Thursday, June 22, 2006

Presbyterian Punk Out

"If we discovered that the boys in the village had jury-rigged a roadblock during the night, we'd grab some nearby civilians and order them to dismantle it. This was partly an act of collective punishment, but there was also a safety factor. If the roadblock was booby-trapped, they'd get hurt instead of us. "
Haim Watzman

Is the pro-Israel lobby powerful? Is the Pope Catholic? I won't even ask about the bathroom habits of bears.

The Israeli lobby is now telling Christian churches what to do. Two years ago the Presbyterian Church USA took a very righteous stance and voted to divest itself of financial interests in corporations that supported the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Yesterday they backed off from that courageous stance. After two years of pressure and guilt whipping they caved. Jewish groups complained that they weren't consulted first. So what, no one consulted me before the occupation. They said that Israel was being singled out. Well, there is no lobbying equivalent to AIPAC for any other country. There is no other country that brazenly and publicly tells the United States when and where to wage war. There is no other country whose lobbyists determine who does or doesn't raise campaign funds.

No, all neo-cons aren't Jews, but they all believe that Israel should be the only military power in the Middle East. They all believe that Iranians should be killed to make sure that Israel remains the only nuclear kid on the block.

The Presbyterians wimped out by saying that relations with Jews were damaged. Well, if Jews insist on equating opposition to Israeli policy with anti-Semitism, then their feelings will always be hurt by those who refuse to toe the line. Too bad for them.

American Christians should not follow the Presbyterian example. We are not Cossacks or brown shirts and we shouldn't be cowed because of unfair accusations of anti-Semitism. The Presbyterians have proved to be a great disappointment to the fight for human rights.

What will they say about the Israeli army using civilians as human shields? What will they say about bull dozed homes? Of course they will say nothing. The namby pamby statement to "invest only in peaceful pursuits" is a cop out. Israel's abuse of human rights is not unique, but its role in American government and civic life is unique, and that makes it reasonable for the Presbyterian church or any other organization to single out its actions.