Divestment from Israel, the Liberal Churches,
and Jewish Responses: A Strategic Analysis

, January 1, 2007

No. 52

  • Liberal church efforts to divest from companies doing business with Israel are part of a larger anti-Zionist campaign to weaken and delegitimize Israel.
  • Hostility to Israel in the mainline churches is confined to a focused minority, while the majority of liberal American Christians remain sympathetic to Israel.
  • Israel still has the moral high ground and engagement with moderate Christians can undermine church anti-Israeli campaigns.
  • Jews and Christians have common strategic interests in the Middle East against Islamic intolerance and should forge alliances.

The Background

On 30 June 2004, the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America (PCUSA) passed a resolution by a vote of 431-62 at its 216th General Assembly calling for selective divestment from corporations doing business with Israel, specifically corporations that “support the occupation.”1 The main target was Caterpillar Inc. because it sells tractors and bulldozers (indirectly) to the IDF. Caterpillar became the Antichrist of this movement: the symbol of everything wrong with supporting Israel and “the occupation.”

The resolution precipitated a crisis in Jewish-Protestant relations in America. For many years there had been anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian rhetoric in member churches of the National Council of Churches (NCC) in America, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), and the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Europe. But it was just that—rhetoric confined to political posturing. It had few “teeth,” and most Jews and Israelis regarded it as a mild curiosity that held little potential for serious damage to Israeli or Jewish interests.

However, divestment—or the threat of divestment—crossed the threshold to action, and the Jewish community interpreted it as a dangerous sign on the horizon. In spring 2005, Israeli officials in Washington, D.C., invited a handful of Jewish professionals to the embassy to discuss the issue, weigh the implications, and devise effective counterstrategies. There were two subsequent meetings on divestment at the Israeli consulate in New York. Clearly the Israeli government was concerned.

Divestment came as a shock to the Jewish community because American Jews had a longtime informal alliance with the mainline Protestant churches on domestic political issues. Historically, the American Jewish community has identified largely with the liberal end of American domestic politics on principles such as the separation of church and state, keeping religion out of the public square, and freedom of choice on abortion. In this posture American Jews were almost in lockstep with the positions of the liberal churches. Jewish leaders regarded them as great friends and saw right-wing Christians as political enemies because they were at odds with much of the Jewish domestic agenda. Thus when the liberal churches became megaphones for Palestinian nationalism that included elements of unvarnished anti-Zionism and occasional anti-Semitism, it took the Jewish community by surprise.2

A Growing Hostility

Yet this harsh anti-Israeli attitude had long been building in America and Europe. Since the First Intifada in the late 1980s, the liberal churches have become increasingly hostile to the Israeli understanding of the conflict, viewing Palestinian violence as a legitimate grassroots rebellion by oppressed natives against Israeli colonial conquerors of Palestinian lands. Moreover, during this period the WCC—which never had great sympathy for Israel—became an unabashed apologist for Palestinian rejectionism, even refusing to condemn Palestinian terror.3

In 2000, the churches of the Anglican Communion sent a fact-finding group to the Middle East to examine the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When they returned to England they published a report containing twenty-two recommendations for peace.4 Tellingly, not a single recommendation demanded anything substantive of the Palestinians. All were directed at what Israel needed to do for peace in the Middle East. It was eminently clear to the Anglicans that Israel was the root of the problem, and thus blamed it exclusively.

The Anglican Church report was representative of the liberal Protestant church perspective on the Middle East conflict. Most church Middle East resolutions rely on purportedly factual reports about the conflict and Middle East conditions. The churches authorize fact-finding missions and as a result of their studies, the national churches pass resolutions. Significantly, the PCUSA embedded in their predivestment report the claim that “the occupation is the root of all evil acts”5 perpetrated against Palestinians and Israelis. According to this loopy logic, the Israeli occupation is responsible not merely for perceived human rights violations against Palestinians, but even for Palestinian terrorism against Israelis. No blame or responsibility is placed on Palestinians or the Palestinian Authority. Everything comes back to the original sin of occupation, for which the Israelis are completely liable.

How can church officials be so oblivious to any Palestinian responsibility for the conflict? There is a natural aversion in Protestant theological circles to linking a religion with sovereignty and state power. It should be remembered that one of the most severe Reformation critiques of the Catholic Church was that Rome had amassed and abused its vast temporal power. Liberal Protestants have no analog to Jewish peoplehood and prefer to view Judaism through Protestant lenses that see religion as a faith system devoid of national characteristics.

