The “racist concept” of a Jewish national state is an “impediment to peace,”Philip Farah of the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Palestine (PCAP) judged during the panel “Myths about the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and Impediments to Peace.” Farah spoke at the November 8-9 (with Sunday worship following on November 10), 2013, Waging Peace in Palestine & Israel conference. Farah’s anger towards Israel was typical among the event’s self-professed Christians who consistently undermined the Jewish state’s legitimacy in numerous ways.
The conference sponsor was the Alliance of Baptists (AB), founded in 1987 as a “prophetic voice in Baptist life” among “people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, theological beliefs, and ministry practices.” “[C]ombining progressive inquiry” and “prophetic action,” these diverse individuals are “married, divorced, single, committed and somewhere in between.” AB’s partner congregation in Washington, DC, Calvary Baptist Church, was the conference host.
AB in the conference’s program described the event as an “effort to be faithful to our Statement of support to Palestinian Christians.” Reprinted in the program, The Alliance of Baptists Respond to the Kairos Palestine Document is also available at the AB website. In this statement AB affirmed the December 15, 2009, declaration Kairos Palestine—A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith, Hope, and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering as representing the “most prevalent views of Palestinian Christians living in the occupied territories.”
Read online, A Moment of Truth set the conference’s troubling tone. The declaration invokes a “Palestinian people who have faced…clear apartheid for more than six decades,” namely since Israel’s very founding in 1948, and not since any post-1967 Six Day War occupation. The declaration describes Israel solely as an attempt by the “West…to make amends for what Jews had endured in the countries of Europe…on our account and in our land.” Yethalf of Israel’s present Jewish population is of Middle Eastern/North African (Mizrahim) origin, many of them descended from Jews expelled by Arab countries in the years before and after Israel’s 1948 establishment. Such charges call into question A Moment of Truth’s subsequent attribution of hostility with Israel to its post-1967occupied territories, namely that “if there were no occupation, there would be no resistance, no fear and no insecurity.”
A Moment of Truth’s “Palestinian Christians declare that the military occupation of our land is a sin against God and humanity, and that any theology that legitimizes the occupation is far from Christian teachings.” The declaration’s “clear position” is that “non-violent resistance to this injustice is a right and duty for all Palestinians including Christians” as well as the international community. A Moment of Truth, though, does not specify whether the Palestinians’ “thousands of prisoners languishing in Israeli prisons” for whom the declaration asks “when will they have their freedom” have a similar commitment to nonviolence. Indeed, the declaration denounces Israeli use of “armed…Palestinian legal resistance” as a “pretext to accuse the Palestinians of being terrorists.”
Thus A Moment of Truth flatly rejects any Israeli concern about indefensible “Auschwitz borders” along the 1967 cease fire lines stemming from Israel’s 1948 independence war. Likewise receiving no mention are Jewish claims to what Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called Israel’s “historic heartland” of Judea and Samaria in the area first called the West Bank by Jordanian occupation authorities in 1950. Rather, A Moment of Truth flatly calls for an “independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital.”
Amidst its condemnation of Israeli behavior, A Moment of Truth presents a false moral equivalence in the condemnation of “all forms of racism, whether religious or ethnic, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.” The declaration thus continues the practice of various Islamic supremacists (analyzed here, here, and here) of equating anti-Semitism, a hatred of individuals like other prejudices based upon ancestry and appearance, with “Islamophobia,” a supposed irrational fear of Islam as an idea entailing certain beliefs and behaviors.
Such beliefs and behaviors are at issue, for example, with respect to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian affiliate Hamas. Ruling the Gaza Strip since seizing power there in 2007, this terrorist organization’s charter draws upon canonical Islamic sources to express a genocidal agenda against Israel. Hamas merely receives an oblique reference in A Moment of Truthwith criticism of the international community’s refusal “to deal positively with the will of the Palestinian people expressed in the outcome of democratic and legal elections in 2006” swept by Hamas. Only in a “call to reject fanaticism and extremism” for Muslims do any concerns about (anti-Semitic) sharia and jihad shimmer through in the declaration, caveated by a “message to the world that Muslims are neither to be stereotyped as the enemy nor caricatured as terrorists.”
Read more at Juicy Ecumenism