Failing grades on the test of truth
BIRMINGHAM -- Giving my breathless two-minute presentation to a committee today, I said that I was advocate for an overture from Seattle Presbytery to suspend the [Israel] divestment process for two years and initiate engagement with various entities to promote a just and lasting peace. We seek justice and shalom, and thus we also seek TRUTH. Yesterday [during the open hearings in committee], we heard some statements that simply don’t meet the test of truth. Let me name a few.
We heard that “Israel has shown no willingness to give up land.” Wrong. Israel HAS given up land several times, including Gaza recently.
We heard, “Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons and so doesn’t need a security barrier.” Let me get this straight: Do we expect or want Israel to combat snipers and suicide bombers with nuclear weapons? Not me!
We heard, “Israeli actions have devastated the Palestinian economy.” That’s scapegoating! Graft, corruption, and armed battles between Hamas and Fatah gunmen will ruin any economy.
We heard, “Commissioners are just scared of offending the Jewish community.” Such statements demean your faith and courage as commissioners. How false to make this out to be a case of mean Jews making Presbyterians cower in fear! PRESBYTERIANS are offended too, not just our Jewish friends!
We heard, “The Church of England has rejected arguments against divestment.” Wrong. The Church of England has actually joined many other denominations in wisely rejecting divestment.
The TRUTH is that we, dabbling in nearly intractable politics from the security of Birmingham, ought to exercise the humility and love to end harsh divestment to promote a just and lasting peace. Please vote to suspend divestment now.