There is no doubt that if they can, the Palestinians and their Iranian allies will kill every Jew in the State of Israel. That is their oft-stated goal. On Saturday night, Gaza’s military took a step in the direction of genocide by massacring 900 or more Israelis, most of them women and children. All normal people have been horrified by the video and photographic evidence of the horrors that were perpetrated by Palestinians.
But some in the West were weirdly unmoved. The Biden Administration twice called for a cease-fire before deleting those tweets. Barack Obama was silent for several days. Many Democrats have remained quiet up to the present, and in some cases have actually expressed support for Hamas. The Democratic Socialists of America have rallied on behalf of the Gazans’ mass murder. Harvard couldn’t bestir itself to condemn the Palestinians’ attempt at genocide, and dozens of student groups there expressed approval of mass murder.
Other “mainstream” organizations have likewise been AWOL. It is a long list, but let me point out just one: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran group in the U.S. Like the other “mainstream” Protestant denominations, the ELCA has been drifting leftward for a long time. Still, you would think this is an easy call. What would Jesus think about murdering, raping, torturing, injuring, abducting and imprisoning thousands of innocent people? Not a hard question to answer, one would think.
But apparently the leaders of the ELCA don’t see it that way. Their web site does not include even a pro forma objection to the Gazans’ rampage. It does, however, prominently feature a video by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton titled “Why I am Against Christian Nationalism.” Those “Christian Nationalists,” whoever they might be, are the real enemy!
The ELCA’s News feed contains no reference to the massacre in Israel. However, Bishop Eaton has recently commented on events in the Middle East. She released a Statement Concerning Jenin Incursions on July 5. That statement is consistent with past pronouncements by the ELCA, which always demonize Israel:
As presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I join my colleague, the Rev. Dr. Sani Ibrahim Azar, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, in being “deeply dismayed at the ongoing Israeli military incursions into Palestinian communities, especially in the city and refugee camp of Jenin.”
I echo what Bishop Azar said in his recent statement: “The extensive damage to human lives and property, including the death of children, does not further the cause of justice and will not bring Israelis or Palestinians closer to peace or security. Our church calls for the upholding of human rights for Palestinians, for a ceasefire, and for an end to the occupation…”
In addition, as noted by the World Council of Churches Central Committee late last month: “We are witnessing a recent surge in attacks against individuals, families, churches and holy sites, as well as physical and verbal abuse targeting clergy by Israeli radicals.” …
There must be accountability, not impunity. As a church that accompanies our Palestinian siblings, we call for justice and an end to extremism.
The July 2023 IDF raid on Jenin was intended to root out terrorist infrastructure and stop the use of Jenin as a sanctuary for terrorists:
The IDF operation focused on a local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group known as the Jenin Battalion, as well as other smaller armed groups in the city and refugee camp. Those groups had shown fierce resistance to Israeli raids over the past year, highlighted by a massive roadside bomb detonated against an army vehicle last month, wounding seven soldiers.
During the campaign, involving over 1,000 troops, IDF said forces located and demolished at least eight weapon storage sites, six explosives labs with hundreds of primed devices, three war rooms used by Palestinian gunmen to observe Israeli forces, and other “terror infrastructure.”
The ELCA’s alleged concerns about “damage to human lives and property, including the death of children,” “radicals” and “extremism” are highly selective. The organizing principle here isn’t anti-evil, it is anti-Israel. If a religious organization can’t object to the horrific sadism that has been on display over the last few days, it should go out of business.
Which is why my wife and I, both lifelong Lutherans, are leaving the ELCA. We refuse to support any organization–let alone a religious one!–that has absolutely no moral compass.