Presbyterian Church Criticizes Israel, Remains Silent on Brutal Anti-Christian Persecution in Middle East

July 28, 2014 1:09 am 9 comments

Presbyterian Church Assembly. Photo: Screenshot.

Days before the recent Israel/Hamas conflict erupted, the Presbyterian Church USA withdrew $21 million worth of investments from Israel because, as spokesman Heath Rada put it, the Israeli government’s actions “harm the Palestinian people.”

Soon after, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and was asked if he was “troubled” by the Presbyterian Church’s move. Netanyahu responded:

It should trouble all people of conscience and morality because it’s so disgraceful. You know, you look at what’s happening in the Middle East and I think most Americans understand this, they see this enormous area riveted by religious hatred, by savagery of unimaginable proportions. Then you come to Israel and you see the one democracy that upholds basic human rights, that guards the rights of all minorities, that protects Christians—Christians are persecuted throughout the Middle East. So most Americans understand that Israel is a beacon of civilization and moderation. You know I would suggest to these Presbyterian organizations to fly to the Middle East, come and see Israel for the embattled democracy that it is, and then take a bus tour, go to Libya, go to Syria, go to Iraq, and see the difference. And I would give them two pieces of advice, one is, make sure it’s an armor plated bus, and second, don’t say that you’re Christians.

It’s difficult – if not impossible – to argue with Netanyahu’s logic. Indeed, several points made in his one-minute response are deserving of some reflection.

First, the obvious: why is it that self-professed Christians completely ignore the horrific Islamic persecution of fellow Christians in the Middle East, while grandstanding against the Jewish State for trying to defend itself against the same ideology that persecutes Christians?

And he is absolutely right to say that the persecution of Christians in the Mideast has reached a point of “savagery of unimaginable proportions.” Perhaps the only thing more shocking than the atrocities Mideast Christians are exposed to – the slaughters, crucifixions, beheadings, torture, and rape – is the absolute silence emanating from so-called mainline Protestant churches in the U.S.

Note also the nations Netanyahu highlighted for their brutal persecution of Christian minorities: Libya, Syria, and Iraq. Indigenous Christians were markedly better off in all three nations before the U.S. got involved, specifically by empowering, deliberately or not, Islamist forces. Now,according to recent studies, Christians in all three nations are experiencing the worst form of persecution around the globe:

  • Libya: Ever since U.S.-backed, al-Qaeda-linked terrorists overthrew Gaddafi, Christians - including Americans - have been tortured and killed (including for refusing to convert) and churches bombed. It’s “open season” on Copts, as jihadis issue a reward to Muslims who find and kill Christians. This was not the case under Gaddafi.
  • Syria: Christians have been attacked in indescribable ways - wholesale massacres, bombed and desecrated churches, beheadings, crucifixions, and rampant kidnappings – since the U.S.-sponsored “Arab Spring” reached the Levant.
  • Iraq: After the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein, Christian minorities were savagely attacked and slaughtered, and dozens of their churches were bombed (see here forgraphic images). In the last decade, Christians have been terrorized into near-extinction, with well over half of them fleeing Iraq.

If the Presbyterian Church has problems with governments that persecute people – in this case, the Israeli government’s purported treatment of Palestinians, hence the Presbyterian Church’s divestment from Israel – perhaps it should begin by criticizing its own government’s proxy war on fellow Christiansin the Middle East.

Christians are also being targeted in the PA territories—by the very same elements the Presbyterian Church is trying to defend.

In 2012, for example, a pastor noted that “animosity towards the Christian minority in areas controlled by the P.A. continues to get increasingly worse. People are always telling [Christians],Convert to Islam. Convert to Islam.” And in fact, the kidnapping and forced conversions of Christians in Gaza is an ugly reality.”

More recently, nuns of the Greek-Orthodox monastery in Bethany sent a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urging him to respond to the escalation of attacks on the Christian house, including the throwing of stones, broken glass, theft and looting of the monastery property. “Someone wants to send us away,” wrote Sister Ibraxia in the letter, “but we will not flee.”

