Convention speaks against humanitarian crisis in Israel-Palestine, stops short of full ‘divestment’

By David Paulsen
Posted Jul 13, 2018
Bishops on Palestine

The House of Bishops votes on one of the four Israel-Palestine resolutions it took up July 13, the last day of the 79th General Convention in Austin, Texas.

[Episcopal News Service – Austin, Texas] The 79th General Convention wrapped up its consideration of resolutions relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on July 13, with mixed results due largely to the House of Bishops’ unwillingness to take many of the bolder steps urged by the House of Deputies.

Of the 15 resolutions submitted on Israel-Palestine going into General Convention, only six passed both houses, though the successful resolutions still touch on a range of issues, including the plight of Palestinian children, the status of Jerusalem, the disproportionate use of lethal force on both sides and ways the Episcopal Church can press for peace through its investment decisions.

Bishops and deputies, even those arguing for a tougher stance against the conditions of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, took pains to affirm Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself, citing longstanding church policy toward the region. And while the bishops rejected the most controversial resolution, D019, saying it amounted to a dangerous “divestment” from Israel, General Convention’s deliberations over the past week have highlighted what many see as an escalating humanitarian crisis in the region.

“We need to really stand with Palestinians at this point,” Virginia Bishop Associate Robert Ihloff said in the morning session on the final day of General Convention. “It is not an even playing field.”

Ihloff was speaking in favor of Resolution C038, which calls on Israel to safeguard the rights of Palestinian children in Israel’s military detention system. Joining the House of Deputies, the bishops passed C038 in a rather one-sided voice vote. Related resolutions were approved earlier in the week by both houses with relatively little objection: B021, supporting the resumption of humanitarian aid to Palestinians; B003, regarding the status of Jerusalem as shared Holy City; and D018, reflecting on the deterioration of negotiations toward a two-state solution.

Even allowing debate on D019 in the House of Deputies was seen as progress over three years ago, when a similar measure at General Convention was defeated by the bishops before it got to the deputies’ calendar.

Brian Grieves

The Rev. Brian Grieves, deputy from the Diocese of Hawaii, speaks in favor of the resolution he proposed about ending the church’s complicity in the Israeli occupation. “Palestinian lives matter,” he said. Photo: David Paulsen/Episcopal News Service

D019 sought to end what proponents say is the church’s financial complicity in the Israeli occupation through its investments in companies that profit from human rights abuses there. That resolution was taken up as a special order of business July 9 through an expedited process recommended by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies. That process also established the House of Deputies as the house of initial action for all Israel-Palestine resolutions.

Resolution D019 would have asked Executive Council, based on 70 years of church policy toward the Middle East conflict, to research and develop a plan by 2019 for a “human rights investment screen” for church investments in the region. The deputies voted 74 percent in favor, but the bishops defeated the resolution July 11, with 62 percent voting no.

After that vote, Sarah Lawton, deputy from the Diocese of California and chair of the Social Justice and International Policy Committee, said she was disappointed by the bishops’ decision to reject D019 but still saw opportunities for General Convention to raise its voice on the conflict through the other resolutions.

“Given how things are getting so much worse and dire, both the [Israeli] settlements and the human rights issues, I think it would be useful to understand how things are shifting and also the role of the U.S. government,” Lawton told Episcopal News Service on July 11. “I wish the bishops would have more time to reflect on how that situation is changing there.”

The bishops on July 13 joined the deputies in speaking out on some of those issues, even passing Resolution B016, which echoes D019 in its use of the phrase “human rights investment screen.” Unlike D019, Resolution B016 includes no timeline for action by Executive Council or any reference to church complicity in the occupation, though it ultimately could result in the church pulling money out of companies that do business there.

Bishop Dan Edwards of Nevada spoke in favor of B016 before the vote, saying it balances targeted divestment from companies when appropriate with shareholder activism when that might produce greater results.

