jQuery Slider

You are here

WASHINGTON DC: Episcopalians in the Forefront of Hating Israel

WASHINGTON DC: Episcopalians in the Forefront of Hating Israel

By David W. Virtue, DD
May 4, 2018

An anti-Semitic film series, Voices from the Holy Land (VFHL), was heavily featured at an Episcopal Church, St. John's Norwood, with one woman in the audience declaring that Zionism is like cancer and an "obscenity of Judaism and the Christian religion."

Writing for Jihadwatch, Andrew Harrod said the female outburst typified the sentiments of this year's film "Voices", "an annual series bringing together rabid Israel-haters in the Washington, DC area."

The Episcopal congregation is pastored by a Fr. Sari Ateek, son of the Palestinian Anglican priest, Naim Ateek, a leader of the anti-Israel Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center. Ateek Senior was notable for his anti-Semitic rhetoric against Israel, as manifested in his drafting of the 2009 Kairos Palestine declaration; his son correspondingly belongs to Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA).

The woman who made the outburst later declared that "we must recognize Zionism as an enemy, and then we love this enemy" as Jesus loved his enemies, wrote Harrod.

Other Episcopalians, such as Thomas Johnson from the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC's Companion Diocese Committee--Jerusalem (CDCJ), one of the VFHL organizers, also attended, noted Harrod. He said several Christians, including himself, were members of another organization involved in organizing the VFHL, the Washington, DC chapter of the not-so-Jewish, but radical Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). A non-Jew from this organization known for "Jew-washing" antisemitism against Israel, Liana Smith, moderated the event and stated that in JVP "we always try to put Palestinian voices first."

"Episcopalian Steve France, who like Ateek is also in Washington, DC's FOSNA chapter, compared Black Liberation Theology with Palestinian Liberation Theology. With respect to American racism, white American oppressors are morally the "Israeli Zionists in that picture and we are doing the same thing all over again with the Palestinians," he slanderously claimed.

One of the documentary screenings, Gaza: A Gaping Wound, about Israel's 2014 military campaign against the Hamas terrorist organization ruling the Gaza Strip, elicited similarly shocking bias, noted Harrod.

"One audience member asked if a house destroyed by Israeli aircraft shown in the film had contained anti-Israeli "resisters," while another audience member condemned American aid to Israel. She stated that the "blood of the Palestinian people is on our hands, because we enable this to happen," and called for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Imam Tarif Shraim from Potomac, Maryland's Islamic Community Center, who gave the event's opening invocation, shared similar pro-BDS sentiments.

"The opening of the April 14 screening of Jews Step Forward in Washington, DC's National Cathedral was no better. A woman's fact-free introduction erroneously claimed that "present day Israel-Palestine is the birthplace of all three major Abrahamic religions." This absurdity ignores that Arab Islamic invaders in the seventh century conquered the Holy Land; the ancestral homeland of the Jews, where Christianity has indigenous Jewish roots.

Echoing prior VFHL comments, she stated that "our tax dollars support the obviously imbalanced status quo." Additionally, for Palestinians, "life under occupation is hell." Yet under Israeli military rule following the 1967 Six Day War, they experienced enormous development and one of the world's highest growth rates.

The next day, about eight people gathered in the basement common room of southwest Washington, DC's Westminster Presbyterian Church for another Sunday afternoon film screening. Near baskets filled with condoms proclaiming the church's LGBT-affirming adherence to the "rubber revolution," Cobey introduced the event in by noting a table with Palestinian olive oil for sale. This oil is "nutritious and makes you more Palestinian," he stated, and observed that he always inserted in the Prayers of the People in his Episcopal Church services a prayer for the "Palestinians to be free of the apartheid government of Israel." At the end of the event, he gave this author a "Free Palestine/Boycott Israel" bumper sticker.

Zionists of all backgrounds should be aware of these events in the hallowed halls of Washington, DC's houses of worship. Particularly troubling is the Episcopal Diocese, where Ateek, Cobey, France, Getman and Johnson appear to go unchallenged in their desire to destroy Israel. Thinly veiled hate against long-persecuted Jews, not interfaith harmony, is what these churches are preaching, said Harrod.

It behooves Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to tread carefully on where his Church stands on Israel and its right to exist, surrounded as it is by Arab nations that would like to see its existence snuffed out. (Not a single Arab country diplomatically recognizes the state of Israel, though Jordan and Egypt have normalized relations with Israel). Many Republican Episcopalians, especially in the South and in states like Texas where Republican political figures like the Bush family are strong supporters of the State of Israel, would take exception to the comments by these anti-Israel, pro-Arab Episcopal leaders. President George W. Bush was an ardent supporter of Israel. He was the first in his family of politicians to craft a pro-Jewish image.

For the full story click here:



Get the latest news and perspectives in the Anglican world.
comments powered by Disqus
Prayer Book Alliance
Trinity School for Ministry

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee

Drink Coffee

Do Good

Sustainable Ministry

Coffee, Community, Social Justice


Go To Top