PC(USA) has long been anti-Israel, but their new study guide–created by the vehemently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center–is nothing but a hit piece against Israel and Zionism. And oh yeah, they’re as bad as Nazis. Lazar Berman explains:
In “Zionism Unsettled,” a new study guide on Israel released in January for the PC(USA)’s 2.4 million members, the IPMN states its case clearly: Zionism is the problem, destroying both indigenous Palestinian lives and rich Jewish communities across the globe in a supremacist misinterpretation of God’s word on par with “Christian exceptionalist beliefs [that] contributed to the Nazi Holocaust, the genocide of Native Americans, and countless other instances of tragic brutality.”
Moreover, IPMN’s book argues, the American Jewish community actively stifles dissent against the Zionist narrative, taking advantage of the “ignorance and passivity of many liberal American Jews.”
In other words, there would be complete peace in the Middle East if it weren’t for those pesky Jews. (Ignore Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, all previous wars between Arab and Muslim states. They were probably all Israel’s fault, anyway.)
“Zionism Unsettled” strives to paint Zionism as an ideology foisted initially upon an unsupportive Jewish public, and increasingly outside of the authentic Jewish mainstream today. Most Jews, it claims, reject Zionism with their feet, choosing to live outside of Israel. Were it not for Zionism, Jewish life would be thriving across the Middle East. One graphic presents Jewish life in Iran as “alive and well,” a model of ancient coexistence shattered by the intrusion of Zionism into the region.
Alive and well? Sure, because Islamism’s rise in Iran would have completely ignored the Jewish population. Like it does today.
In the remaining schools, Jewish principals have been replaced by Muslims. In Tehran there are still three schools in which Jewish pupils constitute a majority. The curriculum is Islamic, and Persian is forbidden as the language of instruction for Jewish studies. Special Hebrew lessons are conducted on Fridays by the Orthodox Otzar ha-Torah organization, which is responsible for Jewish religious education. Saturday is no longer officially recognized as the Jewish sabbath, and Jewish pupils are compelled to attend school on that day. There are three synagogues in Tehran, but since 1994, there has been no rabbi in Iran, and the bet din does not function.
Of course, that is all Zionism’s fault. Changing the Sabbath, not allowing Jews to control their own religion–Zionism, you see. Clearly it’s because of Israel.
There were 100,000 Iranian Jews in 1948. There are a little mor than 10,000 today. And most of them would probably leave, but Iran does not allow Jews to bring their entire families on vacation, knowing full well they’d immigrate to Israel or the U.S. if they didn’t leave a hostage behind.
But hey, the lack of Jews in Arab lands? It’s all Zionism’s fault.
It blames the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands as “blowback” from the “perceived injustice of the enforced partition of Palestine, the creation of a Jewish state, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1947-48, and the Sinai War of 1956.”
One has to wonder how Sabeel would explain the lack of Jews in Europe after WWII. Probably that they left voluntarily to go to Israel, or something.
The “study guide” is also full of deliberate misquotes.
And at times, the guide moves closer to something far worse. It claims that liberal Orthodox educator Rabbi David Hartman advocated the wholesale slaughter of Palestinians: “’Let’s really let them understand what the implication of their action is,’ he said of the Palestinians. ‘Very simply, wipe them out. Level them.’”
But a glance at the 2002 Washington Post article from which the quote was taken makes it obvious that Hartman was talking about Palestinian terrorists, not the civilian population at large, as “Zionism Unsettled” wrote.
This study guide is going to be adopted by Presbyterian churches all over the country. It’s guides like these that misinform people who trust their church to rely on impeccable sources. But these sources include deliberate lies and misinformation, as well as a healthy dose of anti-Israelism. And let’s be honest: Anti-Israelism is just a cover for anti-Semitism. I’m not talking about disagreeing with Israeli government policies. Anyone who thinks that Israel should not exist is, at bottom, a Jew-hater. Because Israel as a nation existed thousands of years ago. And somehow only Israel, of all the world’s nations, is not allowed to have its indigenous people return to their homeland.
An Israeli statesman tells an anecdote: The graffiti in Europe during the 1930s read “Jews, go to Palestine.” The graffiti in Europe today says “Jews, out of Palestine.” Clearly, PC(USA) agrees with that sentiment.
The only positive thing I have to say about this is that the congregations do not agree with the leadership. They voted down the BDS motion the last time the Sabeelists tried. I’m hoping they’ll see this hit piece for what it is, and complain enough to get it removed.