By: SUSAN WARNER, Gate Stone Institute—
In just a few weeks, on June 26-30, the opening gavel will sound on United Church of Christ (UCC) General Synod. Two of the many proposals this national Synod will entertain call on the church to divest from Israel, and one of them will propose declaring that Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians constitute “apartheid.”
The UCC, representing approximately 1.2 million members in 5,100 churches in the USA, is just one of the member churches of the World Council of Churches (WCC), which insists on making Israel the whipping boy of a misguided “peace and justice” agenda. In June, UCC member delegates will have an opportunity to determine the direction of their denomination.
Sadly, the UCC delegates’ choices regarding Israel will be based on documents, “proofs” and appeals built upon a foundation of lies, false choices and political fantasies that accuse Israel of being an “Apartheid State” and an “illegal occupier of Palestinian land.”
The UCC’s attacks against Israel are not alone on the Christian world stage. The UCC is but one small example of a growing number of Christian groups that advocate against Israel by using what some have called “The Big Lie.”
Will the United Church of Christ, in its 2015 General Synod, vote to divest from Israel and declare that Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians constitute “apartheid”?
“The Big Lie,” according to Merriam- Webster Dictionary, is a “deliberate gross distortion of the truth used especially as a propaganda tactic.” It is simply a jumping-off place for vicious anti-Semitism clothed as “peace and justice” for the “less fortunate, oppressed Palestinians.”
In its contemporary version, “The Big Lie” is ripped from the pages of a hundred-year-old, anti-Semitic hoax, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which marks the Jews (and by extrapolation, Israel and Zionism) as the source of the world’s ills.
The Protocols draws on popular anti-Semitic myths, which have their roots in Medieval Europe from and before the time of the Crusades. For hundreds of years, the libels that the Jews use blood of Christian children to bake matzohs for the Passover festival; poison wells and spread the Plague were fraudulent pretexts for the wholesale destruction of Jewish communities throughout Europe.
With the official release of that notorious book in 1917 by Russian Mystic, Sergei Nilus, the strands of a viciously racist, anti-Semitic “Big Lie” narrative began threading their way into world history. A receptive public imagination, tilled and fertilized by seventeen hundred years of Christian anti-Semitism in Russia and Europe, accomplished the rest.
A timeline provided by the U.S. Holocaust Museum is helpful in seeing how “The Big Lie,” started with The Protocols. Over a period of time, the world narrative absorbs the lie as if it were truth.
In a New York Times article entitled, “The Anti-Semitic Hoax that Refuses to Die,” Edward Rothstein reviews a 2006 Protocols exhibition at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum:
During the last half-century, it has also become a canonical text in the Islamic world. One edition on display here, printed in Pakistan in 1969, was presented by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia to state visitors in the 1970’s, its jacket showing a snake, representing the Jews, wrapped around the crescent of Islam while casting its glance over the entire Eastern Hemisphere. Another edition is an Arabic translation of “The Protocols” that was posted on the Palestinian State Information Services Web site until protests led to its removal last year.
Now “The Protocols” would presumably be affirmed with less embarrassment: the Palestinian Authority is presently controlled by the militant Islamist organization Hamas, whose 1988 covenant could almost be read as a rewrite of “The Protocols.” “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious,” that covenant says. “With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations and others,” it declares of Jews.
“They aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam,” it says, asserting that Jews were behind the French and Russian revolutions, the Freemasons, the Rotary Clubs, imperialism, the two world wars, the United Nations, the drug trade and alcoholism. It cites a source: “Their plan is embodied in ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.’ ”
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is conveniently available on popular internet shopping sites and boasts a significant following by Islamic hate organizations, neo-Nazis and various supremacist groups who, like David Duke , are enamored of its qualities as “fine and inspired fiction” and who are, like the Islamists, untouched by its proven fraudulence.
There are a slew of co-conspirators: Bolsheviks, Soviets, Nazis, Christians, Supremacists, Leftists all have one thing in common: hatred of Jews, of Zionism and of Israel. The picture is large and malevolent: the demonization of a people, invented from lies that are usually inversions of fact — a method developed by the Soviet disinformation machine.
“The Big Lie” defies reason: It falsely charges Israel for the sins of the world, including being “illegal occupiers,” “imperialists,” “colonialists,” “racists,” “aggressors” and “baby killers,” while ignoring the even greater crimes of other nations, such as the mass starvation in North Korea; mass destruction, gassing and beheadings in Syria; wholesale slaughter in Darfur, or Boko Haram’s butchering, kidnapping and trafficking of young girls in Nigeria.
According to David Maier-Levy in his book, History Upside Down: The Roots of Palestinian Fascism and the Myth of Israeli Aggression:
Part of the reframing of the conflict… along with adopting the identity of an “oppressed people” and “victim of colonialism,” then, was the creation, ex nihilo, of “historic Palestine” and the ancient “Palestinian people” who had lived in their “homeland” from “time immemorial.”
That this was a political confection was, perhaps inadvertently, revealed to the West by Zahir Muhse’in, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, in a 1977 interview with the Amsterdam-based newspaper Trouw.
“The Palestinian people not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.
Arafat himself asserted in his authorized biography that, “The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel.”
For more than 30 years, PLO leader Yasser Arafat plied terrorist acts against Israel’s citizenry while crafting “peace” narratives for the UN and Western appetites. This earned him a one-half share of a Nobel Peace Prize.
Arafat’s legacy passed to the current PLO leader and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), whose doctoral thesis from Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow later became a book, entitled, The Other Side: The Secret Relations between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement. It denied both the scope and gravity of the Nazi Holocaust, and was most likely written by the Kremlin.
Incredibly, there is ample evidence that the world press propagates “The Big Lie” today, as if it were just another legitimate element of a “fair and balanced” news program.
Educational and Christian institutions such as the United Church of Christ, entertain Marxist Ideologies, “Apartheid Week” programs, boycott, divestment and sanctions proposals and Islamic student advocacy organizations as “investments in free speech” rather than as a chapter in a deadly drama of fraud.
Fortunately, United Church of Christ still has an opportunity to reverse its current course.
There are three simple actions its leaders can take:
They can remove the three anti-Israel proposals before the Synod in order to reevaluate their position on the Israel/ Palestine conflict.
They can review and rewrite their introductory page on Global Ministries, which is filled with false information and innuendo about how Israel displaced Arabs in various wars and “illegally occupied” the land.
The UCC can reevaluate its partnerships, which are also listed on their Global Missions page. Organizations such as B’Tselem , Kairos Palestine and Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center are three among many of their published anti-Israel partner organizations, whose motives and financing sources are anything but benign and neutral.
The world is looking to the UCC to create peace, not to risk damaging its own image by perpetuating malicious falsehoods. So long as Christian organizations such as the UCC keep the fraudulent “Big Lie” alive, they will miss the opportunity to realize the very peace they envision.
Susan Warner is co-founder of Olive Tree Ministries, a Christian ministry based in Delaware, USA. She has been teaching and writing about the Jewish roots of the Christian faith for almost twenty years and is currently working on a book entitled “The Yoke of Constantine: the Root of Christian anti-Semitism.”