Tuesday, May 31, 2011

U.S. Methodists: Divide Jerusalem

The Methodists recently released a statement on Middle East Politics. Here's how they got it wrong:

"The world’s attention has been focused on the dramatic events unfolding around the Middle East in recent weeks. Across North Africa and through to the Persian Gulf, ordinary citizens have been rising up against their illegitimate leaders and demanding political freedoms.
Regimes already have fallen in Tunisia and Egypt. In other capital cities, protests and demonstrations continue. The winds of change are blowing. For millions across the Middle East, the future will be radically different from the past."

IN fact, there are numerous uprisings in process, but the results may be less freedoms, not more. In Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties are predicted to win the September elections. In Yemen it looks as if al Qaeda is gaining ground. A foothold in Yemen could spell disaster for the Saudi oil business and further escalation in the price of oil. Anyone' who thinks al Qaeda is adding democratic values is dead wrong.

"Unfortunately, one state’s undemocratic, militaristic rule over millions of civilians suffering under its administration looks likely to continue unchallenged. That state is Israel, and those living under its illegitimate control are the Palestinians of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."

Actually, the Arabs with proven residency in East Jerusalem had the option to become Israeli citizens, but many opted out of Israeli democracy. West Bank Arabs enjoy an 8-12% annual economic growth rate under Fatah and buckets of foreign aid money. Gaza Arabs voted for the terrorist group Hamas. They are running their own place there. We just don't want them running guns from Iran. Israeli Arabs vote like anyone else. Palestinians in Arab countries have limited rights--which may mean no citizenship, being restricted in terms of professionsm, and having to live in refugee camps built by Arab governments in 1948. That means that they have less rights than so-called "occupation sufferers".

"The United Methodist Church opposes continued military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, the confiscation of Palestinian land and water resources, the destruction of Palestinian homes, the continued building of illegal Jewish settlements, and any vision of a 'Greater Israel' that includes the occupied territories and the whole of Jerusalem and its surroundings (Resolution 6073)."

Israel is not building new settlements. Israelis in the "disputed territories" would like to expand their communities within the lines of their long-term municipal boundaries. Despite the panicked terms of the Methodist statement, there is more than enough land, and settlements actually take up a very small percentage of available land--1.7%.

Home destruction is a punishment reserved for family homes of terrorists, or when terrorists have used the property as a base for terror.

Again, there is no "occupation in Gaza", only border control and occasional IDF hits on Gaza missile launchers who fire at Israeli civilians. And now that the Egyptian border Rafah crossing is open there is no call to claim they are blockaded. Regarding water, in the south overpumping of water by Arabs near the coast has led to some salinization of the aquifer. In Hebron, Arabs refused a sewage treatment plant (which Israel would have built and paid for) because if would have benefited Jewish residents of nearby Kiryat Arba.

A united Jerusalem is a Jerusalem open to all faiths--when the Jordanians held Jerusalem they destroyed numerous synagogues.

In the US the Methodists are claiming that the Arab Spring is blooming but in Israel, we are still the horrid occupying oppressors—this while Syria keeps shooting more and more demonstrators.

I agree with Glenn Beck: the Arab Spring flowers look more like a handful of weeds, and they sure smell more like dog pee. Meanwhile, the Methodists are still smelling lilac...


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