Wednesday, January 15, 2014
The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship delegates to the Holy Land & Omar Barghouti
The 26 delegates to the Holy Land sponsored by the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship listened to a lecture given by Omar Barghouti the founder of the Boycott, Divestment Sanctions movement. Teaching elder, Aric Clark, one of the delegates, wrote about it and divestment on the blog Dispatches from the Holy Land. Clark insisted that the least the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) could do was divest from companies doing business with Israel. Clark is of course echoing Barghouti.
Barghouti spoke on behalf of the BDS movement at a Socialist conference in Chicago in 2011. I will place the video here and although it is long and I disagree with most of it, I think it is important for Presbyterians to understand what the PPF delegates are listening to and what they will be bringing as talking points to the 221st Presbyterian General Assembly. But first some highlights:
Barghouti states, during the question and answer time, that he won't speak to the idea of a one state or two state solution, but since one of the three prongs of the BDS movement is the right of return for Palestinians there would effectively be no Jewish State. If there is no Jewish state eventually the Jews would be either ousted or treated as inferior as Jews and Christians are treated in many Muslim states today.
Adding to this is Barghouti's insistence that a Jewish state cannot be a democracy. Clark and I, several nights ago, argued this via Twitter. Barghouti argued this from a secular, undoubtedly socialist, maybe Marxist's view. And it is a foundational view of the BDS movement which interestingly enough involves socialists and extremist Muslims. And while Barghouti certainly operates the BDS movement from a non-violence perspective in the video he insists that those Palestinians using violence were acceptable given they were defending their country. So suicide bombings and rockets aimed at the innocent with no military target in view are acceptable?
Is this the kind of propaganda Presbyterians need heaped upon them at the General Assembly, or do we all need some honest and fair dialogue?
For my first article on the PPF delegates see-The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship delegates and the wrong guide