Friday, October 29, 2010

The Israel/Palestine Mission Network is boycotting Caterpillar

I wrote several days ago about the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joining the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement. I mentioned that although the beginning of their statement states they are first boycotting products sold in the Israeli settlements they joined the whole movement which includes an intellectual boycott of Israeli universities, publications and professors.

Now they are boycotting Caterpillar, something the 219th General Assembly did not do. On their Facebook page they are linked to a site titled End the Occupation. The page has a sub-title of “Take Action: Help Stop Delivery of CAT Bulldozers to Israel.” With their link they have written:

Israel Palestine Mission Network Please sign this petition to stop Caterpillar by clicking item #1. You can see IPMN signed as an organization in item #2.

[On that page it states]:Here’s what you can do to make sure that the United States does not allow the delivery of these Caterpillar bulldozers to Israel, and to advance our boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Caterpillar:

This is a never-ending story. It is as though the IPMN has no regard for fellow Presbyterians, General Assembly leadership, fair information to all of their readers, or even for peace in the Middle East. Why do I write the latter? Today, although the IPMN has information coming in on their news feeds on their web page that tells horrendous tales about what is happening to Israel as well as the Palestinians, on their Facebook page they have chosen to only feature what they perceive to be wrong with Israel or harmful to the Palestinians.

While it is true that since they only receive on their web page feeds from Haaretz.Com, a Jewish news paper that is to the left, and other news sources that are alternative news sources, still some actions against Israel and Jewish people do seep in. But they do not show up on the IPMN Facebook page. This onesidiness combined with failure to adhere to the guidance of the General Assembly does not make for peace anywhere and it is certainly dishonest.

Today one of the headlines in Haaretz was this, “Islamic Jihad leader: Israel must be wiped out of existence.” This one was also on the IPMN news feed, Obama: Packages containing explosives addressed to Jewish organizations in Chicago. None of this shows up on the IPMN Facebook page and undoubtedly the reason the first one, as a type, does not is because it contradicts IPMN's claims that Israel does not need to defend herself against terrorism.

The second headline, as a type, does not show up on their Facebook page because it contradicts the IPMN’s implied position that Jewish people no longer need to fear for their security. Yet everywhere in an anti-Semitic world it is very clear that the Jewish people need a Jewish state as an anchor for their security even when they do not live there.

The IPMN leaders have thrown themselves fully into the cauldron of the BDS movement. As a Presbyterian organization of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) they will not stop until leadership insists that they must. As I have written before, goose-stepping is blowing in the Presbyterian air.


Doug Hagler said...

The fallacy in your post that I can't get past is the implication, that Israel somehow has to continue expanding its "settlements" in order to protect itself from terrorism. The divestment movement is not aimed at sanctioning Israel for defending itself, as you continually and wrongly imply; it is aimed at sanctioning Israel for continuing to build illegal settlements, even though the "settlements" do nothing but inflame the situation in Israel, and are often cited as the reason that peace talks fall apart.

Caterpillar construction machinery is not used to defend Israel from terrorism - it is used to build settlements. Conflating the two is simply misleading. Other things you say about the IPMN's one-sidedness may be true, but couching it in the context that construction machinery is somehow necessary to fight terrorism just undercuts any value your point may have.

Viola Larson said...

Even the IPMN would disagree with you on that one. The truth is that sometimes Israel uses Caterpillar to knock down houses and olive trees. And here is the dilemma: some of those houses are places where terrorist store weapons and some of those olive trees are knocked down for building a wall for defense. But the problem is that some of the olive trees are not on land behind the green line. And some of those houses do not belong to militants. So because IPMN will not make the case that some are fair actions for self defense and some are not, but blames everything on Israel they are simply adding to the problem not helping it.
If IPMN would admit that there has always been militant groups like Hamas and the Jihad Islamic group-and please read the article, Hamas protected them as they marched, instead of blaming everything on Israel that would go a long way toward solving some of the problems over this issue in the PCUSA. And if you could understand that IPMN is pushing for Israel to NOT be a Jewish state perhaps you could understand what I am saying.

John Shuck said...

I signed. There and here...

Go IPMN, Go.

Thank you for speaking to the Church and giving it the chance to do the right thing.

John Shuck
Elizabethton, TN

Viola Larson said...

You didn't need to tell me that, I already knew you would. After all you don't believe in God, or the mercy of Jesus as resurrected Lord, nor the promises of the Old and New Testament. Why wouldn't you sign?

Anonymous said...

I've noticed that "Rev." Shuck has quite a bit to say on your blog, but makes no provision for anyone to leave a comment on his own. That strikes me as curious.
I did want to register my appreciation for your regularly inspirational words. You've become a frequent stop in my internet browsing.

Jim Watts
Gaffney, SC

Anonymous said...

Oops. I just checked on his website and realized Shuck does make a provision for comments. He just has to approve them before they will even appear. There don't seem to be many that disagree with him. Still curious!

Jim Watts

Viola Larson said...

Hi Jim. I didn't realize that he was now checking comments. But I have been forbidden to comment there since I reported to his Presbytery that he was allowing another person to make threatening comments toward Pastor Rick Warren.

Which is okay, that is more an honor then anything else. Thanks for you kind comments here.