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UCCtruths

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The David Project: "Hate-Fest at Boston Old South Church"

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Things are starting to heat up in Boston. At some point, United Church of Christ leaders like Nancy Taylor (and John Thomas for that matter) are going to have to come to terms with the reality of our partnership with Anti-Semitic groups like Sabeel. From The David Project:
The Path to Peace in the Middle East Cannot be Built on Hatred.
An Open Letter to Old South Church,
The Reverend Dr. Nancy S. Taylor, Boston

Dear Reverend Taylor,

As Christians and Jews committed to peace in the Middle East, we are disappointed and dismayed that Old South Church will be hosting The Sabeel Conference at the end of October. Rather than presenting constructive measures to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East, this conference – and its speakers – clearly intend to demonize Israel, and, to a certain extent, Jews as well. Sabeel’s director, Naim Ateek, employs anti-Semitic imagery to describe Israel. Listen to his words, Reverend Taylor:

"…hundreds of thousands of crosses throughout the land, Palestinian men, women, and children being crucified… The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily." – Bishop Naim Ateek, April, 2001


Are these the words, "crucifixion system", Reverend Taylor, that you wish to hear from the pulpit of Old South Church?

Moreover, the eradication of the 2000 year old Christian community within Palestinian controlled territory as a result of a theocratic, Islamist government goes unmentioned by the conference organizers. Just last week, a prominent Christian Arab leader, Rami Ayyad, a true man of peace, was kidnapped and brutally murdered in the territory ruled by Hamas. Where is the outcry from Sabeel?

The very theme of the event – "The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel: Issues of Justice and Equality" - prejudges Israel as the equivalent of the despicable South African apartheid regime. All the speakers selected for this event have a long history of one-sided, anti-Israel rhetoric. There is no diversity of opinion at this conference and no dissenting voices will be heard from the rostrum.

Unlike its neighbors, who routinely persecute Jews, Christians, and other minorities, Israel could not be further from an "Apartheid State." Israel extends full citizenship and full political participation to all, including Christians and Muslims.
To be sure, there are problems within Israel, as there are in any democracy, but by misrepresenting Israel’s legitimate right of self-defense in the face of relentless terror attacks, Sabeel and its supporters fuel the fires of hate, not reconciliation.

Reverend Taylor, people of all faiths must seek a just and lasting resolution to the current conflict in the region.

By welcoming a conference based on inaccuracy and bias into its sanctuary, Old South Church has lent tacit support to those working to prolong the conflict.

The long and distinguished record of Old South Church as a champion of social justice will be put in jeopardy if it opens its doors to hate speech.

We respectfully ask, Reverend Taylor, that you reconsider hosting the Sabeel conference.

Rabbis

Rabbi William Hamilton - Temple Kehillath Israel, Brookline
Rabbi Daniel Judson - Temple Beth David, Canton
Rabbi Mendel Gurkow - Shaloh House Chabad, Stoughton
Rabbi Alan Turetz - Temple Emeth, Chestnut Hill
Rabbi Dr. Gershon C. Gewirtz - Young Israel of Brookline
Rabbi Dan Rodkin - Shaloh House, Boston
Rabbi Daniel H. Liben - Temple Israel of Natick
Rabbi David Klatzker - Temple Ner Tamid, Peabody
Rabbi Baruch Halevi - Shirat Hayam, Swampscott
Rabbi Jonathan Hausman - Congregation Ahavath Torah, Stoughton
Rabbi Alfred Benjamin - Temple Shalom, Milton
Rabbi Gilbert Rosenthal - Executive Director, National Council of Synagogues
Rabbi Jonina Pritzker - Conservative Movement
Rabbi Joel Pitkowsky - Congregation Beth Israel, Worcester
Rabbi Allen Alpert - Congregation Agudat Achim, Leominster
Grand Rabbi Y.A. Korff - Boston
Rabbi Moshe Y. Bleich - Wellesley-Weston Chabad
Rabbi Geoffrey J. Haber - Congregation Mishkan Tefila, Chestnut Hill

Christian Friends of Israel

Professor David S. Wyman - The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and author of ‘The Abandonment of the Jews’
Dennis Hale - Director, Episcopal Jewish Alliance
Denette Abers - Bridges for Peace
Joanne Magnusson - Director, Interfaith Programs, Bridges for Peace, Ret.
The Rev. Robert A. Everett, Ph.D - Ridgeview Congregational Church, White Plains, New York
The Rev. Fumio Taku - Calvary Assembly of God, Hudson, NH
The Rev. William P. Adams - New England Coordinator, Bridges for Peace and Christian Renewal Church, Beverly
Pastor Gerald E. Bell - Strong Tower Church, Roxbury
David Blewett - Director, National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel
Pastor Pat Dutton - Sharon
The Rev. F. Bradford Townley, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Bridgewater, MA

This open letter is being circulated among people of good faith who long for peace in The Middle East. If you wish to add your name to the list of distinguished signers, please email hs@davidproject.org or call (617) 428-0012.
Footnote: Rev. Nancy Taylor is believed to be a leading candidate to be the next President of the United Church of Christ.
posted by UCCtruths, Wednesday, October 17, 2007

2 Comments:

As a former member of Old South Church, I share your concern. I remember some very political sermons by the Rev. Emeritus James Crawford in the 1980's.

I am concerned with the Idolatry of Politics in the UCC.
--
Bob in Connecticut
commented by Blogger Robert, 8:34 AM  
Had to leave this link

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2007/10/27/dexter-van-ziles-fraudulent-campaign-against-sabeel/

One Jewish voice rebutting Van Zile.
commented by Anonymous Chad, 12:52 PM  

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