Monday, June 27, 2011

Presbyterian Kairos Palestine Document Shows True Anti-Israel Colors

In my previous blog I introduced the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s Kairos Palestine Document (KPD).  KPD,written by an ecumenical group of Palestinian Christians, was released publicly on December 11, 2009.  This manifesto was released by the PCUSA to let the world know what is taking place in Palestine, according to Palestinian Christians.

The goal of the KPD to call the "international community to stand by the Palestinian people." At the 219th General Assembly (2010) of the PCUSA, the full document was approved to the church for study and to endorse its emphases on "hope, liberation, nonviolence, love of enemy and reconciliation."

Let it be known that the desire of those who recommended the KPD was for others to hear the "often neglected voice of the Palestinian Christian." Unfortunately, the Palestinian Christian voice managed to distort the Israeli perspective and gave the PCUSA a dangerously one-sided perspective on the Middle East conflict.

As one reads through the KPD, several glaring anti-Israel messages are observed. As a result of reading through this document and noting its anti-Israel stance, I strongly urge this document should be further challenged and rejected by the PCUSA leadership.

Full blame for the current Middle East problem is placed on the occupation.  The document assumes that if Israel would end the "occupation" then peace would result. However, one would need to be quite naive to believe this falsehood. Consider the continued military attacks that were initiated by the Palestinian Gaza towards Israel when the Jewish nation withdrew from Gaza.

Today there is a strong call for Israel to unconditionally lift its embargo against Gaza for humanitarian reasons. Yet there are no safeguards offered that would stop the flow of rockets and weaponry to be used by Hamas against Israelis if the embargo is lifted.

The vision of Israel by the KPD committee is a non-Jewish Israel.  Despite the long term stance of the PCUSA that affirmed Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, the KPD calls for an international Israel.

In KPD 2.3 the document states, "we believe our land has a universal mission. The text states, "In this universality, the meaning of the promises, of the land, of the election, of the people of God open up to include all of humanity, starting from all the peoples of the land."

These words are a clear rejection of the Jewish Scriptures which call the people of Israel, God's elect chosen to dwell in clear geographically boundaries within the Holy Land.  In KPD 2.3 the writers expose their theological prejudice towards replacement theology in which the God's promises once made to Israel are given to the church.

Yes, it is God's intent for the nations of the world to come to Israel to worship the God of Israel and for the Law to go forth from Jerusalem to all the nations (Isaiah 2).  But God never pronounced that the international blessings of the world through Israel meant that Israel would become unnecessary and be replaced by an international entity. In all the passages describing a future messianic kingdom, Israel continues to exists and remains the key nation under the rulership of the Messiah King through which God's blessings to the nations flow forth. Israel is never replaced for a universal non-descript entity.

Thus, the KPD undermines the legitimacy of the state of Israel.

The security of Israel is ignored in the KPD and only challenges the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.  It is surprising to read a document written by Christians who have no problem condemning Israel's "occupation" of Palestinian territory, yet the same document fails to condemn the violence committed by Palestinian terrorists.  In my writings I have brought up this point as a major flaw in the Palestinian Christian's call for non-violence in dealing with Israeli soldiers.

I find the Palestinian Christian attempt to paint themselves as peaceful and advocates of  a "love thy enemy"  theology to be a serious misuse of this New Testament passage. This is especially true when  these proponents of non-violence fail to condemn the violent actions of their own Palestinian leaders.

In relation to Israel's right to protect itself against terrorist attacks, the KPD claims Israel used Palestinian terrorist attacks as a "pretext to accuse the Palestinians of being terrorists and was able to distort the real nature of the conflict, presenting it as an Israeli war against terror, rather than an Israeli occupation faced by Palestinian legal resistance aiming at ending it" (KPD 1.5).

The KPD does not require that the Palestinian government be held to the same standards as for the Israeli government.

Palestinian Christians are quick to point towards the poverty suffered by their people, but rarely hold their own government responsible for relieving the financial burdens of their people.  It's quite amazing that  the Palestinian ruling authority has enough financial capital to purchase arms to use against Israel but cannot feed their own people. It's also uncanny that the Palestinians are supported by Iran, Syria and Egypt in order to arm itself against Israel but once again, they fail to use these funds to improve the living conditions of their own people.

The KPD is filled with many inconsistencies and historical flaws regarding the background of the Middle East conflict.  I strongly suggest the PCUSA make every attempt to work with Jewish organizations and the Jewish community to provide a balance in their perspective on the Arab/Israel crisis.

The failure to include any Jewish authorities in compiling this report on the Middle East tempts one to believe that the PCUSA had no interest in presenting a balanced view on this most important conflict.  Rather, they used this committee that composed the KPD an an opportunity to bias the PCUSA against Israel.

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