Aussie Churches Spreading Lies

A friend recently attended a concert at the local Uniting Church and picked up a glossy pamphlet published by the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network (PIEN).  While I’m well aware of the Uniting Church’s animus against Israel, the lies it contained truly shocked me.  Its stated mission:

  • express solidarity with the people of Palestine and Israel, especially Christians;
  • influence public opinion to facilitate public policy reform.
  • encourage theological reflection on challenges and hopes raised by the PIEN vision

The network includes people from the Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Churches of Christ, Lutheran, Religious Society of Friends and Uniting churches as well as Australian Christian aid and development agencies working in Palestine and Israel.  We were established in 2006 by church leaders who saw a particular role for Christians to advocate from a faith perspective about Palestinian human rights.

The network is an organisational member of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN).  We strongly support and participate in APAN’s advocacy work with parliamentarians and the Australian community.

We find inspiration and direction from the Kairos Palestine document,… and Kairos’ continuing expression of Christian voices in Palestine and Israel.

The chief relationships of the network are with:

  • the National Council of Churches in Australia through its international aid agency, Act for Peace;
  • the World Council of Churches;
  • the Christian community in Palestine and Israel;
  • Christian-based international aid agencies in Australia;
  • Australian church-related and community groups working for a just peace;

The network is currently supported financially by agencies such as Act for Peace and the Major Issues and Theology Foundation… Anglican Overseas Aid, World Vision Australia and the Uniting Church’s President’s Table.

http://pien.org.au/about/

Leaving aside the fact they claim to advocate for “Palestine” – which doesn’t exist – among the many disturbing aspects are that they only advocate for “Palestinian human rights”.  Surely a truly Christian organisation would advocate for human rights for all – or aren’t Israelis terrorised by Hamas and other Jihadis worthy of the title of humans?

From their website, it’s clear that they are just another hate group. Some snippets:

·         PIEN call out: don’t buy into the occupation – join campaign against Israeli settlement goods in Australia

·         Jessica reflects on the planting and ripping up of trees

Jessica was recently in Palestine serving with Christian Peacemaker Teams.   Here she shares one of her stories. The ripping up and replanting trees – the Palestinian experience of resistance and hope  

·         Join action: World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel

The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches invites member churches, faith-based communities, and civil society organizations around the world to join together in 2014 for a week of advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel.

PIEN supports the virulently antisemitic BDS movement, and ignores the atrocities committed by ‘Palestinians’ against Israelis.  They spread lies about Israelis destroying olive crops, but are silent about the reality – Arab incursion into Israeli homes to kill innocents, even newborn babies.  While we remember numerous murderous rampages like in Itamar and the merciless slaying of a family and their young children, this hypocritical and hate-filled group care nothing for Jewish lives.

In their May 5 2015 rant, “ don’t buy into the occupation – join campaign against Israeli settlement goods in Australia”, they state:

“Enough is enough. No more words without deeds. It’s time for action.”

These words were issued nearly eight years ago as part of a statement by a World Council of Churches gathering, and affirmed recently by a meeting of senior Palestinian Christians and their supporters in the Kairos Palestine 5th Anniversary statement, which noted that things have become worse, not better, for Palestinians since then. These words stirred us into action when we met earlier this year as the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network (PIEN) to consider our future priorities.

… We have heard the cry of Palestinian Christians asking the international community to join boycott and divestment campaigns. We have seen Churches internationally respond to the request. We have seen many Jewish people support these nonviolent economic strategies.  We believe, with deep conviction, that the products made in the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank represent a serious and blatant disregard for Palestinian human rights, and must be opposed.

We have therefore decided that PIEN will join others in responding with more than words, and this year we will focus our efforts on campaigning for businesses in Australia to stop selling settlement goods, beginning with dates.

Why we shouldn’t buy goods made in illegal Israeli settlements
Israeli settlements are exclusively Jewish communities that have been established in Occupied Palestine. Their existence and ongoing expansion confiscate large areas and are widely accepted by the international community as being against international law. Additionally their presence leads to a wide array of problems for Palestinians: road-closures; loss of farming livelihoods; checkpoints; exposure to settler violence; military control by Israel of daily life, and many more. To buy goods from these settlements is therefore not only undermining international law but implies support for the Israeli military occupation of Palestine…

Worldwide Christian and Jewish responses to goods from Israeli settlements
In recent years many churches and Jewish groups around the world have been campaigning against goods made in settlements, and against companies profiting from the occupation. We have documented some of these campaigns. Read more.

CALL TO ACTION: Help us find dates being sold from illegal Israeli settlements
PIEN’s first campaign will focus on dates sold in Australia from Israeli settlements. We’ve identified one importer, and are negotiating directly with them to stop these imports…

http://pien.org.au/dont-buy-into-the-occupation/

No word about boycotting dates produced in countries controlled by the barbaric and murderous ISIS and other terror groups which are beheading, crucifying and burning people alive!  It seems only civilised Israel deserves this shunning.

