Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Presbyterians for Tyranny and Anti-semitism

I noticed this little tid-bit the other day.  The first paragraph of a press release from the Presbyterian church reads: 
The 216th General Assembly approved several measures opposing the Israeli occupation of Palestine Friday, including a call for the corporate witness office of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to begin gathering data to support a selective divestment of holdings in multinational corporations doing business in Israel/Palestine.

Later in the release we get this nugget:
The Rev. Victor Makari, the PC(USA)'s liaison to the Middle East, supported the divestment strategy, saying, “I think the issue of divestment is a very sensitive one with Israel. … If nothing else seems to have changed the policy of Israel toward Palestinians, we need to send a clear and strong message.”

First, why would be Presbyterian's pass some useless measure against Israel specifically?  Second, why is Israel the bad guy in this fight?   I'm honestly curious.

It seems fashionable to blame Israel for the bloodshed.  Maybe they are at fault (I personally don't see it).  But shouldn't the Presbyterians chastise other governments that are far worse.  Others that are dictatorial, totalitarian, and oppressive?  I entered Cuba into the Presbyterian's search engine and didn't find a call for sanctions, of North Korea, or of pre-war Iraq.  In fact, the church calls for engaging these countries.  See here and here.   So Presbyterian policy is sanctions against a democracy and engagment of mob-states run by maniacal cleptocrats. 

Next question: why is Israel the bad guy?  I've been reading/skimming a door stop of a book on the subject.  From what I can tell, the Brit's left after WWII and said "you guys (Jew and Arabs) work it out" and BLAM!, everybody (including the Brits) start blasting the Jews - and it hasn't stopped.  Yes, the IDF knocks down homes (where snipers are hiding).  Yes, they've occupied Gaza and the West Bank (after being repeatedly attacted from these areas). Yes, they're building an ugly wall/barrier (that's stopped the killing).  But they're probably tired of being killed.  Somebody fill me in on what I'm missing.  Please?

I can only see one answer to why the Presbyterian Church wants to sanction Israel and engage dictators and why Israel is seen as the aggressor after repeated being attacked.  It's that when the community of nations sits down at the table, the Presbyterians look down the table at Israel and sees the same thing Annie Hall's grandmother saw at the end of the table.