UMC Mission Study exploits the history of the Jewish Holocaust to cast Jews and Israelis in a stereotypically negative light.
The United Methodist Church, General Board of Global Ministries, Women's Division's "Israel-Palestine: A Mission Study" exploits the history of the Jewish Holocaust to cast Jews and Israelis in a stereotypically negative light.
• The Mission Study first assumes an attitude of sympathy towards the Jewish victims of the Holocaust
"More than sixty years have passed since the events of World War II and the nearly successful elimination of European Jewry." (p. 100) "The depth of these scars and their impact on the Israeli or any Jewish psyche cannot be underestimated." (p. 101)
• But then the Mission Study's sympathetic attitude turns into an attitude of contempt, as it portrays Jews and Israelis as psychically damaged and paranoid people
"The early Zionists had intended Israel to be a safe haven for persecuted Jews, yet ironically Israel had come into existence without being able to save the dead millions. To this day there is a latent hysteria in Israeli life that springs directly from this source. It explains the paranoiac sense of isolation that has been a main characteristic of the Israeli temper since 1948." (p. 101)
• The Mission Study portrays Israelis as corrupt, unhealthy and distrustful of other people as a result of their experience in Nazi Germany
"The attendant rage has infected Israeli society in terribly corrupting and unhealthy ways. . . . it has been the single most significant factor in Israel's unwillingness to trust their Arab neighbors" (p. 101) "Standing behind each Arab or Palestinian, Israelis tend to see SS men determined to push them once again into gas chambers and crematoria." (p. 102)
• The Mission Study casts Jews as disdainful even of other Jews
"I was aware of a mild disdain my father felt for other Jews who had fled Hitler's Europe . . ."
(p. 100) " I heard his lack of charity for some of his Jewish colleagues . . . Hasidic Jews were viewed with disdain." (p. 102)
• And accuses Israelis of being indifferent to human suffering and of seeking to victimize non-Jews as a result of their experience of the Holocaust
"this conflict has turned history's most celebrated victims, the Jews (and in this case Israelis) into victimizers of the Palestinians." (p.102)
• The Mission Study then blames the violence in the Middle East on what it characterizes as a Holocaust scarred Israeli psyche
"This Holocaust consciousness has detracted from and undermined the on-going search for peace in the Middle East . . . this dynamic . . . is perpetuating suffering for the Palestinians." (p. 101)
This attempt to employ pseudo-psychology to subtly or not so subtly suggest that as a result of the Holocaust, Israelis have now turned into oppressors who victimize the Palestinians just like the Nazis once victimized Jews, has no place in any civil discourse --much less a Christian Study Guide.
Given the depth of the pain Israelis and Jews feel with regard to the Holocaust, this raises significant questions about the Mission Study's intentions in bringing references to Nazis into play in a discussion of the Arab Israeli conflict.
It is clearly designed not to stimulate an informed, reasoned or problem solving discussion regarding the Arab/Israel conflict -- but rather to create hostility and inflame passions against one side -- the Jews.
Since time immemorial, Jews have been characterized as inherently perverted souls and morally deficient people. To witness this ideology being used by the
United Methodist Church to describe the Jewish state is alarming at a time when worldwide anti-Semitism is on the rise
Sr. Ruth Lautt, OP, Esq.
Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East
475 Riverside Drive, Ste 1960
New York, NY 10115