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UCCtruths

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Pilgrim Press book about Middle-East is discredited

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Former UCCtruths.com contributor Dexter Van Zile has penned a scathing review of a book written by a noted New Testament scholar and published by Pilgrim Press (the United Church of Christ's publishing house). According to Van Zile's report for CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), Rev. Dr. Gary Burge's 2003 book, Whose Land? Whose Promise?: What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians is loaded with dozens of errors and omissions. Most notably:
  • Rev. Dr. Burge portrayed an essay by well-known commentator Daniel Pipes as offering a message exactly the opposite of what Daniel Pipes actually wrote.
  • Rev. Dr. Burge attributed a quote to David Ben-Gurion that had been exposed as false and fabricated several years before publication of Whose Land? Whose Promise? (The book the author cites as the source for the quote in question – a work book intended for high school-age students – does not include the quote in question.
  • Rev. Dr. Burge falsely stated that Israeli-Arabs are denied membership in Israel’s labor movement, when in fact, one of the books he cites reports that Israeli-Arabs had been allowed full membership in Israel’s largest union – the Histadrut – since 1959.
  • Rev. Dr. Burge falsely reported that Israeli-Arabs are barred from the service in Israel’s military.
  • Rev. Dr. Burge falsely reported that Israeli-Arabs are prohibited from joining Israel’s major political parties.
  • Rev. Dr. Burge mis-characterized UN Resolution 242 as requiring Israeli withdrawal to its “pre-1967 borders” when in fact it does not.
  • Rev. Dr. Burge portrays Hezbollah as a “resistance organization” when in fact its political agenda and leaders clearly state the organization is dedicated to the destruction of Israel – a fact he omits in his description.
  • Rev. Dr. Burge portrays the founding of the PLO as an attempt to resolve the problem of Palestinian refugees created by the 1948 war when in fact its founding was motivated by a desire for the destruction of Israel.
According to the report, "in the years after its publication, peace and justice activists in mainline churches have invoked Whose Land? Whose Promise? as a reliable source of information about the Arab-Israeli conflict." Besides being highly regarded in evangelical circles as a New Testament scholar, Burge also serves as a member of the advisory board to the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation and is president of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding.
posted by UCCtruths, Thursday, August 23, 2007

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