Second, many of these churches have close human relations with the Palestinians, having come to Palestinian villages at the end of the nineteenth century to do missionary work, and staying until today. They do good social and medical relief work and see the Palestinian suffering firsthand.6 Because of these human relations, it is undeniable that they empathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel.

This charitable work has a dark side, however, for many in the churches continue to view the Palestinians as helpless, poor, and culturally backward. They have retained their nineteenth century attitude of Western paternalism and superiority, thus paradoxically tinging their bias toward the Palestinians with racist dimensions. When I speak to Christian audiences in Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, and Columbus, I am often appalled by the low opinion of Arabs that many Americans have—including sophisticated liberals. It is easy for ideologues to place the onus for peace exclusively on Israel because many American liberals think Arabs are simply too primitive to live by Western standards. Their patronizing beliefs belie the arrogant judgment that the Palestinians are not capable of moral agency and of assuming political responsibility.

The problem transcends the churches. There were concurrent cognate campaigns in American universities. Thousands at Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Berkeley—the elite intellectual circles in America—signed divestment petitions. All these were trounced by more popular anti-divestment petitions and thus far have been rejected by university officials. The divestment campaign was also waged in labor unions, which are on the very left end of American politics. Boycotts of Israeli scholars and universities also flared up in England.

The PCUSA and the Anglican Church are bellwethers with broad implications. Church campaigns are strategically and organically connected to campaigns occurring at other major institutions. The financial clout of American universities and labor unions is very significant owing to their vast investment portfolios. Should divestment rhetoric and action go uncontained and spread to these other major institutions, there would be a severe economic threat to Israel. This is what concerned the Israeli government and Jews around the world.

Hence the proper questions are: (1) Who are the players? (2) What is the strategic goal of this campaign? (3) What are the most effective tactical and strategic responses?

The Players

American Jews often misunderstand the Christian world, both theologically and sociologically. In fact, there is no single Christian attitude or community and one must distinguish between three clusters of American Christian communities. The first is what is called the Christian Right, whose members are the best American gentile friends of Israel politically, diplomatically, and financially. They have formed large and effective groups like International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), Bridges for Peace and Christians United for Israel (CUFI) to raise funds and garner political support for Israel.  Second, there is the Roman Catholic Church, with approximately sixty-nine million members in America. With the exception of a few mavericks, Catholics have nothing to do with the divestment issues or the anti-Israeli campaign. One of the great positive turns of history is that the same Roman Catholic Church that was the greatest enemy of the Jews for eighteen to nineteen hundred years is now in many ways the friendliest world religious institution toward the Jewish people and Israel.

The third community is the liberal or mainline churches: the Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, and Lutheran churches in America, and smaller ones like the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ. These churches comprise the majority of the members of the NCC and CMEP. A fair estimate of the number of these Protestants is forty million Americans, or about 15-18 percent of the total population.7 Historically, however, this community has occupied the corridors of power and wealth in America.

If one surveys the American presidents and secretaries of state, one finds that with very few exceptions, they come from these churches. The Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, the Carnegies, and the landed aristocracy of America are found in these churches. Demographics is but one index, and the influence, power, and wealth of the people populating these churches far exceed their demographics. Although liberal Christianity is now declining in America, it still is culturally and politically important.

One must also distinguish between three different power groups within the liberal churches. There is a small coterie of highly-charged, focused ideologues who are responsible for the anti-Israeli divestment/boycott campaign. They typically function in “Peace and Justice” departments and church committees given responsibility for addressing world conflicts. Many of these people tiptoe along the border of the radical Left. Some are trans- or post-nationalists, though in practice the only nationalism they try to invalidate is Jewish nationalism. They are enormously hostile to American foreign policy and the projection of military power in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world.

In these people’s view, President Bush is the Great Satan, and Israel as the client of America is the Little Satan. They can attack Israel with impunity—or so they thought—and avoid the serious negative political fallout from frontally attacking America’s foreign policy. So they relentlessly portray the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in one-dimensional and simplistic terms that condemn Israel. Their success lies in their effective organization and focus.

The second group is the officers and top clergy of the national churches. Fundamentally they are administrators who try to hold together hundreds of churches across the country and are burdened by administrative problems. They are not driven primarily by theological concerns but by administrative coalition challenges. When one strips away all the high language about peace, justice, and fairness found in church Middle East statements, it is practical politics that governs. Generally, the church leaders move in accordance with the greatest pressure applied.

