Broadcasting a Lethal Narrative: The World Council of Churches and Israel
- The World Council of Churches, an umbrella organization for 349 Protestant and Orthodox churches founded in 1948, has expressed concern for the safety and wellbeing of the Jewish people but has largely been hostile to their state, particularly during times of conflict. At these times, WCC institutions demonize Israel, use a double standard to assess its actions, and in some instances delegitimize the Jewish state. They have also persistently denied the intent of Israel’s adversaries to deprive the Jewish people of their right to a sovereign state.
- While the WCC’s pronouncements are portrayed as the result of studied and prayerful consideration, politics plays a central and decisive role in determining whom the WCC will criticize and whom it refrains from criticizing. While the Middle East Council of Churches has prevailed upon the WCC to condemn Israel, the Russian Orthodox Church was able to prevent the WCC from condemning the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
- Like mainline churches in the United States, the WCC’s anti-Israeli campaign escalated significantly after the start of the Second Intifada. This escalation was particularly evident in the WCC’s Central Committee, which, in addition to endorsing divestment, established two bodies – the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) and the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) – that both have the singular purpose of ending Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
- The WCC has devoted a substantial amount of resources to broadcasting its one-sided narrative about the Arab-Israeli conflict, but has failed to create an effective response to an ongoing campaign of terror against Christians in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The WCC regularly dialogues with Muslims, but fails to address the issue of anti-Jewish and anti-Christian rhetoric in Islamic teachings head-on. Consequently, Muslim extremists can engage in a slow, grinding campaign to eliminate Christianity from the Middle East without challenge from the World Council of Churches.
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Posted on 10/03/2011 7:45 AM by Dexter Van Zile