“There is a time to disinvest, and there is a time to do shareholder activism,” Edwards said. “This resolution provides for both of those. To do one without the other is to limp badly.”

The nuance in the language in B016 left its passage open to starkly different interpretations from groups on both sides of the issue. The American Jewish Committee released a statement July 13 applauding the church’s “rejection of Israel divestment,” while Friends of Sabeel North America tweeted, “The Episcopal Church voted today to divest.” Episcopal Peace Fellowship expressed surprise but joined in praising the vote.

The voice vote on B016 was close enough that Curry requested a show of hands to confirm it had passed. The bishops were far less divided on the other Israel-Palestine resolutions. While support was nearly unanimous for the resolution regarding Palestinian children, the bishops’ response to D038, raising civil rights concerns, and D039, describing Israel as an “apartheid” state, was nearly united in opposition.

“Israel is not an apartheid state,” said retired Bishop Ed Little of Diocese of Northern Indiana, a consistent voice against the Israeli-Palestinian resolutions.

Use of that word alone may have been enough to defeat D039, though some of the bishops agreed that an unjust system of segregation and discrimination exists in Israel. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Anglican leader who was a pivotal figure in the fight to end apartheid in South Africa, also spoke in favor of taking a tougher stance toward Israel in a statement he released before General Convention with former House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson and Patti Browning, widow of former Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning.

“I speak from a place of deep and profound respect for Archbishop Tutu,” Los Angeles Bishop John Taylor began his remarks on D039, but he disagreed that the “powerful word” chosen by the resolution was appropriate – at least not yet.

“Episcopalians are famous for taking words seriously. I would support this resolution without the word ‘apartheid,’” he said. “I fear that we may need the word back in another more appropriate context.”

Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton rose not only to speak against D039 but also to question why General Convention had spent so much time on Israel-Palestine. He said he supported and voted for some of the measures but asked, “Why the fixation on Israel?”

“I’m disturbed by the number of resolutions brought forward about this conflict, as if we here can suggest that we actually know what the problems are,” he said. “There’s a sense of piling on here in these resolutions.”

The apartheid resolution was defeated easily, as was D038, on civil rights in Israel, after a concern was raised about some of the later resolution’s supporting material.

General Convention has voted in support of Middle East peace for decades, though Israel-Palestine has become one of the thorniest topics at recent General Conventions, particularly the question of divestment.

Tarek Abuata

Tarek Abuata of the pro-Palestinian Friends of Sabeel North America testifies July 6 at a hearing on General Convention resolutions related to Israel and Palestine. Photo: David Paulsen/Episcopal News Service

The expedited process at this year’s General Convention was intended to ensure full, open and productive discussion of the issues, and that openness was on display July 6 at the hearing on the resolutions. Nearly 50 people testified, most of them in favor of passage.

After D019’s defeat, Lawton suggested there remained a disparity between the deputies and bishops in time spent deliberating on that and other resolutions. Some bishops expressed their own reservations about the process, saying they would have welcomed more substantive discussions before voting on what all agreed were complex issues.

Bishop Suffragan Jeff Fisher of Texas, who is on the board of Episcopal Peace Fellowship, offered that organization’s participation if the bishops wished to pursue such conversations formally. The topic is expected to be on the agenda when the House of Bishops meets next, in March.

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.


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Comments (42)

  1. PJ Cabbiness says:

    Israel is not and has not occupied any Palestinian land. The territory at issue is being occupied by the murderous, terrorist Palestinian non-state. The trespassers, interlopers and occupiers are the Palestinians who are being mercilessly used by their leadership to harm, harass and ultimately destroy Israel. This Anti-Semitic, Anti-Jewish false narrative being disseminated by malicious and/or misguided persons or entities within our Church must stop!