Lastly there is the “pew level,” that is, the lay Christians who come to pray on Sunday. All polls taken in America over the past twenty years on attitudes toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict yield consistent results. Sympathy for Israel runs between 3:1 and 4:1 over sympathy for the Palestinians. Post-9/11 it is closer to 4:1, and after Hamas’s election victory, it is exactly 4:1.8

The people in the mainline church pews are like most other Americans, that is, sympathetic to Israel. They view Israel as a Western country with democratic values and understand that Israelis are fighting the same enemies that America is fighting—enemies who use barbaric means like terror and suicide bombing, and do not recognize democracy, the sanctity of human life, or secular authority. Separation of church and state is an article of faith for these Protestants, so they find theocrats or talk of Islamic theocracy anathema. Unlike many Jews, however, they do not follow every development in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and tend to minimize its historical dimensions. Hence they are easily misled.

So it was that a small group of ideologues in the Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Methodist churches succeeded in hijacking these churches’ foreign policy agendas. Although a minority, their focus, organization, and effective propaganda enabled them to impose a one-sided view of the conflict on the national churches. Hence the paradox: when I travel around America and speak at local mainline churches I see that after some initial briefing on the facts of the conflict, the parishioners are almost always sympathetic to Israel. Yet the national positions of these churches are openly hostile to Israel.

PCUSA has a portfolio of investments of about $9 billion. That is a rounding error on Wall Street, but PCUSA belongs to a coalition of Protestant churches with an investment portfolio in America of approximately $110 billion that can be potentially leveraged against companies doing business with Israel. The portfolios of American universities and labor unions far exceed that. Although the Presbyterian Church alone may not be significant, the Israeli government and American Jewry are concerned about the potential for this campaign to spread, and thus pose a serious economic threat to Israel. There would have to be many Warren Buffets to counter a threat of this magnitude.

The Goals

Most important, the strategic objective of this campaign is not economic. The deeper campaign has been and continues to be about the isolation and the weakening of Israel’s image in the eyes of the world—and most crucially, America. The strategic objective is the delegitimization of Israel as a Jewish state. If one reads between the lines—and increasingly the lines themselves—of the rhetoric, one sees the model of apartheid South Africa. Just as there was a successful international campaign to dismantle that regime, in which divestment played a tactical role, there is a similar objective vis-à-vis Israel.

Ultimately the strategic target of the ideologues is the one-state solution, though it is hard for the churches to admit that publicly. One of the Ten Commandments of Protestant America is to be fair and grant everyone the right of national self-determination. Nobody among the landed aristocracy in America will say that Jews do not have the right to a state. All the churches repeat the mantra that Israel has a right to exist, but it is rare for them to support Israel asserting its right to self-defense, and the logic of the radical argument marches inexorably toward anti-Zionism, not simply antioccupation. The radical leftists have cleverly sanitized their anti-Zionist objective and insinuated it into hitherto responsible national institutions. The mainline churches are not communist university radicals at Berkeley, but bodies that claim to represent God, morality, and moderation in the United States. That mainstream institutions now talk and act in ways that implicitly support the dismantling of the Jewish state is alarming and must be monitored.

I have publicly challenged church leaders on this inconsistency, with significant success. Initially they deny the problem and ideological contradiction, but eventually the critique has an effect and embarrasses these churches into changing their rhetoric. James Woolsey, a Presbyterian who is the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, spoke against divestment before the PCUSA Assembly in June 2006. He challenged church leaders to look at who are their allies for divestment from Israel: theocrats, terrorists, one-state-solution ideologues, and anti-Semites.9 This is still unacceptable in America. For churches that take enormous pride in civility and politeness, associating with such people is a cardinal sin.

Much of this anti-Israeli rhetoric originates in a small institution with little influence in Israel or Palestinian society: the Sabeel Center for (Christian) Liberation Theology in Jerusalem. Many think the entire divestment campaign emanated from that one small building in Jerusalem, and spread like wildfire throughout Europe and the United States. In the Palestinian community—Christian and Muslim—Sabeel is almost unknown. In May 2006, I spoke in Jerusalem with Khaled Abu Toameh, the Palestinian Muslim journalist who covers Palestinian affairs for the Jerusalem Post. He had not heard of Sabeel. Abroad, however, Sabeel is the darling of the anti-Israeli leftists in these churches. Its leader, Canon Nai’m Ateek, and other Sabeel personalities travel frequently to America and Canada to speak at conferences and raise money. Again, here is an instance of a very small focused minority hijacking the agenda.