Sadly, the hypocrisy exhibited by the Presbyterian Church is not limited to that denomination. Some time back, fifteen leaders from various U.S. Christian denominations – mostly Protestant, including the Lutheran, Methodist, and UCC Churches – asked Congress to reevaluate U.S. military aid to Israel, again, in the context of supporting “persecuted” Palestinians.

Yet nary a word from these same church leaders concerning the rampant persecution of millions of Christians at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East – a persecution that makes the Palestinians’ situation pale in comparison.

Other “leftist” Protestants do find time to criticize Muslim persecution of Christians – but only to blame Israel for it. Thus, Diarmaid MacCulloch, a Fellow of St. Cross College, wrote an article in the Daily Beast ostensibly addressing the plight of Mideast Christians – but only to argue that the source of Christian persecution “ in the Middle East is seven decades of unresolved conflict between Israel and Palestine.”

In reality, far from prompting the persecution of Christians, the Arab-Israeli conflict is itself a byproduct of the same hostility Islamic supremacism engenders for all non-Muslims. The reason hostility for Israel is much more viral is because the Jewish State holds a unique position of authority over Muslims unlike vulnerable Christian minorities who can be abused at will (as fully explained here).

Little wonder, then, that more Arab Christians – double the number of each of the preceding three years – are now joining the Israel Defense Forces.

They know they can count on basic human rights protection from Israel than from many of their fellow Christians in the West. After all, beyond the sophistry, distortions, and downright lies emanating from some of these Christian denominations, the fact remains: both Jews and Christians are under attack from the same foe and for the same reason: they are non-Muslim “infidels” who need to be subjugated.

Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians.  A Mideast and Islam specialist, he is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a Hoover Institution Media Fellow, 2013.

9 Comments

  • It is the Christian tradition to suffer persecution silently. It’s only the Jews, Muslims, Feminists, and Evangelicals (those ‘structuralist’ folks who believe it’s more important who you are than what you do – the very source of all terrorism) who politicize their claims of persecution, and make the loudest noise possible.

  • The presbeterians should probably convert to islam and retrofit their church to mosque

  • just after the current war against palestine started, benjamin netanyahu finally admitted out loud he wants to steal palestinian land outright. that’s what this war is all about. and, why were some surprised? golda meir said, “i, too, would want the arabs out of the country, and my conscience would be absolutely clear.” she said that way back in 1938. jewish israeli peace activist, miko peled said, “the borders from an israeli perspective are very clear. the borders of the state of israel are the jordan river on the east and the mediterranean on the west, that’s it. if you look at israeli schoolbooks, if you look at israeli weather maps, if you look at any official maps of the state of israel it is absolutely clear.” there has never been any plan, but to steal the land and wipe out or drive out the palesinians.
    this is a cleansing of the land of peoples that are themselves ethnically arab, genocide. ethnic cleansing. killing. period. our government has always known this. truth is, barack obama sanctions this along with american democrats. killing children has always been part of the plan. mike bloomberg proved the iron dome works so well they want you to vacation on the beaches of israel while the rockets are firing. they have no need to kill.
    the desire the blood of their neighbors on their hands. remember, it does not make you a self-hating jew to feel that does not represent you and to feel ashamed and disgusted by your government. we did in iraq, and after-all, right now this is the democrat party’s iraq.

  • The Presbyterian church in the US and its leaders are upstanding and courageous to condemn the Israeli crimes against the Palestinians. Your attempt to divert the issue won’t help you one bit. Israel’s lobby may control many governments including the regimes in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, not to mention the US and all the west, but she is going the way of South Africa’s apartheid. Its days are numbered.

  • This is par for the course, for Presbyterians. Help the enemies of God! Do not help the Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
    This denomination has turned its back on God. Slowly, over decades this church has been seduced by Satan. Now Presbyterians do not even know which side to be on! They are easy, and willing, participants in the propaganda war.
    This is the Church of Laodicea spoken of in Revelation! The church God spits out of His mouth!

    • No it isn’t. The State of Israel does not follow the word of God. Jesus said:

      ‘But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.’ (Luke 6:27-36)

      • We are not supposed to take these statements literally! We are not to lay down and die , don’t be a total moron! We should not let people walk on us and steal. That’s not what those passages mean.