    1. Chaim Yankel says:

      Odd comment. No Palestinian ever packed their bags and migrated to Eastern Europe, there to dispossess hundreds of Jewish communities, seizing their homes, and lands, their businesses and crops, buildings , infrastructure and sending these homeless Jews out into the nearest desert. This did not happen. The asymmetry suggests that the precise reverse of your outlandish comment is much closer to the truth. It is the Jews who have terrorized Palestinians, ethnic cleansing them from first 78% of Palestine and now pushing them into reservations in the West Bank and a concentration camp called Gaza. Rightly, the land had been occupied by Arabs for 13 centuries while “Jews” (whoever they may be) spent 2000 settling down everywhere in the world except Palestine! Suddenly, it’s their land because a book they wrote says so. Grow up.

      1. Susan Salisbury says:

        The progressive left has become increasingly anti Semitic.

        1. Matt Ouellette says:

          It’s not progressives in this country marching with neo-Nazis. Criticism of the Israeli government is not anti-Semitic.

  2. Johnson Stone says:

    What follows are excerpts of the statement today of the American Jewish Committee, the world’s largest Jewish advocacy organization, and an interfaith observer at the General Convention. The full statement may be read at: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ajc-commends-episcopal-church-rejection-of-israel-divestment-expresses-concern-on-other-issues-300680804.html

    “AJC commends the Episcopal Church for once again rejecting divestment directed against Israel, but expresses concern regarding open hostility toward Israel in other resolutions…

    “…This balanced approach, however, was undermined by resolutions that disproportionately focused on Israel and its need to defend itself against Gaza incitement, border riots, and violence emanating from the Palestinian territories, including the cynical use of children by Palestinian militants…”

    “…’While we commend the Episcopal Church for that rejection, we are concerned that unbalanced anti-Israel voices were championed through several highly problematic resolutions,’ said Emily Soloff, AJC’s Associate Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, who attended the General Convention as an invited guest and, along with ecumenical and international guests, offered greetings to the assembled.”

    “AJC has long supported direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians leading to an enduring two-state solution, and, in that spirit, embraces interreligious partners who genuinely champion peace for Israelis and Palestinians. AJC would welcome working with the Episcopal Church toward that goal.”

    SOURCE American Jewish Committee

    1. Chaim Yankel says:

      The Zionists love “balance” because it makes it appear that there is a dispute here and two sides vying for land rather than the theft of land from its inhabitants.

  3. Vicki Gray says:

    How sad, how incredibly sad this display of cowardice by so many bishops held hostage by the “interfaith dialogue,” needing permission to speak their conscience, avoiding concrete actions on behalf of justice, preferring instead periphrastic euphemisms to the plain, yes, harsh words that tough love sometimes demands that friends speak to friends. Why, one must ask, is disinvestment a “dangerous” word? Why, Bishop Taylor, is this not the “appropriate context” to use the “powerful word” apartheid?

    Bishop Sutton, we do “actually know what the problems are.” Those, like Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, who have visited refugee camps like Balata and Aida, been delayed at checkpoints, or walked Hebron’s Shuhada Street, know all too well what the problems are. In a 2011 sermon in Jerusalem he said that what he had experienced on his visit to such places was worse than anything he had experienced in apartheid South Africa. “Apartheid” is a powerfully accurate word to describe what he and I had experienced on that visit. It is a word I was given permission to use by an Israeli Jewish lawyer, as we returned from a bulldozed Beduoin village in the Negev. It is the “A-Word” Letty Pogrebin used in a 2011 “Forward” article (https://forward.com/opinion/136418/the-a-word-in-hebron/).

    The problems, however, do not include the disproportionate use of lethal force “on both sides,” as if the burning kites of peaceful Palestinian protesters are the same as the live fire ammunition of Israeli snipers, as if charred fields are the equivalent of the hundred and more Palestinians killed in May,

    Why the fixation on Israel? Because Israel/Palestine is the Holy Land of our three Abrahamic religions and it is being desecrated, washed in the blood of thousands.

    1. william dailey says:

      Vicki–I trust you will rejoice if Israel is destroyed and punished for defending itself. What could be more “equivalent” than that?

