This curriculum is informed and inspired by many sources, including the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Standing on the Side of Love campaigns, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Churches for Middle East Peace, World Council of Churches, the American Friends Service Committee, the Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Just Vision, Jewish Voice for Peace, Open Hillel, Nakba Education Project, Zochrot, many Palestinian organizations working for peace with justice, the UUJME Newsletter, Kairos Palestine, Steadfast Hope, Zionism Unsettled, Middle East Research and Information Project Primer, and Phyllis Bennis’s Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer. Links to information about these and other resources are in the lessons and/or the Resource page at the end of the guide and the UUJME website. We are inspired also by those who choose to implement this part of the UUJME Reflection & Learning Project, and wish you the best in this endeavor to stand on the side of love with the people of Israel-Palestine.
The 7 Unitarian Universalist Principles and Palestine-Israel / Adult RE Study Guide / Curriculum Team of Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East / June 2015, First Edition, Revised with URL Sept 2015.
Posted to YouTube February 1, 2013.
Who would argue with Love?
However, and with all that love accepted, let’s have a look at some of the other contributors to the curriculum promoted by the Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME).
Churches for Middle East Peace
CMEP, as the organization is often called, does not promote the cause of peace and human rights in the most troubled region on the planet.
It promotes the cause of Palestinian statehood and that’s about it.
Van Zile, Dexter. “Time for Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) to Change its Name.” The Algemeiner, August 29, 2013.
World Council of Churches
To advance their “justice and peace” initiatives, they collude with Islamic and Palestinian friends in a covert scheme to sabotage Israel. Their web of anti-Zionism extends throughout Europe, the Americas and Africa. While this may seem a bold assertion, it is nonetheless worth examining some undeniable evidence.
WCC is among the many coalitions of Christians that embrace the extreme left and the jihad agenda as appeasers and collaborators.
Warner, Susan. “World Council of Churches Feeds the Monster.” Frontpage, February 8, 2015.
Additional Reference: NGO Monitor. “World Council of Churches (WCC)”.
American Friends Service Committee
In 2008, the AFSC, along with other similarly minded religious groups, hosted a gala dinner with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the guest of honor, despite Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, and genocidal threats against the Jewish state. Ahmadinejad, however, is only the most extreme example of the AFSC making dubious friends. The participants in its BDS summer camp were mostly Palestinians or Palestinian-Americans associated with the group Students for Justice in Palestine—an organization notorious not only for its vicious rhetoric against Israel, but for going so far as shouting down pro-Israel speakers on campus and harassing Jewish students.
Romirowsky, Asaf and Alexander H. Joffe. “When Did the Quakers Stop Being Friends? The religious group known as the Quakers has sacrificed its founding religious principles at the altar of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.” The Tower, December 2013.
Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Washington Presbyterians who engage in dialogue with Jewish groups are scrambling to undo what they say is the damage caused by a congregational study guide assailing Zionism distributed by a group affiliated with their denomination.
JTA. “Presbyterians push back against church group’s anti-Zionist study guide.” The Jerusalem Post, February 19, 2014.
Related: NGO Monitor. “The Role of Antisemitism in the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Decision to Support Divestment.” June 25, 2014, updated March 31, 2016; Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reporting on tension within the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the offshoot Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church: “Polling data consistently show that “mainline” Protestants overwhelmingly support a safe and secure Israel, even while also being concerned about the situation of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The efforts at the PC(USA) and other churches to pass divestment resolutions reflect the views of a minority of activists within those churches who take advantage of the structures of those churches to press their agenda.”
Jewish Voice for Peace
JVP, like other prominent Jewish anti-Zionist individuals and groups, uses its Jewish identity to deflect allegations of anti-Semitism leveled against the anti-Israel movement in order to provide it with a greater degree of legitimacy and credibility. In this guise JVP views itself as the “Jewish wing of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement (PSM)” and is an integral part of this anti-Israel coalition, serving as its “Jewish shield”, espousing the belief that if there are Jews demonizing Israel, it can’t possibly be anti-Semitic.
Also like other aggressively anti-Israel organizations, JVP members regularly attempt to shut down dissent by disrupting pro-Israel events such as a 2010 talk by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the events at a 2011 Taglit Birthright reunion in New York and the 2012 AIPAC conference. Brandeis University Prof. Ilan Troen, who calls JVP “self-appointed saints with no mass following”, explains that “If you’ve ever dealt with the JVP, they themselves are a semi-terrorist group, promoting the disruption of free speech and the inability of others to conduct public discourse.”
Canary Mission. “Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)”.
The JVP advisory board includes leaders in anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hate, such as Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, and Sarah Schulman. All three of these anti-Israel advocates deny the Jewish right to self determination, legitimize the internationally recognized terrorist group Hamas, and support the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state.
Zionist Organization of America. “Jewish Voice for Peace’s Anti-Semitic Leaders and Partners” (PDF), n.d.
Related in the news: Shahmoon, Shani. “Jewish Woman Forced to Hide From Anti-Israel Activists at UC-Irvine.” Observer News & Politics, May 20, 2016: “Earlier this month, Jewish and pro-Israel students found themselves caught in what they describe as a “fire of hate” and feelings of mourning as they observed Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Muslim Student Union, Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine and the American Indian Student Association just happened to organize a week of anti-Israel activity marketed under the title, “Anti-Zionism: The Roots of Oppression,” during the same week.”
. . . while Open Hillel phrases their intentions in the context of a free and unfettered debate (hence “open”), their events, speakers and partners actually seem to be far more interested in institutionalizing a set of radical opinions—and browbeating the mainstream into accepting it: That far from being a lonely liberal democracy facing daunting challenges from without and within, Israel is actually an illegitimate, oppressive, colonial state that might be better off not existing; and that Jewish students cannot truly understand it without teaming up with extreme pro-Palestinian groups.