I came to Israel with a group of ecumenical officers of these liberal churches in September 2005 and we met with Ateek. He uses deicide language generously, labeling the Israeli government “the crucifixion machine” and Israelis “Herods,”10 but I chose to confront him on his anti-Zionism. I suggested that if he wanted to contribute to peace, he should recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. He explained that he comes from Beit She’an in the Jordan Valley, and claims his family was evicted from there in the War of Independence. “Israel was born in sin. I can never recognize the right of Israel to exist,” he shouted. When I challenged him about the Bible’s view of the Land of Israel being essential to God’s covenant, Ateek told me that any theology that takes land seriously is “immature.” In one fell swoop he had delegitimized Judaism and the concept of the Jewish people.

This is nothing other than the old theology of supersessionism with its concomitant anti-Semitism, both of which are discredited by current Christian theologians and all major churches.

The Tactical Response

Even the liberal American church leaders on the visit were embarrassed by Ateek and his outdated, unsophisticated, and hateful theology. These supersessionist ideas may be commonplace in Bethlehem, Ramallah, and some quarters of Jerusalem, but it is unacceptable to talk that way in the United States—whether to serious theologians or to the people in the pews. Hence Jews and friends of Israel should expose the underlying biased and anti-Zionistic ideology of this anti-Israeli campaign and force church leaders to choose. This can succeed, since church leaders cannot have it both ways and retain their credibility.

One must remember that this campaign is waged as a call for peace, justice, and fairness. Israel’s opponents want desperately to claim the moral high ground in the tradition of the Prophets who railed against the immoralities of their day. Of course, the church invocation of the Jewish Prophets deepens the insult to Jews and Judaism. This is another not so subtle expression of Christianity replacing Judaism, or more exactly, Christians replacing Jews.

The Prophets, in any case, are the defenders of the oppressed, the downtrodden, and the poor. To church leftists it is the Palestinians who occupy that category, and therefore all the ideologues’ theological and moral sympathies are with them. This leads to grotesque distortions of the Bible and the Prophets. Mitri Raheb, a Lutheran minister in Bethlehem, has written that Israelis are now the Pharoahs of Egypt and the Palestinians the people worthy of exodus and God’s liberation.11

Lastly, the ideologues do not bother to ask who is responsible for Palestinian suffering, nor do they place it in historical context. They blithely assume that Palestinian suffering is always undeserved and a result of Israeli oppression. At bottom, their theology can be reduced to the simplistic rule: “Might makes wrong; weakness is right.”

Some Jews and organizations are quick to pull the trigger and label the church leaders anti-Semites. I rarely use that term, concluding that in most cases it is strategically and tactically wrong to do so. Calling someone an anti-Semite is usually a covert justification to abdicate responsibility. It signifies an assumption that these people are irreversibly hostile to Jewish interests, and gives defenders of Israel license to walk away from the problem because there is no chance of reform. Often this is factually incorrect and contrary to Jewish interests. As noted, most American Christians are fair and identify with Israelis as modern Western democrats and Israel as a place with democratic values of religious liberty, civil authority, and so on. It is therefore critical to distinguish between the ideologues who are irrationally dogmatic in their conviction that Israel is the root of all problems, and the overwhelming majority of people within these churches who are open to honest engagement and persuasion.

The tactical problem is that the many pew-level Christians sympathetic to Israel are neither organized nor connected. Thus some Jews readily accepted the offer from organizations like National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel and Stop Divestment Now, to assist them in linking up the Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, and United Church of Christ people who are pro-Israeli, and help them coordinate their activities. This strategy succeeded dramatically. Everyone understood that PCUSA was going to revisit divestment and the anti-Israeli campaign at the 217th Assembly in June 2006, and the eyes of all the liberal churches were fixed on that debate in Birmingham, Alabama.

To help show Presbyterians the reality of the situation and enable them to be fair witnesses in Birmingham, the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel invited a small number of Jews to join thirteen high-level Presbyterians on a broad-based fact finding mission to Israel a month before the assembly. Most of the Presbyterians on the trip were mildly pro-Israeli at the start, some neutral, and some were young theological students who had been hypnotized by the leftist rhetoric. We spent eight days together in Israel and the territories, hearing from both Palestinians and Israelis.