      1. William Nour says:

        Israel is defending itself?!!!
        I love how freely we use this statement here in in The USA. The victims are the Palestinians since 1948 and before that. I am The son of a Palestinian Christian farmer. In 1948 our family’s village along with 500 hundred other villages was ethnically cleansed and our homes bulldozed. Don’t speak speak to me about Israel defending itself. Israel has always been the perpetrator. Before you speak about what you dont know, go live on Gaza, the West Bank and see how you like it. Why are we blaming the victims who were displaced and pushed into refugee camps. I swear to god, I have seen more ignorance about world affairs here than anywhere else.

      2. Chaim Yankel says:

        Nobody wants to destroy Israel. Israel is a fact and Palestinians understand this. They simply want their homes and land back, or at least some semblance of justice and restitution from the perpetrators (the Jewish State.) This is not unreasonable: Jews have been gleaning compensation and reparations from Germany endlessly since WW II. The latest reparation is for the Grandchildren of “Survivors” and this class is very very broad. A Jew who spent the war unmolested in Spain, is a “survivor.”

    2. Will Mebane says:

      Thank you for an eloquent, articulate, intelligent, and accurate comment, Vicki.

  4. M. J. Wise says:

    I’ve never totally squared Episcopalian support or identification with the Palestinian cause given their leadership’s historical embrace of fundamentalist Islam and all the homophobia, transphobia, and female subjugation that entails. But alas, this will be one of those things I’ll probably just never understand.

    1. Chris Schul says:

      A Holy Land pilgrimage would offer some insight. After visiting The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem stop in and visit the residents of the Aida Refugee camp. Meet the smiling children. Hear what it is like to be tear gassed on a regular basis. After visiting Jacob’s Well in Nablus head out to meet the bakers making knafeh, the pastry Nablus is famous for. Or visit a soap maker. Stop in the Orthodox town of Taybeh. Visit the brewery and meet the men and women of the Khoury family who toil to make this business a success despite the challenges of the occupation. They will welcome you. Go to Hebron and see the sites of interest then take a tour with Breaking the Silence, a group of Israeli veterans. Worship with Palestinian Episcopalians. The service may be in Arabic, but you will be right at home. Understand the checkpoints through which you will pass and seek to understand the barriers to free travel they impose. Think how easily you can get to work or the doctor or the seaside. Ride on Israeli only roads in the West Bank. Meet the people and hear their stories. After you put your hand on the Western Wall then put it on the apartheid wall. Perhaps then the notion that Palestinians are radical Islamic homophobes will seem less certain. Many in our church have already made such a pilgrimage; the source of their passion on this topic.

  5. Jon Spangler says:

    I support Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself, but Israel’s decades of killing and oppressing (denying water, food, travel, work, housing, medical care, and more) of the Palestinians extends far beyond mere self-defense. The facts–including the ratio of Israelis killed to Palestinians killed–are clear on this point.

    It pains me greatly that the Israelis, the semi-secular incarnation of “God’s chosen people” in our time, seem to be treating the Palestinians in a manner quite contrary to the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, the conquering israelis have treated Palestinians much like many Jews were treated by the Third Reich. True, there are no gas chambers, but the quality of the Palestinians’ constant oppression, torture, and economic strangulation by the Israelis bears many similarities to Germany’s restrictions on the Jews in Germany, Poland, and France.

    I expect to see rabid and unquestioning defense of Israel from members of far right Christian denominations, where ignorance is more widely countenanced: to see it among members of my own Episcopal Church, in direct contradiction of the facts we know about the human rights crises in Palestine, is deeply disturbing.

    1. Jerry Hannon says:

      Thank you, Mr. Spangler, for one of the best unemotional and factual statements in this thread. Radicalism on either side will not result in justice, nor will it reflect Christian caring for the oppressed on whichever side of the border.

  6. Philip B Spivey says:

    It’s become routine to “tar” the voices raised against Israel’s institutionalized apartheid effecting the brown Muslims of Palestine, with the brush of anti-Semitism. It’s a convenient diversion from a inconvenient truth: Israel, with the support of the United States, has made it impossible to realize a two-state solution. A brutal repression, and seventy years of subsequent rebellions, are the result.