Pink, Aiden. “‘Open Hillel” Is a Much Bigger Problem Than You Think.” The Tower, November 2014.
Nakba Education Project
While “Nakba” points to disaster it also brings up the uncomfortable matter of whipping legions to genocidal war and losing the same. In the immediate aftermath of “1948”, the Arab world took revenge on the Jewish residents of Arab states, and that history may be read about on this blog: Point of No Return.
Middle East Research and Information Project
BackChannels appreciates the “Primer on Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict” as well as data it appears to have omitted from the telling of the tale (like the KGB’s involvement in the creating of the PLO).
. . . the group’s founder has written the following about his vision of the future:
When the refugees return, Jews will become a minority in the country. Israel as a Jewish state will change radically, and it will no longer be defined as such. Jews will no longer be able to determine their future…by themselves…. There may be Jews, most of them of European origin, who won’t be able to adjust to a non-Zionist reality, and prefer to use their other passport to move elsewhere…”
Levick, Adam. “Want the Jewish state wiped off the map? Guardian approved NGO has an app for that!” UK Media Watch, May 4, 2014.
Posted to YouTube 12/10/2013
What’s a nice Jewish girl like Phyllis Bennis doing at the head of the class of anti-Zionist, anti-Israel, (anti-Semitic) leaders, the kind who stand shoulder to shoulder with those inclined to label the Jewish-majority state “Israhell”?
Here’s a partial transcript leading to Bennis’s becoming swept up in the radical politics of the Vietnam Era — her further transformation into parroting the catechisms of the New Old Now Old Far Out and Lost Left comes in the back half of the video:
The short answer is the Vietnam War. I grew up right through highschool with this focus on Zionism. That was my social environment. Those were my friends. That’s who I hung out with. And then I went away to college. And I started college in 1968, the big year, if you will, and in that context, I spent my first year being very much a serious student . . . you do grow up as a Jewish kid with . . . it’s all about education, all about getting good grades . . . so here I am, a seventeen year old kid, showing off, linking up with a group of graduate students and taking their courses, their postdoctoral seminars, thinking of myself as quite the intellectual, but by the end of my freshman year I’m suddenly immersed in the student movement, anti-war stuff . . . the Black Student Union had taken over the computer center the year before in the struggle to get an ethnic studies department on campus — I’m at the University of California in Santa Barbara — and suddenly I’m joining SDS [Students for Democratic Society], I’m part of the new student government . . . we have an alliance with the Latino movement and the Black Student Union, and we take over student government, and suddenly I’m the chair of the lectures committee . . . you know what the hell is that? I didn’t really know, but I had a budget of ten thousand dollars, which at that time was really a lot of money, to bring people to campus. So I brought Angela Davis, I brought half the defendants of the Chicago Conspiracy Trial, and the lawyers from the trial, and suddenly I was involved with meeting all these people I had only heard about, and school suddenly was not really about going to classes . . . none of us went to class very much. We were publishing an underground newspaper, and we were doing radio — we took over the campus radio station . . . .
Related: CAMERA. “Phyllis Bennis Mendaciously Bashes Israel on C-SPAN While Promoting ISIS Book.” August 29, 2015.
This is the political Left that masks off Hamas and its record in human and political rights — also its war crimes (human shields) and its myriad crimes against children (child soldiers), including those it has killed in the process of getting its tunnels dug.
This is the Left / Far Left that doesn’t want its public to know just how big a KGB project was involved in the inventing of Yassir Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which today wears the prettier assignation “Palestinian Authority” but remains an essentially fascist organization behind the coattails of Mahmoud Abbas AKA “Abu Mazen”.
In the region of historic anti-Semitism associated with Christianity and Islam resides the concept of “religious succession”, i.e.,the idea that one true church — one true connection with God — will and must displace less authentic, less true competitors, and that includes the Judaism from which Jesus emerged.
BackChannels believes Constantine and Muhammad have made their points and that a medieval portion of their following in legacy continues to take unholy license in the doing of their bidding.
What is to give the new fascists (whether out of the Christian Far Right, the Islamist camps, or the Far Left) pause for reconsideration?
Look to 21st Century sophistication in ethnology, linguistics, and psychology to help us appreciate and comprehend how our species develops and sustains its cultures. That dawning self-awareness and knowledge may well improve general resistance to medieval manipulation and unintentional support of the ambitions, martial powers, and sadism of feudal tyrants — the most malign of narcissists — in their contemporary forms.
This post started with but a single paragraph from the introduction to a full multi-part curriculum developed to lead Unitarian Universalist congregants in the discussion of the middle east conflict, but a glance back at the contributors to that program may tell what its politics are really about. As had a large portion of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2014, those most responsible in the Universalist Unitarian Association may wish to investigate who — and what — may be served by the subgroup curriculum disseminated through their organization.
Waitstill Sharp was a minister in the Unitarian church in Wellesley, Massachusetts. His wife, Martha, was a noted social worker. During World War II, Martha and Waitstill Sharp helped hundreds of people escape from Nazi persecution.
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority in Israel, honored the Sharps as Righteous Among the Nations in 2006.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Martha and Waitstill Sharp.” Holocaust Encyclopedia.
Additional Reference on BackChannels
Additional General Reference
Bederman, Diane Weber. “Tell Me Again — Never Again!” Jews Down Under, June 7, 2016.
Harrod, Andrew. “Religious Freedom: Writer Battles Jihad Against Israel and Beyond.” Philos Project, June 7, 2016.
Isaacs, Anna. “How the Black Lives Matter and Palestinian Movements Converged.” Moment, March-April 2016.
Posted to YouTube 12/8/2014.
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