Monday, June 30, 2014

CAUGHT WITH ITS PAMPHLETS DOWN

Last week I wrote about the PCUSA's divestment of Motorola, Caterpillar and Hewlitt Packard in a protest against Israel. While some will claim it was merely a statement against Israel's incursions into the occupied territory and their actions viewed as hostile to Palestine, I personally believe the basis of the divestment had a broader base.

This week, my belief was given support when the PCUSA removed the pamphlet "Zionism Unsettled", which has been distributed to all PCUSA churches since January of this year.

The pamphlet is published by an organization called the Israel-Palestine Mission Network. Despite claims that it has nothing to do with the BDS movement (a Palestinian organization), it appears this was not entirely truthful, as the IPMN works very closely with the BDS movement.

The IPMN supports a one nation solution. Israel is not the nation they include in their one nation.

The IPMN is a Presbyterian Mission Network, funded by the Presbyterian church.

Palestine is run by Hamas, a terrorist organization, who has stated:

“This way (in which the dead terrorists acted) sends a message to the Zionists, according to which they have no place in the land of Palestine,” said Al-Khiya, who threatened, “We shall expel you from our land, we will fight on it against you, and we will either kill you or expel you from it after you surrender.”
Al-Khiya praised the “resistance” in Judea and Samaria, calling on Palestinian Authority Arabs in the region to “continue the path of Jihad.”
He stressed that the jihad is the way to achieve victory. The event was attended by top officials in Hamas, including the deputy head of its political bureau and Hamas’s Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh."Israel Nation News

In connecting the dots here, it appears that the PCUSA supports Hamas intention to "continue the path of Jihad," and kill all Zionist Israelis. 

But not "officially," because they pulled the pamphlets. 

After this and divestment, they will need something else to cover their ass-ets. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

BUT I DIVEST

At this year's General Assembly the PCUSA voted to divest financial investments in Hewlett Packard Motorola and Caterpillar, because they supply products to Israel that Israel, in part, uses in occupied Palestine.

The vote is a result of ten years of PCUSA's BDS supportive push to remove support from Israel. Though they vehemently deny any affiliation with the BDS movement. There are those who argue that the protest is solely over Israel's dispute with Palestine over the occupied territory, and that, of course, PCUSA still supports Israel as a nation. And of course they still love the Israeli people to pieces, just like always. But, I divest.

The move of the Israeli government to a more conservative and radical incursion into the contested territory has caused a polar shift in our country's political parties position on this issue. There is no argument that Israel has become more militant and aggressive in its actions against the Palestinians. But our government is working hard to help sort this out. I cannot believe that the PCUSA has more information than the U.S. government for forming an all encompassing judgement for withdrawal. I find this a specious judgement at best.

There should also be no argument that Israel is surrounded by neighbors who vow to destroy and annihilate the state and people of Israel. They have been living under these threats for decades, during which time the United States has remained Israel's ally and supporter.

This is a long standing dispute that continues to heat up. Our country has been working very hard to facilitate a peace accord. It's a nasty gordian knot of issues that has valid points on both sides. But I divest.

This is about the church. The PCUSA for starters, because apparently the Methodists are planning a similar action.

I disagree that Jesus' mission on earth was a political mission. I don't see how his focus was to interfere with Rome's occupation of Israel and its harsh treatment of the Jewish people. I believe he was a peaceful revolutionary in his exhortations to people to love each other and love God, and to help the poor and suffering. Certainly those around him turned his words into political fodder, but when held to account, Jesus did not. He stayed on message. I'm not going to play dueling scripture quotes on this. I'm just stating my simplistic view.  From what I observe here, it seems that Jesus has nothing to do with any of this current decision. But, I divest.

I've read some articles that state the divestment is monetarily insignificant. I've read that the divestment is more a moral protest than anything else. I've read statements that claim this divestment isn't going to make any difference at all on the conflict.  What I haven't been able to find is the justification that has transformed a religious body into a political governing body and the scriptural basis to support condemning Israel by taking its Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlitt Packard money changing table out of the temple.

The disingenuousness of claiming to hold the nation of Israel and its people in loving regard, after essentially calling them out as bullies, is sickening to me.  Have they examined all their investments to see what companies are aiding Palestine, who as bullies go, have made worse threats against Israel? Can we hear about that? This would include investments that go into products that go to all the nations that supply Palestine with guns, ammo, explosives and any other materials that end up in Israeli killing weapons. Did they look at that?

Baptist Press quotes:
 "PCUSA moderator Heath Rada said, "In no way is this a reflection of our lack of love for Jewish sisters and brothers."

....how to have your cake and eat it too.

And they were doing so well, voting to allow Presbyterian ministers to perform gay weddings in states where gay marriage is legal. 

It's things like this divestment on a global scale, taken to a micro scale in my former church where the pastor cried on cue during three services that he wasn't getting enough money from the congregation for his 22 million dollar legacy building renovation,  after cutting the required percentage giving of donations to Presbytery mission, so they could have a copper roof, that sent my son and I on the path away from organized religion.

I have to ask,

~How can you say you love a nation of people after making a judgment that withdraws support from their physical survival? Granted, there are grounds to call Israel's current push in the occupied territory extreme. But this divestment essentially uses the PCUSA's middle finger to slam the door on Israel, in a moral statement-y way. Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, offered to set up a meeting between PCUSA leaders and Prime Minister Netanyahu and was rejected by PCUSA commissioners. So much for having faith, much less an open heart.

~How can you single out this one political hotbed and not others like Rwanda, Nigeria, Afghanistan, North Korea, Morocco, Iraq, and Syria for example, where thousands are dying daily over property line disputes just as heated? The PCUSA's investments are trickling into these areas, I'm sure, since they use big banks to channel their money. In fact, considering the trickle down benefits of all PCUSA investments, if they are going to be consistent, they need to take all their money out of the bank and broker's houses and stuff it into the GA's mattress. 

~Which brings me to the PCUSA having millions of dollars invested. Shouldn't this money be going to organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Doctors Without Borders or World Vision, or even the loans to third world entrepreneurs rather than risky stocks? Well, maybe the moneychanger tables have just gotten way too big for Jesus to overturn. Yeah. That must be it. 

But, I divest.