Matan Emmanuel Asher

World Council Of Hate Churches

“While observing the Palestinian prisoners day, we want to express our solidarity with more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails.”

That is how the world council of churches (WCC) opened their statement in April after Israel has canceled the release of Palestinian terrorists. Many of us tend to think of global Anti-Semitism as a basic part within the DNA of Israel’s enemies. In many cases it’s true, but it is also important to understand that this hatred has been spread by several organizations for quite a long time. While Israel is facing boycotts and terror, there is hardly anyone in the world who is aware, of what can be possibly called the largest anti-israeli religious propaganda engine in the world – the WCC.

We are talking about an umbrella organization for 349 Protestant, Orthodox and Evangelical  Churches in 150 countries, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the International Evangelical Church and the United Methodist Church (and many more) – all of them in America. Altogether, the WCC represents nearly 600 million Christians around the world.

The organization has been founded in 1948 out of the ecumenical movement and ever since, it is obsessively focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is also reflected in the almost total disregard for the murder of Christians by Muslims in the Middle East. Thus, the WCC will not call Hamas a terror organization, but only in view of the intensification of Islamic State they have begun to deal with the issue of radical Islam.

During operation ‘Protective Edge’, the Council often harshly condemned Israel and rarely mentioned Hamas. According to WCC’s general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit “We strongly condemn the indiscriminate attacks by Israeli military on the civilian population in Gaza, as we absolutely condemn the absurd and immoral firing of rockets by militants from Gaza to populated areas in Israel”. Who are these militants? However, perhaps the most annoying part is the statement that ”we must examine what is happening in Gaza in light of the occupation of the Palestinian territories which began in 1967”. How does that have anything to do with Hamas launching rockets? .

The WCC is also one of the main entities involved in the BDS campaign against Israel. In 2005, the General Assembly has supported the Presbyterian Church’s decision to divest from Israel, saying that ‘this is commendable’. In ‘Protective Edge’, the General Assembly reaffirmed that again.

The Council works in several ways: Their primary one goes by delivering messages and statements through their churches back to more than half a billion believers. Oddly enough, in front of a burning Middle East, the WCC has often repeated the claim that “the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is the main problem that causes instability and unrest in the region”. Another original method is to condemn Israel’s Christian supporters by saying that “they distort the word of God”.

In recent years, the WCC has established a unique set of organizations operating in Israel. One of them is PIEF – Palestine Israel Ecumenical forum. Established in 2007, the PIEF is composed of Palestinian Christian church leaders providing the religious and spiritual background to attack Israel. Their most known activity is the Kairos document. Published in 2009, the document said, among other things, that the Palestinians are waiting for the right of return (which means the destruction of the Jewish state) and that Israel is exploiting the legitimate Palestinian resistance to call it terrorism. The document, which supports the BDS movement, has been translated into several languages, distributed in churches all over the world by the WCC.

The WCC has also tried to operate against Israel from inside the congress, where notable church leaders from the WCC’s representative body for the United States, the NCC which has 45 million believers, have sent out a letter in 2012 calling members of congress to reduce military aid to Israel.

So how do we deal with their activities? First, we should acknowledge them and watch closely. We need to start holding the local churches accountable for the council’s actions. Although the council claims not to be anti-Semitic, we can unambiguously say that their words have evidence of hatred of Jews. To conclude, I think that it is very important for those who support Israel in the clash against global terrorism, to try and help Israel deal with bodies like the WCC who are trying to make Israel weak.

About the Author
Matan Asher is a 24 years old student for law and political science at Bar-Ilan University and recently graduated from the Jewish Statesmanship Center. He was one of the founders of Human Rights Blue and White, sponsored by the Institute for Zionist Strategies, and is the header of Yuvalim project at BIU for the WZO. Matan is an intern at the JCPA for Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld.