Participants will experience the realities of life in the Holy Land – the occupations, settlements, and peace efforts -- by meeting with those living there. Those who attend will be expected to be ambassadors for justice at the mid-June 2014 General Assembly in Detroit. Additionally, participants will be asked to make a commitment to work as advocates for the end of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and control of the Gaza Strip, and for security for both Israelis and Palestinians.I know at least one of these delegates and I know that undoubtedly most of them are dedicated, kind and genuine people. But their words have been, in many cases, bought, and badly from what I am reading. They were trained at the Stony Point Center in New York. But they, of course, also are being guided and informed by other people in the Middle East. One person who was chosen to do this was Jonathan Cook who is a journalist and an author.
One tweet by a commissioner is, “Jonathan Cook gave us an incredible and eye-opening tour of Nazareth yesterday: http://www.jonathan-cook.net
Cook on his own blog buys into all kinds of conspiracy ideas and libels against Jewish citizens including the killing of Arafat and the selling of Palestinian body parts. Cook concludes on that last issue that since the Israel's “long time” pathologist had been fired for stealing body parts from dead IDF soldiers, “he was undoubtedly doing the same to the bodies of Palestinians brought to his laboratory.” But his statement is conjecture and besides that it hardly backs up the libel that Israel was harvesting body parts and selling them. Almost all of his writing is that kind of writing. Logical thinkers should be troubled.
Cook also appears to believe that most of the European Jews descended from the ancient Khazars thus the Israelis supposedly have little claim on any of the land of ancient Israel. He finds nothing good in Israel and manages to ascribe evil intentions to every act they perform. For instance in one post he insists that some contrived acts of anti-Semitism in France are a plot to move more French Jews to Israel despite the very true fact that there has been a sharp rise in acts of anti-Semitism in France.
The Presbyterian delegates spending their time among local Arab and Jewish communities will undoubtedly find much to be concerned about, care about and love, but they will certainly be misled by some of their guides. May our prayers be with them that God will 'accidentally' lead them where their guides did not intend for them to go. May they see the good work of both the Israelis and the Palestinians. May they come to GA prepared, not to use the propaganda that others have pushed their way but the truth of the bad and the good on both sides of the region's peoples.
The delegates blog can be read at: Dispatches From the Holy Land