The endless propaganda about Israel’s occupation, illegal settlements and Palestinian suffering from checkpoints and ‘settler violence’ can easily be refuted by facts.  Sadly though, with today’s emphasis on narrative over historical truth, hate groups like PIEN can successfully appeal to the emotions of their audience.  Add to this the imprimatur of their church, and millions of gullible people are likely to be deceived.

Returning to their brochure, under “Quick Facts”, among the claims it makes are:

“The Gaza Strip is occupied, is under blockade, inflicting illegal collective punishment on the population…”

 “the number of Christians living in Israel and Palestine has decreased significantly due to the occupation from 350,00 in 1948 to about 200,000 today.”

We know both these claims are ridiculous, that Gaza is not occupied, and that the decline in Christianity is due to Arab persecution, while the number of Christians living in Israel, where they enjoy complete freedom of religion, has significantly increased.

Palestinian Girl Confronts Anti-Israel Lies

It seems Church leaders have strayed so far from the tenets of their faith that they can lie with impunity. The Ten Commandments states “You shall not bear false witness”. The Churches would do well to reflect on these words.

 

 

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19 comments

  1. Leon Poddebsky

    Given the current international climate of baseless hatred against Jewish independence, these churches perceive an historic opportunity to “correct” what they consider to have been an inexplicable repudiation of their theology. According to that theology, the existence of the independent State of Israel offends their belief that we must forever remain stateless, subservient, degraded.
    The measure of their hatred against us is indicated by their utter indifference to the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians by another people who deny Jesus’s divinity, yet are favoured by these churches.

  2. I have just sent this email under my name to the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Council:

    Without disrespect, people like you are a profound and deeply offensive affront to the dignity of the human condition.

    You have close contacts with the “Palestinians”?

    That you don’t use these to urge those people, with all your hearts, to accept Israel, accept Palestine, accept peace and to raise their children in peace and security as good neighbours of Israel says everything we need to know about your Christian “values” and “charity”. You have no idea of charity. You have no idea of value, especially the value of human life. All you do is drive us apart. You always have. I suspect you always will.

    Instead you encourage war with all your might.

    You think of yourselves as good and decent human beings. At least you like to masquerade as such. The truth is the opposite. The sanctimonious hypocrisy that runs so deep in your bones is actually sickening to behold even after all these years. Your currency is tin and cheap for people like me. You have been shown too much tolerance for far too long. There is a duty to denounce you for what you are.

    You don’t care about the “Palestinians”.

    Do you have any idea of history? Haven’t you done enough harm?

    Ignorance is no longer an excuse for you. Truly, it never was. I believe that in your hearts you are driven by the worst. There can be no other explanation for the way you behave.

    I’m an Australian of seven generations and to say that I and my family have encountered nasty minded “Christian” bigots like you is to say we have seen the rising of the sun.

    Go away. All you are doing is making a bad situation worse. I think that at a subliminal level at least, you know exactly what you are doing.

    You have forfeited all benefit of clergy. That happened long ago. In this secular age you deserve no more respect than any other gang of political activists bent on making the world worse.

    It’s about time you were told.

    Geoff Pahoff.

  3. Hello,

    It’s on my heart to comment.

    I just wanted to say that I, and I know of many other Christians here in Australia who support and pray for Israel, and their Jewish right to Judea and Samaria.

    God placed you on my heart not long after becoming a Christian, and I have been praying for you for some years now. I have prayed certain scriptures regularly, and even for things like honest reporting in the media, and for the Prime Minister of God’s choice for Israel this last election.

    I just wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you and praying for you, and that not all Christians and Churches have the same thoughts and opinions.

    Steph

    • Jews Down Under

      Thanks for your kind words Steph and welcome to ‘Jews Down Under’

      We are very aware that not all Christians and Churches are anti-Israel. Unfortunately, the ones which are are very loud and outspoken about it. We have one absolutely shocking priest in this country.

      Most practising Christians are pro-Jewish and more Zionistically minded than many Jews.

  4. The irony of the Uniting Church is whatever God in heaven thinks about Christians replacing Jews on earth the Muslims are replacing the Christians. Christianity’s only hope of survival in the Holyland is that Israel remains the Jewish state and Palestine never becomes independent.

  5. Larry Langman

    Tragically, the naivety of organisations like PIEN and Kairos Palestine is such that they will stand by and witness in silence the destruction of Christian community after Christian community across the Middle East and not say a word.
    As the pages of our newspapers carry the human suffering of genocide against the oldest traditions of Christianity in the world, what do we hear from Kairos Palestine at their website……

    “Geopolitical analysts have suggested that regional concerns supersede the need for ending Israeli occupation. We remain convinced that ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an essential step toward healing the Middle East.”