The trip provided the church leaders with direct personal experiences of the conflict and its complexities. They were transformed from propagandists to eye witnesses, and when these Presbyterians went to  Birmingham, they became the most effective voices against divestment. They energized pro-Israeli organizations like End Divestment Now and Presbyterians Concerned for Jewish-Christian Relations  and influenced the assembly delegates. They pushed for a resolution to replace the divestment policy, ultimately winning by a vote of 483-28 and inflicted a crushing defeat on the anti-Israeli lobby.12 Because the pro-Israeli or the more neutral parties became more organized, they routed the radicals at the assembly. Yet the anti-Israeli ideologues are not giving up. They are still promoting divestment and boycott in some churches and the vicious rhetoric abounds. The United Church of Canada recently pushed to boycott Israel, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees has voted for a boycott.

So while the immediate battle may have been won, the strategic campaign continues. As mentioned, the issue is not primarily economic. Consider the South African paradigm: the apartheid regime in South Africa was dismantled because in the eyes of the world South Africa became a pariah, an illegitimate and immoral state. Fundamentally it was not the economic threat, but the entire penumbra surrounding the economic threat that ultimately determined the politics of the day. This is the strategy toward Israel. When the divestment tactic has been buried or has been eclipsed either by a new round of violence or some immediate political crisis, the strategic campaign will surely morph another tactic.

This has been demonstrated most recently by Jimmy Carter’s book labeling Israel “apartheid” and the massive public relations campaign surrounding it. Ostensibly written as “history” by an informed, objective and responsible public servant, the book and its hooplah have all the markers of a propaganda campaign-including film crews to document Carter’s book tour. Many have speculated that Carter has been co-opted to try to bring the anti-Zionist program to the American evangelical community.

Dhimmitude and Common Strategic Interests

There is one last critical point for both substantive geopolitics and public relations. There is a natural but yet untapped strategic alliance of interests between Jews, Israelis, and Christians-in America and the Middle East.

Both Jews and Christians in the Middle East are threatened minorities—dhimmis in Arab culture. This is the key to understanding why Israel has been rejected for so long by Middle East governments and the Arab street. Israel represents the principle of equality in the Middle East and directly contradicts the notion of a Muslim monopoly in Dar al-Islam.

The fundamental conflict with the Palestinians may be a territorial dispute, i.e., two peoples fighting over the same piece of land. That is a rational conflict, classic in the annals of warfare. Why, however, should an imam in Mecca care who has responsibility for collecting the garbage in Tel Aviv? Why do the president of Iran and other Islamists concern themselves about who has sovereignty in this little strip of land? Bernard Lewis and scholars formerly called Orientalists before the term became politically incorrect supply the answer: the idea of a non-Muslim being legally and politically equal to a Muslim has never appeared in traditional Arab politics or theology.13 In Muslim eyes, Jews and Christians can be tolerated only as dhimmis in the region. Jews, however, demand to live in the Middle East as independent, sovereign, and self-reliant equals with authority and the ability to defend themselves. That is an affront to classic Arab political theory regarding Dar al-Islam.

Israel has an army and will not place its fate in the hands of Muslim authorities.  But Christians do not have that luxury and are thus radically vulnerable to the Muslim powers in their countries of residence. In periods of tolerance they may do well, but in periods of intolerance and rising Islamic identity such as today, they are persecuted. Because they have no protection against Islamic intolerance, Middle East Christians having the means to leave the region today are doing so. Four out of every five Lebanese Maronite Christians have left Lebanon. More than twenty percent of Assyrian Christians had left Iraq before the American invasion, and many Egyptian Copts have fled Muslim oppression to America.14 These trends are prevalent throughout the Middle East.

Christians are persecuted particularly in the Palestinian territories.15 Israel had administrative control over Bethlehem until 1995, when it ceded the town to the Palestinian Authority. Before Israel left, Bethlehem was eighty percent Christian and had a Christian mayor and predominantly Christian municipal council. Today Bethlehem is less than twenty percent Christian, and Christians have been stripped of all municipal power. Ramallah also used to be a Christian city.

Jews and Christians are both fighting the same enemy: an Islamic monism that brooks no equality, liberty, or independence for non-Muslims. That extremist vision keeps gathering force in Middle East geopolitics. Hence, furthering the security of Israel at this critical time will strengthen the principle of pluralism in the Middle East. This, in turn, will inevitably redound to the security of Christians in the region. That is the essence of the common strategic interests between Jews and Christians in the Middle East.

