By Amy Zewe—
Dexter Van Zile, whom you may recall is a co-author of our book, The Casualty of Contempt, and was the target of antizionist hostility in Boston just last month, is calling out the United Church of Christ for antisemitism.
In his report published in The JNS (The Jewish News Syndicate), Dexter layouts the history and ramifications of the UCC’s actions in the last two decades, starting with the most recent this past July—a so-called “peacemaking” resolution. The United Church of Christ’s General Synod passed a “peacemaking” resolution that declared Israel guilty of sins against the Palestinian people.
The UCC resolution—the latest in a long list of anti-Semitic attacks—portrays the Jewish state as a singular source of sin and suffering in the Holy Land, recapitulating many of the messages Christians have offered about the Jewish people and their institutions over the past 2,000 years, even as the faith attempts to distance itself from this history. –Dexter Van Zile
Dexter lays out two biblical principles the UCC is violating in their actions and proclamations:
The prohibition against “talebearing” and against standing idly by when one’s neighbor is threatened as articulated in Leviticus 19:6.
And the UCC violates the prohibition against bearing false witness, as delineated in Exodus 20:13.
In sum, the UCC engages in talebearing by retailing and repeating lies and propaganda produced by Israel’s enemies; it bears false witness by omitting crucial information about the Arab-Israeli conflict in its so-called peacemaking resolutions; and it stands idly by the blood of its neighbor by refusing to condemn Palestinian terrorism and the lies used to justify it.
2005: The “Tear Down the Wall” resolution asked Israel to dismantle the security barrier it constructed to stop terror attacks from the West Bank. However, the resolution made NO mention that the Palestinians stop their terror attacks that prompted its construction.
2015: The denomination’s General Synod passed, “with great fanfare,” a resolution to divest in investments in certain Israeli businesses. A direct nod to and participation of BDS—a sentiment already deemed antisemitic by a bipartisan US Congress as well as 35 US States.
2017: The Synod passed a resolution condemning Israel’s alleged mistreatment of Palestinian children detained in Israeli jails. The same resolution remained silent about Palestinian abuses of children, including the use of child labor to build smuggling tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, and Fatah and Hamas summer camps and other programs that give children guns and teach them to murder Jews.
What is more shocking, for this last resolution to be approved is, “anti-Israel activists in the UCC went so far as to coach teenagers into demonizing the Jewish state at the microphone on the floor of the General Synod…The denomination is teaching its children to demonize Israel and to be voyeuristic bystanders to violence against Jews.”
These actions by Christian Churches add fuel and empowerment to those who seek to execute violence and hostility to Jews on the street, in neighborhoods, and gives credibility to folks engaged in anti-Israel policymaking. Remember, Hitler had the complicit approval of the churches in Germany in the 1930s. Hitler convinced the public of his rantings and subsequent laws citing approval from the church as a warrant for the credibility of his message and rules. That message quickly led to a genocide.
No Christian Church who shows allegiance to Jesus Christ, born a Jew in Israel—in fulfillment of Hebrew prophecy—can stand by silent while antisemitism goes unchecked—moreover, no Christian church claiming an allegiance to Jesus can foment—directly or indirectly—a hatred and false-witness about Jews or Israel. There is no peacemaking or helping of the oppressed with these actions.
While the UCC did makes “vague” references against supersessionism, as Dexter notes in his article, the outcome of these resolutions are just as damaging and breaking of biblical teaching and principals as replacement theology.
Jews and Christians alike, rise and write to the UCC leadership letting them know these inconsistencies to the faith and tenets of both the Old and New Testaments. Moreover, ask them to check in with parishioners—as many in the denomination may not agree with its leadership’s resolutions.
Thank you, Dexter Van Zile, for your article in the JNS.
Shavua Tov, have a great week.
Used with full permission from the author.