    Unfortunately, only the Israeli right-wing gets press in this country; the media would have us believe that Israelis speak with one voice. Not so. There is a robust progressive-wing that exists there which is very vocal in it’s opposition to Palestinian apartheid. They are neither anti-Semitic or even anti-Zionist. They are, in my opinion, patriots.

    The United States is not so far from its own systems of apartheid: African enslavement; Jim Crow segregation laws and more recently, systematic right-wing Gerrymandering. Is it so difficult to recognize when it’s happening?

    As a Church, we should try harder to get ahead of the curve in these matters: We stumbled and lurched into divesting from an apartheid Union of South Africa; here we go again.

  7. Ron Davin says:

    How do they feel about Americas occupation of the 13 colonies that belong to England ? Would they welcome the Tories back , afte they were evicted?

  8. Willis H A Moore says:

    As a person with Native America Indian ancestry, teaching USA History at an RCC University, I am distinctly uncomfortable with some bishop who seem to insist the Israel-in-Palestine issue is some kind of “family squabble” and not worthy of “so much time spent” at GC. If a resolution that is just and fair is not reached, this explosive spot on the World scene will become truly ugly. Lacking national leadership from the WH (Both parties are complicit in caving to Zionist pressure,) TEC should at least be bolder than the bishops are willing to be in seeking justice first, then a negociated peace. Slaughtering Gaza residents is hardly leading to peace with justice.

  9. Joan Jennings Scalfani says:

    Perhaps someone should research Peace Play International, an organization which has had success through sports in getting Israeli & Palestinian children together on sports teams. I understand this effort has led to friendships and understanding between the children, which encouraged the same behavior between their parents. “And a child shall lead them”

  10. Douglas Crellin says:

    Not a single resolution opposing Hamas or the PLO or Iranian meddling. This church is losing its’ grip and being infiltrated by elements that are trying to radically change my faith home. I have lost all faith in leadership, especially on the East coast. I am praying and thinking heavily and with a great sad heart on leaving the Episcopalians after 50 years. You are bleeding membership at a rate close to 30%, and with your policies and ignorance that is about to creep higher. Sad.

    1. PJ Cabbiness says:

      Thank you for your accurate observations Douglas.

    2. PJ Cabbiness says:

      Thank you for your accurate observations Douglas.

    3. Jerry Hannon says:

      I will grant the validity of your first sentence, at least as a rational question, but reject the rest of your commentary. TEC has never been more vibrant (well at least within my 70+ years), and we have a PB who gives me great hope for our future. There have always been, and doubtlessly will always be, those who may strongly disagree with some movement or effort, but the joy of this Church is its breadth and commitment to the teachings of Jesus, and His actions to redeem and reveal.

    4. Donald Heacock says:

      Sad but true. Bill Clinton had peace deal at Camp David. Ehud Buark was willing to sign. Yasser Afrat walk away. No Arab in the Southern Levant will agree to a Jewish State with its Capital in Jerusalem. Hamas in Gaza still has a Charter with the destruction of Israel. Arabs can get rid of Hamas if they want. The Episcopal Church has never said they would recognize Israel as a Jewish State.

  11. George Mosley Murray III says:

    This news is interesting. Thank you.
    The vitriolic hate towards the Jewish State of Israel by some of the comments here is both irrational and immature. I would urge prayer and consultation with G-d.

  12. Bill Louis says:

    “We need to stand with Palestine” says the House of Deputies. The headlines today report that 90 rockets were fired into Isreal in a 24 hour period this weekend by Palestinian supported Hamas. One rocket exploded hear a Synagogue and injured a family of four including children. I suppose that doesn’t matter that House of Deputies stands with the terrorists. How can the EC want to support that?

