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The WCC’s church women accurately observed that the “local Palestinian Christian presence in the birthplace of Christ is under threat,” while assuming that “threat” is only Israel’s “occupation.” In Israel’s complete absence, how would Palestinian Christians fare? The imploding Christian populations of other neighboring Muslim dominated Arab nations do not offer much promise that their plight would improve. In their declaration, the church women bemoaned the supposedly deep connection “between racism and the oppression of occupation,” i.e. Israel is racist. And they boldly “named the complex webs of systemic and structural oppression,” guided by “racism, economic control, militarism, colonization and gender inequalities,” all of which are multiplying the “de-humanizing effects of occupation.” In other words, Israel’s presence embodies all of the Religious Left’s favorite bugaboos.
Professing that “love” is their chief motivation, the WCC’s church women cited “love” as a “creative form of resistance,” incarnated by “non-violent actions to end the occupation, to end the violence and daily humiliation endured by Palestinians, and to put a final stop to the continuing oppressive control of land and water enabled by the occupation.” The church women pledged to “boycott, divest, and support sanctions as non-violent action.” They also promised to “repent of theologies which are used to support unjust political options and stand alongside the oppressed in their life affirming theologies.” In short, they reject Christian Zionism and embrace Palestinian Liberation Theology. On this score, since the WCC doubtless excluded any Christian Zionists from its Bethlehem jamboree, it’s doubtful any of these WCC church women needed any “repentance.” By their own definition, they are already fully sanctified. The church women additionally asked how churches might promote “an equality that is not only between one people and another, but also between women and men.” How would the rights of women fare under a completely Islamic dominated “Palestine”? Focused exclusively on Jewish Israel as the source of all oppression, these church women probably did not explore this question.
Indigenous Palestinian Christians are politically unable to express much public concern about living under Muslim rule. Western church groups like the WCC are not similarly muzzled, except by the constraints of their own anti-Western ideology. But the Religious Left likes to pretend that Christians, and women, and various minorities, and expressions of dissent, would do much better under a “liberated” Sharia-influenced Muslim Palestine than under a Jewish, democratic, Israel. It’s an untenable assertion, almost as absurd as exploiting Christmas and Bethlehem to rally against the nation of Jesus, Joseph and Mary.
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