Friends of Terror – by Mark D. Tooley


Friends of radically pro-Palestinian Sabeel, which is headed by a Jerusalem-based Anglican clergy, hosted a recent conference in Washington, D.C. for U.S. church supporters, where the crowd loudly applauded the suggestion that Israel be dissolved as a Jewish state.  Others decried Israel, and the United States, as “genocidal.”  Speakers included United Methodist missions official David Wildman and Roman Catholic radical feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether.   (My associate, Jeff Walton attended, and I am relying on his onsite reports.)

Meeting at the historically African American Shiloh Baptist Church, Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) tried to connect Sabeel’s cause with Civil Rights and anti-Apartheid movements.   Arrogant Israel equals Bull Connor and P.W. Botha, while struggling Palestinians evidently equal Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

Like segregation and Apartheid, Jewish Israel needs to end altogether, Sabeel’s supporters seemed to insist.  During a question and answer period after remarks by Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, an audience member urged people to “vote the Jewish state out of existence”.  Enthusiastic applause erupted up and down the pews.  Seemingly no speaker disavowed the sentiment.  Indeed, their remarks pointed in the same direction.  (See Walton’s report here)

“If we are to re-imagine peace, we have to stop thinking of the conventional two-state solution,” Falk insisted. “This idea of two people living in separate states would be a disaster.”  Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions heartily agreed.  He and Falk want not only to end the “occupation” in the West Bank, but also to guarantee an unending “right of return” by descendants of Palestinians who lived in pre-1948 Israel, who would gain immediate Israeli citizenship and eventually eradicate Israel as Jewish state demographically, if not militarily.

To get there, Sabeel wants to demonize Israel as illegitimate.  “We need to build a civil society resistance movement like against apartheid, that will make the occupation unsustainable,” Halper explained.  “At this stage, it is a fundamental mistake to look towards intergovernmental diplomacy as a solution,” Falk warned. “Where we should look is towards mobilization and activation of civil society around the world.”

Falk emphasized:  “It’s a grave error to think that international diplomacy can reach the goals of peace at this point.”  Naturally, Halper agreed:  “We’ve got to turn a corner and become a much more effective resistance movement,” he said. But Halper stressed:  “Our job is to end the occupation, not [just] to end American involvement.”

Sabeel evidently is displeased with President Obama so far, with Falk complaining that his policies “are not that different” from President Bush’s.  “The problem with Obama’s speech is that he refers to Israel as a Jewish state,” intoned Nadia Hijab of the Institute on Palestinian Studies, who claimed Israel’s Jewishness keeps Palestinians as second class citizens.

To jump-start global pressure against Israel, United Methodist missions official David Wildman urged anti-Israel economic pressure.  (See Walton’s report here)  “Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions is the cutting edge of how we in the international community can be in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis working to end the occupation, working to end the apartheid practices of the Israeli government,” declared Wildman, Executive Secretary for Human Rights and Racial Justice with the New York-based United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries (GMGM).  He evidently had forgotten that his own United Methodist Church rejected anti-Israel divestment last year.

“Boycotts do change bad behavior,” asserted Wildman, who unashamedly cited the Montgomery anti-segregation bus boycott as the exemplar.   He called “racist” the supposed idea of “good violence” by colonizers, i.e. Israel, against “bad violence” by native resisters, such as Palestinians.  “There are many brutal governments in the world, but these [alleged Gaza war crimes] were done with the consent of the governed,” Wildman angrily complained, referring to Israeli voters, and perhaps American ones too. “As a U.S. taxpayer, I’ve funded violent attacks – benefitted from a system of apartheid and oppression,” he regretted.  The missions official also recalled boycotts against napalm producers during the Vietnam War and more recently against repressive Burma and Sudan as models for anti-Israel actions.

Presumably agreeing with Wildman, Rosemary Ruether opined:  “This crime [Israeli occupation of the West Bank] has taken place with either the active or passive role of western Christianity.”  Ruether, a long-time Roman Catholic dissident, is now Visiting Professor of Feminist Theology at the United Methodist-affiliated Claremont School of Theology.  “One must stop using the Holocaust as though it mandates the creation of a state at the exclusion of its former occupants,” she declared. “A Jewish state is systematic discrimination because it’s based on identity,” said Ruether, who faulted a “subtle form of Christian Zionism” that “hands over all of the Middle East to Israel.”

Ruether further blamed “genocidal theologies” for pro-Israel stances by Christians.  (See Walton’s report here)  The Hebrew Scriptures suggest that indigenous people have a “demonic identity and that they should be exterminated for who they are,” she insisted.   “Our confirmation of Israel’s identity myth justifies ours,” Ruether charged. “A God that justifies the removal of one group in the name of another is a racist, tribal God.”

Cherokee feminist and University of California professor Andrea Smith affirmed Ruether. “Genocide is foundational to the U.S. itself,” she claimed, also faulting “heteropatriarchy.”  Smith was frustrated that, “Even on the left, we still see the presumption that the U.S. should and always will continue to exist, and then we don’t question the genocide that is foundational to the founding of the U.S.”   While fellow leftists faulted President Bush for eroding civil liberties, Smith suggested he was actually “fulfilling” American democracy’s sordid premise.

Echoing Ruether and the Cherokee feminist, “Womanist” Theologian Bea Morris of Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, likewise faulted the Hebrew Scriptures.   “Some fundamentalist and Pentecostal denominations spend excess time in the Hebrew text and not very much in the Second [New] Testament,” she lamented.

So according to Sabeel, evidently here is the problem: Israel, and the Bible, are just too Jewish.  Many Sabeel enthusiasts would like to dissolve one and rewrite the other.  Their intemperate attempts will certainly fail.

