Christian Groups Criticize Israel over Control of Gaza
Veronica NeffingerReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2016 Sep 16
Two ecumenical Christian organizations have criticized Israel for its occupation of Gaza, and also called on the U.S. to cease its practice of arming Israelis.
ChristianToday.com reports that the World Council of Churches (WCC) and The National Council of Churches of Christ, USA (NCC) recently met together in Arlington, VA to discuss the situation in Israel.
"More than 60 representatives of churches and church-related organizations from around the world gathered because we hear the cries of all who are yearning for peace and justice in the land we call Holy," a statement from the groups said.
The two groups, which represent over 545 million Christians, condemned Israel’s control of Palestinian territory and called on the U.S. to cease interfering in the conflict.
"[K]eeping an entire population under occupation and even in a closed area, such as Gaza, in prison-like conditions is a grave and unsustainable situation,” the statement continued. "We are also well aware that Israel is the occupying force and has commanding power over the people of Palestine and, thus, bears special responsibility for taking the initiative."
The statement went on to criticize the U.S., calling on the country to "cease its practice of arming various state and non-state actors in the Middle East and, in particular, to reconsider its proposed $38 billion military aid package to Israel, for the last thing needed at this time is more weapons," and "end the current wave of legislative efforts to penalize the use of non-violent economic measures to influence policy in Israel."
The pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League called the statement “disappointing, yet sadly predictable.”
The American Jewish Community also accused the two Christian groups of having “a long history of anti-Israel bias.”
Publication date: September 16, 2016