Sunday, July 8, 2012


European, U.S. and Canadian Government Funding Behind Anti-Israel Activism in Mainline Churches

NGO Monitor's latest report July 2nd documents the flow of funds from European, US and Canadian governments to several Palestinian and pro-Palestinian Christian NGOs that promote boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), and supersessionist theologies, in mainline churches across the globe.

The main findings:

• In the last decade, BDS aimed at Israel developed as a key issue in mainline Christian denominations in the United States, Europe, Canada, and elsewhere.

• A number of European governments, plus the United States and Canada provide funds for these church-based efforts to delegitimize Israel. These taxpayer funds are disbursed as grants to church-based humanitarian NGOs, which then transfer these funds to highly politicized pro-Palestinian NGOs, including Christian groups that promote within mainline churches BDS, the one-state solution and, in many cases, antisemitic supercessionist, or replacement, theologies

• The US government, through the National Endowment for Democracy (mostly funded by the US Congress) granted the Holy Land Trust $124,300 (2009, 2010, 2012). HLT's executive director Sami Awad, speaking at the National Leadership Conference for the Vineyard Church in 2009, told the audience (at 01:20:27 in the audio): "We've actually done training in non-violence for Hamas leaders and other militant groups as well." Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by the US State Department and the EU. Further, the US Supreme Court upheld a law criminalizing material support for terror organizations. (Holder, Attorney General, et al. v. Humanitarian Law Project et al. 2010). The law defines "material support" as including "any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including... training, expert advice or assistance..." Based in Bethlehem, HLT is a signatory to the 2005 "Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS" and supports the Kairos Palestine document. HLT conducts highly politicized tours to the region targeting church leaders.

• BDS strategists view the churches as a key target for promoting the BDS agenda because: "religious institutions are seen in many communities as embodying important moral and ethical principles... Divestment campaigns that target companies such as Caterpillar have been initiated in a number of major Christian churches. Not only will successful divestment campaigns financially weaken the Occupation, but will raise both the public profile and legitimacy of the BDS campaign."

To read the full report, click here.

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