    “Regional Concerns”, by the way, is shorthand for the slaughter of Christians in their tens of thousands across Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Lybia, Armenia, though Africa, through Asia….yet not a word.

    Have you heard of the Vatican Ambassador to Palestine marching arm in arm with his Palestinian buddies into Syria or Iraq to call their Sunni bretheren to stop the slaughter of Christians…..did I miss that news? Did I miss the head of the Palestinian Orthodox Church standing side by side with the bretheren in the Palestine Administration calling for relief for the hundred’s of thousans fleeing Syria, Iraq…..Did I miss that news ? I caught the call of PIEN to stop Israeli dates….yes I caught that, but what about that call to stop products from every country that is actively slaughtering Christians.

    We do seem to miss so much from PIEN and similar organisations don’t we

  6. Larry, these people are beyond hypercritical.!
    If it was Israel killing Christians just imagine the uproar.

    I see the world standing by and doing nothing to help the Christians being slaughtered in their thousands across the Middle East. No better a situation than not helping the Jews during WW2.

    No better than the other genocides which have occurred in modern times..

  7. Leon, yes it’s odd that, when Christians are persecuted throughout the Islamic world (not just in the Middle East: look at the killings at a Nigerian University by Boko Haram), the churches choose to pick on Israel, where Christianity is thriving.

    It can only be explained by their virulent hatred of Jews. The church will only regain its moral compass when they love their fellow Christians more than they hate Jews – to misquote Golda Meir.

  8. Thank you all for your comments.

    Geoff, first of all, you wrote a wonderful letter to these people, but I doubt that they will have the moral courage to reflect on the evil they are doing. They certainly are a profound and deeply offensive affront to the dignity of the human condition. Hypocrites and evil doers, made worse by using a mantle of religion to disguise their heinous actions.

    Steph D
    Yes, there are many good Christians in Australia who support and pray for Israel, and their undisputed right to Judea and Samaria and of course all Jerusalem.
    Christian Zionists have a special place in the heart of the Jewish community, and we are truly appreciative of their support.
    The problem is, your voices are being drowned out by the far more vociferous anti-Israel (anti-Semitic) Christians, whose views are propagated in the media, academia, NGOs (think Tim Costello) and others.
    Do you have any suggestions how the good Christians (in my mind the only true Christians) can reclaim the agenda?

    fiveminutesforisrael
    Ironic indeed. The actions of the Uniting Church are ultimately self destructive, because if the ‘Palestinians” succeed in taking over Israel, the Muslims will quickly massacre the Christians, or force them to convert to Islam, as they have in all other Islamic countries.

    Larry Langman,
    Not sure if organisations like PIEN and Kairos Palestine are naïve, or if their hatred of Jews supercedes their desire for Christianity to survive..
    As for the Vatican, if they ever had any moral authority, they lost it 70 years ago when the Pope did nothing to save Jews, but helped Nazis to flee to Argentina after the war.

    Yes how about a boycott of produce from those countries slaughtering Christians? Trouble is, apart from oil, they produce nothing that we could boycott. If only we could find more alternative energy sources, we could dispense with the Islamic world and leave them to their barbarity.

  9. The thing I always try to remember is this: Vengeance is God’s and He will repay. I also pray Psalm 109 for my evil government here in the states and for the churches who practice replacement theology. It just makes me feel so good.

  10. M.J., you are quite right, Jews and Christians don’t believe in taking revenge, but pray that G-d will, when the time is right, avenge evil. It’s quite frightening how many churches have adopted progressivism and with it replacement theology, rather than following the Bible. Yet they still call themselves Chrisitian. Similarly, many Jewish organisations have adopted progressivism, which actually negates Judaeo/Christian teachings.

    • Pam, As a follower gentile follower of Jesus and after reading the Bible, I believe you’re right about the adoption of progressivism in the churches and some Jewish groups. As for these apostate churches, I know in the end, they will pay.

      • M.J. I just hope that the churches will begin to see the light and return to the Bible, which after all is the basis of Christianity.

  11. The people that run this so called Christian group from the Uniting Church are openly Anti Semites. The best was to respond is to go to eBay Israel, order your dates and any other items you want directly from there and let these morons motivate you to do more to support Israel.

    • Yes, they are totally committed to the fake Palestinian narrative and are intent on demonising Israel and the Jews. The Uniting Church has embraced the ‘religion’ of social justice, which in reality is not about justice at all, Good idea to respond by supporting Israel in practical ways, like buying produce and even gifts for birthdays etc via online Israeli sites.