    1. Matt Ouellette says:

      Do you really think the terrorists in Palestine represent all Palestinians? Do the violent extremists in Israel who kill Palestinian civilians represent all Israelis?

      1. Douglas Crellin says:

        This may be the dumbest comment I have ever read on a blog.

        1. Matt Ouellette says:

          How is it dumb? Why is it that whenever the Israeli government is criticized, the response from conservatives is to commit “whataboutism” arguments and change the subject to the Palestinian government? As if that justifies the Israeli government stealing land that does not belong to them?

          1. Douglas Crellin says:

            If you lived in a house and were surrounded by neighbors who hated you for your religious views and therefore lobbed hand grenades and molitov cocktails at your house and family everyday would you not fight to expand your border to protect your family? Would you fight back after so many times and try to stop the people trying to hurt you or would you sit there and take it and wait for your children to be maimed or killed? Revisit your history and not some anti-Israel talking points. That is why I called it dumb, you are not well researched on this you are just reciting talking points and it is easy to spot.

          2. William nour says:

            You’re talking about my house. My whole village was destroyed in 1948. What if it is your house Israel is destroying. Israel is a European colony. It is sad that the Jews were run out of Europe because the We’re so hated by European Christians. Then Britain facilitated a new home for them in someone else’s ‘house’ in Palestine. They are still doing it today.

          3. Matt Ouellette says:

            No, it is not acceptable to steal land from the Palestinians just because you have been attacked. That land does not belong to Israel. And remember, Israel has also used violence against the Palestinians (justified in many cases, but not all of them in my opinion). Therefore, don’t you think the Palestinians might also feel the same about Israel? Neither side is innocent here. It’s wrong to imply that Palestinians are all terrorists just because of the immoral behavior of some bad actors in leadership, just as it is wrong to imply that Israelis are all imperialists just because some bad actors in its government keep taking land that does not belong to them.

          4. Douglas Crellin says:

            Bill simple questions:

            You speak of occupying lands. Show me a historic record longer than the jewish ppl. I can trace them back at least 4000 years in that area whereas the name palestinian was made up, find me palestinians anywhere in the bible?

          5. Willis H A Moore says:

            The word, “Palestine” is a Roman geographic term, although, during Jesus’ time, this area was subdivided into a variety of different designations: Decapolis, Tetrarchy, et al. The people of today’s Palestine are descended from the Canaanites of Bible times – – people Abraham “moved in upon, claiming Divine instructions. These are the people Abraham would NOT allow Isaac to marry, nor Jacob!” Some scholars, myself included, believe that today’s Palestinians are also related to the Philistines of Davidic-era fame. GAZA, for instance, was NEVER part of any Jewish Kingdom, nor did Jewish ancestors live or work there. To say, “Palestinians are not mentioned in the Bible…” is disingenuous.

          6. Matt Ouellette says:

            Why should that require the removal of Palestinians from their land? They have been there for centuries. It would be incredibly cruel to remove people from a land they have known as their only home just because it wasn’t their ancestral home. By that logic, the Native Americans are within their right to kick out all people of European descent from the United States since that is their ancestral home, not ours. Both sides need to learn to coexist peacefully within the region, not focus on trying to force the other side out.

      2. George Mosley Murray III says:

        They are trapped by evil thugs who are murdering each other – Hamas and Islamic Jihad. They oppress their benighted people by paying them to committ mayhem, murder, and suicide – all in the Name of having more bodies to join their faction in order to oppress even more Arabs.
        Have you no pity for the poor Palestinians whose lives are being destroyed by their evil rulers? Why not?

        1. Matt Ouellette says:

          The response is not to steal land from the Palestinians, which the Israeli government has been doing.

          1. Douglas Crellin says:

            So now the debate is over semantics, again my original point was the universal punishment of Israel that goes on in the UN and has infected areas such as our church where it appears to be the flavor of the day. I always get on the defensive anytime anyone rolls out rhetoric against Israel but never wants to talk Hamas or the PLO or Munich or any of the other atrocities. The Jordanians murdered how many thousands of Palestinians for the same reasons and no one seems to care or want to visit the Arab world on why they won’t take in these Arabs.