        Israel needs to survive and I’m embarrassed by many Christians like the Copts who did not fight back when they were murdered by muslims. Now I’m ashamed of the prespaterians!

        One must fight fire with fire or the muslims win and that can not happen.

  • G-D BLESS YOU, PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU,WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU, DON´T FEAR,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    JEREMIAH 20:11 SAYS THAT THE CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH IS WITH US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    HE IS A GREAT CHALLENGER,DARING US TO BELIEVE IN WORD AND DEED,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    YOU ARE LOVED BY ALLLLLLLLLLLLL BELIEVERS,
    I HAVE BEEN IN ISRAEL 10 YEARS,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,IN MY HEART IT´S MY HOME,,,,,,,,,,,
    SHEMAH ISRAEL,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Bart A, Charta

    No Christians in Mosul, Iraq, for the first time in 1700 years, forcibly driven out by radical Muslims under pain of death.

    Presbyterians: Protest THAT !

    Show the (brotherly) love.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Personalities How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    JNS.org – What would you do if you found out that you had only three more months to live? Gordon Zacks was a successful businessman, a leader of Jewish life, and a confidante and adviser to President George H.W. Bush. He knew that he had prostate cancer, but doctors advised him that it was very slow-growing and nothing to worry about. Then came the day when the doctors told him his cancer metastasized to his liver, and that he had [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater 10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    Last month, my one-man show Hoaxocaust! Written and performed by Barry Levey with the generous assistance of the Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran ran in the New York International Fringe Festival, where it won an Overall Excellence Award. The play has now been selected to run in the Fringe Encores Series at Baruch College’s Performing Arts Center, for four performances which started on Thursday, September 11. Getting the play to the stage was not easy, however. Here are [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Phenomenon: Tel Aviv-based musician and “sampler” extraordinaire, Kutiman (aka Ophir Kutiel) has hit another one out of the park with “Give It Up,” a fully-functioning song in its own right, assembled from hundreds of ameteur and instructional music videos. The Jerusalem-born musical prodigy is best know for his diverse online musical projects. In the latest video, uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 12th, Kutiel thanked most of the musicians and individuals he chose to include in the meticulously-edited clip, which opens with [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    A recently released behind-the-scenes reel of Ridley Scott’s upcoming film Exodus: Gods and Kings shows just how far the director has gone to portray one of the Bible’s most famous narratives. In the clip, which shows scenes involving up to 4,000 extras, the visionary director discusses what drew him to the biblical tale of Moses. “The Moses story was a massive challenge, which I really love. I wanted to explore the complexity of his character and I was stunned by [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    JNS.org – Since 2006, the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable and satellite TV network has hosted “The Projected Image,” a month-long showcase examining how different cultural and ethnic groups have been portrayed on the big screen. At last, after previously covering African Americans, Asians, the LGBT community, Latinos, Native Americans, Arabs, and people with disabilities, the annual series is delving into Jewish film this month. “The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film,” whose first segment aired Sept. 2, runs [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    The sight of young girls in pinafores and young boys wearing peyos – sidelocks – dangling over their ears is a sure sign that you have entered the enigmatic precincts of the Hasidim – the pious ones. Veteran New York Times journalist Joseph Berger’s new book, THE PIOUS ONES: The World of Hasidim and their Battles with America, takes the reader on a journey into the enclaves where various sects of Jews live a seemingly outmoded way of life in [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    JNS.org – Today’s comedy superstars, especially those whose careers are driven by television, may very well owe their success to pioneering Jewish entertainer Milton Berle. Born Mendel Berlinger in Manhattan in 1908, Berle became America’s first small-screen star. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Television,” he influenced and helped promote the work of hundreds of younger comics. “Milton Berle was deceptively successful and very Jewish,” says Lawrence Epstein, author of The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America, published the year [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    JNS.org – Idan Ravin’s friends chipped in to buy him a humble but life-changing bar mitzvah gift—a basketball hoop his father attached to the roof of his garage. Little did his friends know that years later, he would be the personal trainer of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, and Stephen Curry. Ravin’s new book, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players,” details his rise from a Jewish upbringing [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.