to review the financial aid to Israel, and to question its unconditional financial assistance to the country, adding that this unconditional aid will not help improve the situation but will only sustain the status quo of the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories.


The Churches said that the U.S. Congress must hold Israel accountable for its actions by placing a condition that the U.S military aid to Israel should depend on Israel’s compliance with the laws and policies of the United States.

The call caused controversy while former official of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), MJ Rosenberg, wrote an angry column nearly describing the 15 Church organizations as “anti-Semites.

He added that American Jewish organizations are furious with the call to evaluate the aid.

The Churches did not call for boycotting Israel but asked the Congress to reconsider the $3.5 Billion of U.S. aid to Israel, and said that U.S. Congress members should determine each year, before sending the aid, whether Tel Aviv is violating U.S. laws and principles.

The Churches said that Christian leaders have the responsibility to question the continuation of this unconditional aid to Tel Aviv, adding that achieving a long and lasting peace in the region requires accountability.

Angered by the statement, AIPAC said that it rejects the evaluation of the aid, and accused the signatories of the letter of distancing themselves from the “mainstream values”.

They said that protecting the Israeli American relations is a wise investment America makes to protect its people and interests in the region.

http://www.imemc.org/article/64383
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Re: Church Leaders Slam U.S. 'Unconditional' Israel Aid

Post by zone on Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:17 pm

AIPAC Rosenberg: 15 Church organizations are “anti-Semites".

AND SO THE MASK COMES OFF.

my only question to the Lutheran Church - WHAT TOOK SO LONG?
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Re: Church Leaders Slam U.S. 'Unconditional' Israel Aid

Post by Strangelove on Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:41 pm

zone wrote:AIPAC Rosenberg: 15 Church organizations are “anti-Semites".

AND SO THE MASK COMES OFF.

my only question to the Lutheran Church - WHAT TOOK SO LONG?

Too right!

They say we are anti-Judaism and delegitimizers of Israel?

Yeah...and???

Are we supposed to be pro-Judaism and say that they are the real Israel?

Can I get a run down of the 15 churches please zone?

Are they all Lutheran?

I don;t s'pose we got any dispy churches in there?

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Re: Church Leaders Slam U.S. 'Unconditional' Israel Aid

Post by zone on Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:44 pm

Strangelove wrote:

Too right!

They say we are anti-Judaism and delegitimizers of Israel?

Yeah...and???

Are we supposed to be pro-Judaism and say that they are the real Israel?

Can I get a run down of the 15 churches please zone?

Are they all Lutheran?

I don;t s'pose we got any dispy churches in there?
Ya Doc no kidding.
No, not all Lutheran. Methodist too, I think they're dispy but i'm checking for the list now.
Foxman's having fits.
LOL.

NOW LOOK AT THE REACTION:

Israel Lobby Threatens Church Groups With Congressional Investigation Over Call for Restricting U.S. Military Aid to Israel

A coalition of U.S. church groups recently made public a letter which called upon the U.S. government to condition future military aid to Israel on its fulfillment of obligations under U.S. law. The statement was intended to express criticism of Israel’s use of U.S. weapons like cluster bombs in violation of our law and noted that U.S. military assistance provided Israel a buffer against undertaking any actions to advance a just and lasting peace. For example, its settlement policy, refusal to return to 1967 borders, and refusal to share Jerusalem, all directly contradict international law and stated U.S. policy.

Though these church groups have been critical of Israeli policy in the past, threatening to lobby for withholding military aid would really cut the Israel lobby to the quick, as it’s a position held by a number of anti-Zionist groups that are much farther to the left. The fact that mainline Christian denominations, who generally support liberal Zionist positions, would be moving in a more critical direction has to be deeply concerning to the lobby.

Though they refuse to consider or acknowledge it, such a development indicates a growing alienation of American churches from Israel and the draconian positions advanced by its government. The churches are willing to lose their interfaith dialogue with the Jewish community over such an issue, which indicates how seriously they take their opposition to the Netanyahu regime.

First to lash out in anger was (typically) Abe Foxman followed by one of Israel’s leading hasbara outfits, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. It appears to be taking the lead in “handling” the BDS efforts of a number of the Christian denominations. As such, it’s a key player in Israel’s campaign against so-called “delegitimization.” Those guys at JCPA play hardball. Not content merely to criticize the churches, they lashed out at the “anti-Judaism” elements within their ranks. They used terms like “vicious anti-Zionism,” “relentless attacks on the Jewish state,” and “delegitimizers of Israel” to up the ante and level of vitriol. They also threatened to call out the Congressional dogs through mounting investigations of the groups themselves:

“JCPA is considering as a response asking Congress to investigate delegitimizers of Israel and to issue a resolution against their efforts.”

I’m not sure what this is supposed to gain the lobby. Do they think that parishioners will be mortified to find their particular denomination is called out by name in a Congressional resolution? Should these groups then call on their particular Congressional allies to respond tit for tat? Should we have a mini-religious war in the halls of Congress?

For anyone who still naively believes that J Street is a real force for progressive values regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, read M.J. Rosenberg’s devastating critique of their decision to join the Israel lobby coalition denouncing the churches. People like M.J. make the mistake (in my opinion) of calling J Street “Aipac lite.” I don’t think J Street’s allegiance is to Israel particularly. I think J Street is Obama’s Jewish wing. They are nothing more than a cover for him pursuing the Jewish vote. They never deviate from administration positions on any matter related to Israel. They attacked the Goldstone report, opposed Palestinian statehood at the UN, and now join with Israel lobby hysterics in railing against Christians for insisting that Israel obey U.S. law in its use of American weapons systems. In each of these positions they’ve betrayed progressive values, which is why they deserve support from no Jews who support a just resolution of the conflict.

Also, read Alex Kane’s excellent reporting here.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-lobby-threatens-church-groups-with-congressional-investigation-over-call-for-restricting-u-s-military-aid-to-israel/5308788
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Re: Church Leaders Slam U.S. 'Unconditional' Israel Aid

Post by zone on Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:08 pm

Strangelove wrote:

Can I get a run down of the 15 churches please zone?

Are they all Lutheran?

I don;t s'pose we got any dispy churches in there?

eh....ELCA is the Liberal wing...not my church.

but fascinating to see this list here!

The signers, besides the Presbyterians, included leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches, the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the American Friends Service Committee (a Quaker agency) and the Mennonite Central Committee. Two Catholic leaders also signed, one with the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, an umbrella group of men’s religious orders. “

http://rightring.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/churches-call-for-congressional-investigation-into-aid-to-israel/
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