            As for my comments about the word Palestine not being found in the bible as disingenuous, you say the words “it is my belief” a few times, so it is not fact is is a belief, that was point whether you believe it or not, they have no original claim to the land and it is the Arabs who want to drive the Jews into the Ocean, I have never heard the rhetoric the other way.

            We can just agree to disagree, this is obviously very passionate, you obviously applaud these anti-Israel motions, while I find them abhorrent, that is the beauty of debate, the other beauty is I can go somewhere where I believe my beliefs are more in line with my church, I am not feeling that way and haven’t felt that way in a while.

            What I am afraid of is the Episcopal church making the same mistakes the NFL is making. They assumed their base will never leave no matter how much they change things or in some cases insult their base but what the NFL found is there is a tipping point and once you reach that, the water pours out and it is a fact it is much harder to win back a customer then to add them as new.

          2. William Nour says:

            The Palestinians fought for their rights before Hamas came on the scene and will continue what you call “terrorizing” the israelis after Hamas is gone because they are living under apartheid conditions, their lands are being confiscated, their rights taken. George Washington was a terrorist in Britain’s estimation so was Menahem Begin to the British mandate in Palestine. Europe did not want their Jews and short of annihilating them in Germany, Russia, Spain… they unloaded them on the Palestinians. In Israel the Jews started by raizing to the ground five hundred Palestinain villages. Israeli historians are teaching about that in Israreli universities, yet Americans keep spreading the myths of Israeli propaganda of how the Arabs simply left. My father was 14 when our village was destroyed and the Jews were firing at the villagers as they ran to Nazareth. Only thing left standing was our church and monastery which are now in the middle of a thriving Israeli city inhabited by European colonizers. Many were displaced again in 1967 Six Day War and ended up in Gaza where now about 2.5 million live in a 25 ×17 mile piece of landed surrounded by barbed wire and Israel controls all that goes in and out. It’s a jail. You Mr. Crellin thank your Christian White God every might before bed time that you were born NOT in Gaza but here in the United States, another occupation that annihilated the natives and pushed them off their lands, something we have in common with the Israelis.
            Yes, killing committed by anyone is bad, of course. Has it occured to you the Palestinians are defending themselves or is that a novel idea to want to live were God done born them. And no, Israel is not the civilized democratic “Western-like” entity that you identify with. They established a Jewish country on top of an Arab country that they are trying to suffocate. Until you go their and walk in our shoes, you don’t have to right preach from the pulpit.

          3. Douglas Crellin says:

            Once again a person that disagrees with me telling me what rights I have to preech and speaking of my ethnicity and background when you know nothing about me. I know my history. I know tge british mandate and i know what you are claiming. You speak of the war in 67 remind me again who attacked who and why? Or are your anecdotal stories just what they are stories? How many Palestinian athletes were murdered by Israeli’s at tge Olympics? Like i initially said this is about violenve when you raise every proposal abt Israel with not a single mention of Hamas people like me get suspicious of motives. Sorry you experienced these terrible things i will assume not a thing about u and just say sorry.

    2. Bill Louis says:

      No and no, but if the “innocent Palestinians are not vocally outraged by the violence commited by the Hamas terrorists then they are complicit. Those you call violent extremists in Isreal are the IDF protecting their country from violent Hamas extremists. What reaction would you expect from a country surrounded by other countries that want to see them wiped off the face of the earth. Why other Arab speaking countries refuse to take their Palestinian brothers in and end this strife is beyond me. Its all about destroying Isreal.

      1. Matt Ouellette says:

        By that logic, any Israeli citizens who do not condemn their government’s policy of stealing Palestinian land are complicit. There are bad actors on both sides. Palestine is not totally innocent in this, but neither is Israel. Both sides need to stop denying the other’s right to exist and come together peacefully.

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