Old habits die hard. Despite numerous attempts by mainline Protestant denominations to promote historically informed studies of Judaism, repudiate supersessionist theologies and engage in conversations wth Jews, the old habit of bearing false witness against Jewish neighbors lives on. In recent years this practice has thrived especially in mainline Protestant statements on the Middle East.
The National Council of Churches, its key mainline members and other church organizations are calling for Israel to alter its policies on the Gaza Strip after an Israeli action against an international flotilla on the high seas resulted in nine deaths, many wounded and damaged diplomatic relations.
A decision to include two West Bank shrines in a list of Jewish heritage sites slated for preservation has been praised by religious and right-wing Jews and scorned by Palestinians and their supporters.
Mixed reactions to Yom Kippur prayer asking forgiveness
Jan 26, 2010
Criticized in the past for remarks that upset many in America’s Jewish community, former President Jimmy Carter has apologized for any of his words or actions that might have served to stigmatize Israel.
Palestinian Christian leaders have issued a call for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, which they described as “a sin against God and against humanity,” and have appealed for support from the world’s churches.
Just over a year old, J Street is a lobbying organization in Washington that describes itself as “pro-Israel, pro-peace.” It aims to offer an alternative perspective to that of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which for decades has been the dominant voice of American Jews on Mideast issues.
The World Council of Churches has called on the Israeli government to “implement an open-ended freeze” on all settlement construction and expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem “in preparation for negotiating peace in good faith” in the region.
On a visit to Israel last year a colleague suggested that I visit Kibbutz Metzer, a community founded by Argentinean Jewish émigrés in the 1950s. So along with my Quaker traveling companion and one other American, I hired a taxi and drove north from Jerusalem for nearly two hours to the interior of the country.