In the Christian Science Monitor’s coverage of last week’s divestment vote by the Presbyterian Church (USA), Ruth Langer, a professor of theology at Boston College and degree-holder from Hebrew Union College who is an expert on Jewish-Christian relations, issues the anti-Semitism blackmail.
Note as you read this that the Presbyterian Church has long opposed the illegal Israeli occupation because it destroys Palestinian human rights and was considering a measure to divest from three companies profiting from it. Wow.
Ongoing calls for divestment cast a pall over Christian-Jewish dialogue, according to critics of the movement.
“It creates a hostile environment for relationships within Jewish-Christian dialogue,” says Ruth Langer, associate director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College. “There is a latent anti-Semitism in much of these [divestment] discussions in mainline groups…. That’s hugely concerning.”
Langer is hardly alone in the Jewish community. Remember that Americans for Peace Now said that divestment could “raise very real and understandable worries about global anti-Semitism” and Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street said divestment would cause Christians to lose the “good will” of many American Jews.
I would remind all these moralists that David Remnick, the New Yorker editor, said that he can’t take the occupation “any more,” that the American Jewish community is holding the bag for the occupation, and that it is “deeply wrong.”
the corrosive effect of occupation on Israeli society and on the region is really serious. And so it is disappointing.. that Obama for whatever reason is going to slowly withdraw from this issue and not spend any big political capital to do it. Because the only place that will be able to bring people to the table is the United States…
[The occupation is] wrong. It’s deeply wrong.
But he’s Jewish so he gets a pass for such criticism? We must break down the prejudice that circles this issue like barbed wire.