A Strategic Alliance

When this argument is made cogently, it will be compelling. Despite mistakes, Israel does have the moral high ground because it is willing to live with the Palestinians if the Palestinians are willing to live with it. With the rise of Hamas, Hizballah, and an aggressive Iranian theocracy, all of which reject Israel’s right to exist, it is increasingly hard to  believe that the Palestinians and Israel’s regional enemies are willing to live with Israel. Even hitherto anti-Israeli opinion in Europe is changing somewhat in light of this situation.16

Yet the facts of Islamic persecution of Christians and democratic Israel as a marker of religious pluralism and freedom in the Middle East have thus far failed to gain serious traction in America or Europe. Much work needs to be done to publicize these crucial realities. When these stories are told effectively, a powerful alliance can emerge between Christians, Jews, and Israelis. The alliance will not be merely between Israel and the Christian Right, but will include liberal Christians and all who value freedom and liberal Western society.

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Dr. Eugene Korn is director of Jewish affairs at the American Jewish Congress, adjunct professor of Jewish thought in the Department of Christian-Jewish Studies at Seton Hall University, and editor of The Edah Journal: A Forum of Modern Orthodox Discourse. He holds a doctorate in moral philosophy from Columbia University and was ordained by the Israeli Rabbinate. He has published numerous scholarly monographs and articles on Jewish thought, Israel, and interfaith relations.

*     *     *

Notes

1.     The text of the resolution can be found at www.enddivestment.com/analysis3.html.

2.     See “The Quest for Peace” in the September/October 2003 edition of PCUSA’s journal Church and Society.

3.     References to many anti-Israeli church documents and Middle East positions can be found in Meeting the Challenge: Church Attitudes toward the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (New York: Anti-Defamation League, 2002).

4.     See www.episcopalchurch.org/-ens/2000-235.html.

5.     See endnote 1.

6.     A prime example is Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives. The hospital is run by the Lutheran Church.

7.     Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches 2005 (Nashville, TN: National Council of Churches, 2005).

8.     See “American Attitudes toward Israel,” conducted by the Martilla Communications Group for the Anti-Defamation League, found at www.adl.org/israel/us_israel_200503.pdf.

9.         www.pcusa.org/ga217/newsandphotos/ga06031.htm.

10.   See Dexter Van Zile, “Sabeel’s Teachings of Contempt: A Judeo-Christian Alliance Report,” June 2005, and “Sabeel: An Ecumenical Facade to Promote Hatred,” 10 July 2005, found at www.ngo-monitor.org; Adam Gregerman, “Old Wine in New Bottles,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Vol. 41, Nos. 1-2 (2004).

11. Mitri Raheb, I Am a Palestinian Christian, trans. Rosemary Radford Reuther (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1995), 86-91.

12. www.pcusa.org/ga217/newsandphotos/ga06124.htm.

13. See Bernard Lewis, Islam and the West (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), Ch. 2, and What Went Wrong? (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), Ch. 4.

14. “The Cross and the Crescent,” Catholic World Report, January 2002, http://c4rpme.org/bin/articles.cgi?Cat=christians&Subcat=cmr&ID=300; Charles Sennott, The Body and the Blood: The Middle East’s Vanishing Christians and the Possibility for Peace (New York: Public Affairs, 2001).

15. See “The Palestinian Authority’s Treatment of Christians in the Autonomous Areas,” Israeli Government, Prime Minister’s Office, Jerusalem, October 1997; David Raab, “The Beleaguered Christians of the Palestinian-Controlled Areas,” Jerusalem Letter, No. 490, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, January 2003, www.jcpa.org/jl/vp490.htm; Justus Reid Weiner, Human Rights of Christians in Palestinian Society (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2005); Khaled Abu Toameh, “Rapidly Dwindling Christian Minority in Palestinian Arab Controlled Territories,” Jerusalem Post, 11 November 2005.

16. PEW Global Attitude Survey, 13 June 2006, http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?PageID=827; recent survey by the Israel Project at www.theisraelproject.org/site/c.hsJPK0PIJpH/b.672631/apps/s/content.asp?ct=2550995.

About Dr. Eugene Korn

Dr. Eugene Korn is the American director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel, where he co-directs the center's Institute for Theological Inquiry and is the editor of the online journal Meorot-A Forum for Modern Orthodox Discourse. He holds a doctorate in moral philosophy from Columbia University and was ordained by the Israeli Rabbinate.