  • Proxywar

    “Our confirmation of Israel’s identity myth justifies ours,” Ruether charged. “A God that justifies the removal of one group in the name of another is a racist, tribal God.”

    Yet not a word about islam or the hamas charter? Seems these people are selective, or don't understand the old testament teachings refer to a particular people
    time and place. Where as Islam is not.

    Germany isn't based on german identity?


    religious people suck. Conservatives should become atheists like ayn rand and myself.

  • Robert Bernier

    Israel is the only country whose creation was approved by the UN;
    yet it is the only country whose legitimacy is called into question. It is the only country which the world requires to compromise with its Palestinian Arab attackers and accede to their demands, even while they are firing rockets at its schools and houses and blowing up its citizens. The prosperity and growing cultural confidence of Israel is a fitting riposte to the Western intelligentsia, American meddling and the daily propaganda assault that ignores the Islamisation of the Palestinians as described at :

  • Robert Bernier

    The Land of Israel is Jewish.
    Arabs should accept that just as Ire-Land is the Land of the Irish and Eng-Land the Land of the English and Fin-Land the Land of the Finns, the name Eretz Yisrael means the Land of the Israelis. The identity of the land is the same as the identity of the nation residing in it; therefore, the Nation of Israel, the Jews, cannot be an occupier of the Land of Israel. The Crusaders named the land “Kingdom of Jerusalem.” The Arab occupation did not have a name for the land; it was referred to merely as “southern Syria.” For 1,300 years, the land had no identity in the absence of the Biblical Jewish nation that identified itself with it. No one claimed ownership but our nation. This is the entire story. The Arabs demand that Israeli governments transfer the land free and clear of Jews. As long as there are Jews in Judea, that place cannot not be called by its false name – “Palestine.” The only thing that stops the cadre of traitors from transferring our land to the enemy, already at our gates, is their inability to uproot the settlements. Those communities halt the wheels of destruction as explained at :

  • John from Toronto

    Reuther “faulted a subtle form of Christian Zionism” that “hands over all of the Middle East to Israel.” Has this woman looked at a map lately? She couldn't even find Israel on a map, especially one created by the Palestinians.

  • LindaRivera

    The HYPOCRITES are silent regarding the terrible suffering inflicted by Islamics on Israel's Jews; Christians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and on non-Muslim innocents in countries around the world.

    In the FILTHY Islamic Invasion of Church of Nativity, Muslims Tore Up Bibles for Toilet Paper. Christian majority towns, Bethlehem & Nazareth are now majority Muslim-terrified Christians were driven out by cruel Islamic persecution. Many Bethlehem Christians' homes and land were stolen by Muslims. The Christians who remain, live in constant fear. US/EU/UN are silent about the suffering and terrible persecution of Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and other non-Muslims, by Islam.

    Mohammad, founder of Islam was a huge SLAVE TRADER and considered the perfect man and role model by Muslims. Mohammad beheaded 700 Jewish men because they obeyed G-D's Laws and refused to follow the new religion of Islam. Their wives and children were seized. 1,400 years of Islamic savage slavery continues unabated.

    In our day, hundreds of thousands of Black South Sudanese Christians have been taken for slaves by Sudan's Muslims. Conversion to Islam is supposed to buy protection from Islamic barbarism, but in Mauritania, Arab Muslims take Black Muslims for slaves. Horrific, inhuman atrocities are perpetrated against the powerless slaves.

  • LindaRivera


    Abduction and Forced Islamization of Christian Coptic Girls Continues in Egypt

    (AINA) — The systematic abduction and forced Islamization of Coptic minor girls in Egypt is a frequent, dangerous and a rapidly escalating phenomenon, The problem was brought to light by the Coptic Pope Shenouda III as far back as December 17th, 1976, when he protested during a conference held in Alexandria that “there is pressure being practiced to convert Coptic girls to embrace Islam and marry them under terror to Muslim husbands” and demanded that the abducted girls be brought back to their families.

    Dr. Waheed Ala, renowned Coptic activist and researcher at the Observatory of Religions in Switzerland, believes that the issue of abducted Coptic girls forms the most complex problem in the relations between Christians and Muslims of Egypt — especially because abductions are done in cooperation between Saudi-funded associations and the Egyptian State Security.

    These frequent abduction cases are reported by Coptic human rights advocacies but rarely by the main stream media, and when, they are mostly portrayed as 'an elopement of a loving teen couple.

    …in the majority of cases, the State Security is the one who masterminds the kidnapping plans.”

    The U.S. gifts Egypt with 2.2 billion dollars every year.

  • jewdyjudy

    I can only laugh at their attempts. Surprised they hadn't shouted out loud that God is an Anglican with a Catholic soul and all other religions should be obliterated from the face of the earth. But wait! That may come next! Put a moustache and a dirty jacket on the 3 of them and they resemble Hitler and Ahmadinejad.

  • cjkcjk

    Where to start? These people are freaks.
    They definitely aren't Christians by any Biblical definition.
    To ignore the abject genocidal wickedness of Israel's enemies while maintaining that Israel and the USA are guilty of such crimes with no evidence except for their own historical revisionist fantasies that only find reality in their own minds.
    I believe these hypocrites would approve of Israel's genocide as justified.

  • cjkcjk

    Keep your atheism to yourself.
    Atheists suck, no conservative should be one, they should be like Ronald Reagan and myself.

  • cjkcjk

    Not to mention that mo' was also a pedophile, consummated his marriage (if you can call it that) to a 6 year old when she was 9, and a torturer.
    Tortured the Jew Kinana by starting a fire on his chest in order to find his hidden treasure, finally finishing him off by beheading him and then 'marrying' (rape) his widow while his body was still warm.
    Not my made up stuff; stuff found in mohammedan scripture.