The WCC: No Friend to Israel
The World Council of Churches’ negative attitude toward Israel has been evident from the organization’s formal inception in 1948. Its website speaks of helping “displaced Palestinians” following World War II but says nothing about helping Jewish people who had endured the horrors of the Holocaust.1 Nor did it help Jewish settlers who were continually besieged by Arab gangs and militias in the years leading up to the official reestablishment of Israel.
On the one hand, the World Council of Churches (WCC) avows neutrality and commitment to “ensuring the well-being and security of both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.”2 On the other hand, it demonstrates a decidedly anti-Israel bias.
Its spurious policy of June 3, 2012, advocating for “justice in Palestine,” is erroneously based on what it calls a “conviction that has grown as 40 years of illegal occupation of Palestinian territory has claimed lives, distorted the rights of both peoples and deepened the conflict between them.”3 The WCC emphasizes, “This is the core of World Council of Churches policy toward the [Arab-Israeli] conflict.”4
The World Council of Churches’ thrust deeper into social welfare programs and redistribution of wealth over the past decade explains why it not only provides relief for Palestinians but actively promotes the Palestinian cause while disparaging Israel.
The WCC’s blatant pro-Palestinian bias and brazen geopolitical revisionism is evidenced in its frequent use of the term Palestine Israel: the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF), the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine Israel (EAPPI), the Policy on Palestine Israel, and World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.
Every year, under the EAPPI umbrella, the World Council of Churches sponsors “around 100 ‘ecumenical accompaniers’ (EAs) from different countries to vulnerable communities in Palestine, where their task is to protect and show solidarity with the latter, and advocate on their behalf.”5
The work purportedly “exposes the violence of the occupation, violations of human rights and humanitarian law, and advocates for their end.”6
In July 2012, Arutz-7 reported, “It came to light that EAPPI had issued a publication, entitled ‘Chain Reaction,’ which calls on supporters to stage sit-ins at Israeli embassies, to hack government websites in order to promote its message and declares EAPPI’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.”7
In November 2009, the Kairos Palestine Document was issued, subtitled “A moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering.” It was accepted and endorsed by the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum and promoted by the World Council of Churches. Yet it distorts reality, demonizes Israel as a ruthless government oppressing the Palestinian people, and refers to Palestinian terrorism as “legal resistance.”8
It also wrongly blames Israel for the entire conflict: “If there were no occupation, there would be no resistance, no fear and no insecurity.”9 Of course, it never mentions the countless Arab attacks on Jewish people in Israel in the 1920s through 1940s, prior to the so-called occupation.
Dexter Van Zile, an American Christian who is a media analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), sized up the situation:
In the WCC’s narrative about the Arab-Israeli conflict, all of humanity’s worst traits are projected onto Israel while its adversaries are portrayed as forced into wrongdoing by Israeli policies, as if they have no moral agency, will or agenda of their own. This is dishonest.10
In addition to portraying Israel’s actions to defend its citizens as morally equivalent to those of terrorists murdering unarmed Israeli civilians, the WCC excoriates Israel while whitewashing its Islamic neighbors.
A recent incident is a case in point. During a two-year rampage, the Islamic Boko Haram in Nigeria killed more than 900 Christians—routinely robbing and raping them, slaughtering them in their homes, and burning them in their churches. The WCC entered into dialogue with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought to study and develop a plan to resolve the situation.
On July 12, 2012, the joint committee issued its report: “The primary causes of the current tension and conflict in Nigeria are not inherently based in religion but rather, rooted in a complex matrix of political, social, ethnic, economic, and legal problems.”11
So, in the wake of the horrendously brutal murders of more than 900 Christian brothers and sisters, the World Council of Churches had a chat with Islamic clerics and decided religion was not to blame. In the face of such atrocities, it issued hardly a word of condemnation.
Always Israel’s Fault
The WCC is extremely vocal about Israeli settlements, however. It routinely clouds the issue by using the phrase illegally occupied territories to describe the geographic areas that form the heart of biblical Israel. And it conveniently ignores the fact that the Jewish people built most of the “settlements” on the sites of ancient Hebrew towns and villages; on land they actually purchased with money before the State of Israel was born; and on reclaimed, non-arable land abandoned by Arabs who considered it worthless.
Whether it’s the Kairos Palestine Document, the Amman Call, the PIEF Strategic Plan, or member responses to these documents, the WCC fallaciously claims Israel illegally occupies land belonging to Palestinians.
