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Your Hard-Earned US Tax Dollars and Church Pension Funds at Work for Israel

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This article cross-posted from Wallwritings


Mass demonstrations in support of 2,500 Palestinian hunger strikers swept through the West Bank this weekend.

Marchers moved through the streets of Hebron, Kafr Qaddoum, Nablus, Nabi Saleh, Ni'lin, Ramallah, al-Walaja and outside of Ofer prison. The picture here was taken in Hebron.

It shows an Israeli soldier with his knee firmly planted on a young Palestinian's neck.

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The picture also shows how American tax dollars and church pensions are at work on this Mothers' Day weekend, a commercially-driven event in which American teenagers and their families annually honor mothers with gifts and family meals.

On this particular American Mothers' Day weekend, a large contingent of Palestinian teenagers joined their mothers and other family members to offer their support to prisoners on lengthy and dangerous hunger strikes.

Laura Kacere wrote in A Nation of Change, that Mothers Day had a different meaning when it was initially launched. In fact, the Palestinian mothers who marched this weekend in support of hunger strikers, some of whom may have been their children, are demonstrating in a manner more akin to the original purpose of Mothers Day.

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"Mother's Day began in America in 1870 when Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation. Written in response to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, her proclamation called on women to use their position as mothers to influence society in fighting for an end to all wars. She called for women to stand up against the unjust violence of war through their roles as wife and mother, to protest the futility of their sons killing other mothers' sons."

Amira Hass, the Ha'aretz columnist who has watched Israeli duplicity at work for decades, explains how Israel makes use of  "administrative detention":

"Administrative detainees have been held without trial for years under emergency regulations inspired by the British Mandate. It's not important. Hundreds of prisoners from the Gaza Strip haven't seen their families for six or more years. Why should anyone care?"

American tax-payers and church members should care. But do they? The record is not good.

The Methodist General Conference ended its once-every-four-years confab in Tampa last week with a small step toward caring. They will not have this opportunity again for four years in a governance system first established in the early 1800s by John Wesley.

In their 2012 Conference the Methodists voted to call for a boycott of US companies supporting the occupation. They failed, however, to pass a specific divestment resolution removing church pension funds from three US corporations, Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Motorola Systems.

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Why did the 2012 Methodists only hit .500? The Methodist Board of Pensions and their allies roamed about the floor of the conference spreading the lie that divestment from these companies would threaten Africa University's funding. Those prefabrications were aimed at Central Conferences (overseas) delegates, who are very protective of their continent's Methodist University.

There were even reports that some Methodist delegates were told they could be sued if they voted for divestment. Would church leaders act in this manner? Hard to imagine, but then, there have also been reports (a tape recording to be exact) that Mitt Romney cannot recall a teenage incident which his classmates insist involved young Mitt cutting the hair of a classmate suspected of being gay.

Now it is the Presbyterians' chance to divest from three US corporations that support the Israeli occupation. Will they join the Episcopalians and urge tea and cookies with their local rabbis, or will they look more closely at how the Israelis are spending their pension funds?

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http://wallwritings.wordpress.com/

James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)
 

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