Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Zionism Unsettled, David Duke & the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

It seems that David Duke, past Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, really likes the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and in particular Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, past stated clerk of the PC (U.S.A)’s General Assembly. But then he is mistaken, thinking that Kirkpatrick is the author of Zionism Unsettled. Duke undoubtedly read Kirkpatrick’s endorsement of the booklet:

I encourage pastors and congregations to take advantage of this new publication. Zionism Unsettled provides a valuable opportunity to explore the political ideology of Zionism. Our congregations need to understand not only the humanitarian crisis or the specific policies involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also to examine the basic framework that lies behind these policies and crises.

Duke likes Israel/Palestine Mission Network’s Zionism Unsettled because it uses a word he says he coined. It is included in his introduction which begins with this:

In a major breakthrough in the worldwide struggle against Zionist extremism, the largest Presbyterian church in the United States, the PC(USA), has issued a formal statement calling Zionism “Jewish Supremacism” — a term first coined and made popular by Dr. David Duke.

I have searched the booklet and cannot find that exact term although Zionism Unsettled is peppered with phrases that fit the idea of Zionism as “Jewish Supremacism.” There are references over and over to Jewish and/or Zionist exceptionalism as the dark side. There is an insistence that Israel cannot be a Jewish State and be a democracy. There are references  to the supposed ethnic cleansing by Zionists. There is the quote that “Zionism is by nature a system of discrimination and exclusion.”

And there is this, ""However, because equal rights for all would compromise the concept of a Jewish state, a dual legal system had to be created to ensure Jewish supremacy." on page 53.
Duke’s admiration for the booklet includes other statements from Zionism Unsettled:

It blames the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands as “blowback” from the “perceived injustice of the enforced partition of Palestine, the creation of a Jewish state, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1947-48, and the Sinai War of 1956.”
It accuses Israel of intentionally depopulating Palestinian villages in 1948, a process that continues to this day.
“Now, 65 years later, the Zionist quest for demographic control of the land in still underway – not only in the occupied territories, but within Israel itself. State planners pursue the goal of ensuring a ‘contiguous Jewish presence’ in every area within Israel.”
Morever [sic], the book argues, Israel is entirely uninterested in peace, and does not negotiate in good faith. “It is hard to find any evidence,” the authors write, “that recent Israeli governments have any intention of negotiating a just peace with Palestinians.”

That David Duke would claim agreement with the IPMN’s publication Zionism Unsettled should cause those in leadership of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to tremble because they are potentially in league with one of the leading bigots and anti-Semites of contemporary America.

When one writes a racist or an anti-Semitic book they should expect those who are racist and anti-Semitic to agree with them. In fact, James Wall, who writes and edits for Veterans News Now and is linked to Veterans Today, a vile anti-Semitic site which sometimes uses David Duke, has written an endorsement for them, calling Zionism Unsettled a "well timed and important study guide.*

Evil breeds deeper evil. 

* The endorsement is posted on their site-

Picture from Wikipedia


will spotts said...

It makes sense for Duke to endorse this as it reflects his values and beliefs.

To me, this is simply par for the course - it fits with the pattern I have observed in PC(USA) activism on this subject since at least 2000. Whatever bumps in the road they may have encountered, the IPMN and much of the national "leadership" in the PC(USA) has simply continued its anti-Israel and anti-Jewish activism and anti-Jewish bias without a second thought.

I know - I have made this type of comment before, but I'm not sure we can get away from it as an observation. From the Hezbollah incidents - right through the ACSWP's singling out of Israel for a charge of religious discrimination - to the MESC report.

will spotts said...

My question for you is this: what might Presbyterians do about it?

I've struggled with that question for a number of years now, and I've not come up with a credible solution. It IS the national policy - e.g. anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hostility. Regardless of any GA's self-perception of its actions. Presbyterians own it.

So how on earth might they change it? Even if they wanted to - and I'm taking that as a given.

Viola Larson said...

Will, your question needs a bigger answer than I am going to give right now. But go here: https://www.facebook.com/pcusa/posts/10201030982409082?comment_id=5075788&offset=0&total_comments=15
And go to the second posting. I am sure it will move on.

Viola Larson said...

First of all I am not sure anything can be done about it except to keep crying out against it as a means of maintaining righteousness. If we are silent we are involved in the outrage and God have mercy.

Karl Barth insisted, and I believe Bonhoeffer did also that the German Christians were not Christians because of the treatment of Jewish Christians. Bonhoeffer would have included the persecution of those Jews who were not Christians-really I think many of the Confessing pastors and Laypersons did include them as the reason the German Christians were not Christians. They were mainly silent because of their own troubles. (A lesson we need to learn.)

But I think we have to keep making it clear that if the PCUSA persists in allowing the IPMN to follow the path they have chosen they will become a force against peace and will be responsible for any mass killing of Israel's citizens including those Palestinians that live in Israel. And by this I mean by radical Islamic states or individuals.
They are feeding the fire that is already burning and starting a few themselves.
On a political level there can be overtures written to rid the denomination of IPMN and restart a different group. We also need to have different connections to organizations in the Palestinian territories and in Israel. The ones we have now have a flawed theology and a single purpose-to rid the Holy Land of Israel.

On the other side we still need to speak against some of the wrong things Israel is doing like where they put the wall and how they treat people. But IPMN has made it impossible for many of us to speak of our concerns because we do not in anyway want to be aligned with their anti-Semitism.

will spotts said...

Very well put, Viola.

2 points stand out to me - 1. the lesson we need to learn about remaining silent about our own troubles. 2. there is a need to speak out against some of the wrong things Israel is doing - which is made impossible in the IPMN climate.

I think it is important to keep both in mind.

Viola Larson said...


One thing, perhaps the most important thing, I left out is that we don't send missionaries out anymore to proclaim the gospel, instead we only do social work, or help others do social work. And they also do not proclaim the gospel. How could they when such people as Naim Ateek is a pluralist who doesn't believe in the uniqueness of Christ.

This is our greatest problem; putting everything else above the message of Christ's salvation we finally lose sight of God's best and pick out what is evil.

Anonymous said...

"You shall be known by the company you keep".