In “Women Respond to the Kairos Palestine Document,” the WCC’s attitude is clear: “Whether the solution is one state or two, the occupation must end.”12 In other words, the only viable solution is to remove Israel from the land.
By promoting the Kairos Palestine Document, the World Council of Churches endorses the position that the “occupation” has generated a mass emigration of Christians from “Palestinian” areas.
Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to the United States, countered that claim in a March 9, 2012, article in The Washington Post. Palestinian Muslims, not Israel, he said, are responsible for Christians leaving Palestinian-controlled areas. He said 200,000 recently fled Egypt, and 500,000 fled Iran due to Islamic persecution:
The only place in the Middle East where Christians aren’t endangered but flourishing is Israel. Since Israel’s founding in 1948, its Christian communities (including Russian and Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Armenians and Protestants) have expanded more than 1,000%.13
Kairos Palestine preferred to side with the Islamics: “We refuse to be pitted against our Palestinian Muslim neighbours [sic] and friends,” the document said, “and we refuse to let our collective oppression be manipulated in a way that fragments us, obscures us, or masks the oppression’s true cause, which is the Israeli occupation.”14
Rather than admit Islamic persecution is driving Christians from cities where they have lived for generations, signatories of the Kairos Palestine Document, along with the World Council of Churches, falsely insist Israel is to blame.
The WCC routinely encourages member churches to use economic policies to cripple Israel and bring about change. In its June 2012 newsletter, PIEF reported the status of measures designed to bring an end to the so-called occupation. Here are a few:
- The Friends Fiduciary Corporation (Quaker), with $200 million in assets, pulled $900,000 worth of shares out of Caterpillar, Inc.15
- FinnChurchAid and EAPPI Finland are demanding “the government ban labelling [sic] of settlement products as ‘Made in Israel.’”16
- The Presbyterian Church (USA) entertained a motion at its General Assembly in July 2012 to divest from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions because, reported Arutz-7, these corporations “supply equipment to Israel, which, it alleges, enforce Israeli control in the ‘occupied territories.’” By a margin of only 333–331, with two abstentions, the motion failed.17
- In June 2011, the United Church of Canada voted to boycott six companies (Caterpillar, Motorola, Ahava, Veolia, Elbit Systems and Chapters/Indigo), joining others that support the Palestinians.18
Wrote Italian journalist Giulio Meotti, “Today, most of the divestment campaign against Israel is driven by Christian groups.”19 Unfortunately, many of those groups are influenced by the World Council of Churches.
Nearly seven decades after its formal debut, the WCC brokers intrusiveness that manipulates perceptions, while purposefully driving its own global agenda.
It’s not enough to be informed. Christians of biblical faith must raise a clear, strong, opposing voice and then act with conviction to quell the turbulent tide.
- How does the WCC contribute to Christian service?” World Council of Churches <oikoumene.org/en/resources/themes/christian-service-diakonia.html>.
- “World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel,” Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum, 2012 <tinyurl.com/8fjdtb6>.
- “Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI),” World Council of Churches <tinyurl.com/8b4ogkz>.
- Rachel Hirshfield, “EU Jewry Blasts Church of England’s Anti-Israel Vote,” Arutz-7, July 10, 2012 <israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/157707>.
- “The Kairos Palestine Document,” World Council of Churches, 2009 <tinyurl.com/ya49ama>.
- Dexter Van Zile, “The World Council of Churches Broadcasts a Lethal Narrative,” October 5, 2011, CAMERA <tinyurl.com/9f9ov85>.
- “Christian and Muslim alliance commits to help solving tensions in Nigeria,” World Council of Churches <tinyurl.com/9mkp3e8>.
- “Women Respond to the Kairos Palestine Document,” World Council of Churches, December 18, 2010 <tinyurl.com/9p4huyf>.
- Michael Oren, “Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians,” The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2012 <tinyurl.com/8cs47td>.
- “Kairos Palestine responds to Ambassador Oren,” PIEF Alert, March 21, 2012 <tinyurl.com/94xv29e>.
- “Ecomomic measures against the Israeli occupation gain momentum” PIEF Newsletter, June 2012 <oikoumene.org/index.php?id=8709>.
- Rachel Hirshfeld, “Is There a “Presbyterian War on Israel?’ July 20, 2012, Israel National News <tinyurl.com/cn3r2uc>.
- Giulio Meotti, “The Churches Against Israel,” July 7, 2011, FrontPage Magazine <frontpagemag.com/2011/giulio-meotti/the-churches-against-israel/2>.