Op-Ed: Obama's Church to Divest from Israel
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
In the Irish city of Limerick, in 1904, a powerful priest, John Creagh, promoted a boycott of the Jewish population.
“It is madness”, the Christian leader declared, “for a people to allow an evil to grow in their midst that will eventually cause them ruin”.
Economic sanctions were imposed; orders were given to the Jews’ customers and creditors not to buy their goods and to repay their loans.
The economic campaign was accompanied by violent demonstrations against the Jews. If they walked in the streets they were beaten, confronting crowds like “Death to the Jews!” and “We must hunt them out”.
More than a century later, another powerful Christian group is waging a war against the heirs of Limerick’s Jews: the State of Israel.
The United Church of Christ just called for a boycott of goods produced in Israeli settlements, including eastern Jerusalem. In a new report released a few days ago in Canada, which will have severe consequences for the congregation in North America, the Church calls for an economic divestment against the Jewish State.
The “Report of the Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy” will be considered by the Church’s General Council, which meets in August (another major Christian denomination, the Presbyterian Church, is considering approving a similar resolution at its General Assembly scheduled to take place in Pittsburgh in July).
Throughout the Middle East there are millions of Christians in grave danger from repressive regimes, but there are no calls for boycotts of those countries.
“Throughout the Middle East there are millions of Christians in grave danger from repressive regimes, but there are no calls for boycotts of those countries, this is idiocy”, said Shimon Fogel, head of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.
In 2006, a regional element of the Church proposed cutting investments in Israeli companies, but it was never voted upon by the council. The boycott campaign is now finally entering into the final stage.
The boycott will have political consequences in the United States, since the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago is the congregation where Barack Obama has worshipped for two decades and he and his children were baptized.
According to Ed Klein, author of a new book titled “The Amateur”, “Jeremiah Wright was like a second father to Barack Obama and helped shape his political philosophy” (even “The Audacity of Hope” was derived from a sermon by Obama’s former pastor). Wright, who is a leader in the United Church, compared Israel to Nazi Germany and called the Jewish State a “deformed modern apartheid”.
The new United Church’s report also brands Christian Zionism as “a false doctrine” and depicts Zionism as a modern form of faithlessness and rejection of God.
In the report, Canada’s largest denomination says that “the deepest meaning of the Holocaust was the denial of human dignity to Jews”, which is one of the most horrible perversions of the Shoah.
Elsewhere, Geoffrey Black, President of the United Church, issued a statement endorsing the Palestinian U.N. bid for statehood.
Wright has endorsed the recent Islamist “March to Jerusalem” planned in Qatar.
The United Church also embraced the “Kairos Document”, the important Palestinian Christian document which rejects the Jewish State, says that its security policies are “a sin against God” and promotes the boycott.
The United Church is giving to Arab rejectionism a powerful theological patina and the boycott is placing these Christian bienpensants on the wrong side – that of Islamic terrorism.
The boycott automatically catapults the Church back to the dark time of Father Creagh, who said that “the Jews come to our land to fasten themselves like leeches and have proved themselves to be the enemies of every country in Europe, and every nation had to defend itself against them”.
The community of Limerick never recovered - and all its Jews fled. That is why the economic boycott is also known as “the pogrom”.
That is why the new Christians’ economic warfare is a return to the church of anti-Semitism.