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More Anti-Israel Propaganda in Mainline Churches: “Living Resistance Tour”

More Anti-Israel Propaganda in Mainline Churches: “Living Resistance Tour”

But “star” Ahed Tamimi, exploited in anti-Israel videos, apparently denied a visa.

In a number of recent posts (see here, here, here, and here) we’ve highlighted how anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) is being promoted in America’s mainline churches.

As we discussed, a malicious strain of virulent anti-Israel sentiment is being inserted into U.S. Protestant denominations largely because of a deep-seated organizational dysfunction in these churches.

Basically, the churches are being hijacked from within by small groups of pro-BDS activists. They’ve led the charge, aided and abetted by a host of vehemently anti-Israel Palestinian groups, who they frequently promote and with whom they collaborate.

Together, these church subgroups and various Palestinian organizations (typically based in the West Bank or east Jerusalem, but with offices and chapters in the U.S. as well) have gained an institutional footing by exploiting the language of social justice and human rights.

In so doing, they’ve drowned out dissenting Christian voices, including those of pro-Israel Christian Israelis.

They’ve also monopolized the conversation to focus solely on Israel’s alleged malevolence—instead of on the real and horrific suffering of many Christian communities across the Middle East, or even on the many abuses heaped on Palestinian Christians by their own feckless governments and by their intolerant Muslim neighbors.

A good example of how this partnership works in practice, and the ways in which the BDS movement is working to turn U.S. churches against Israel, is a new nationwide anti-Israel propaganda tour titled “No Child Behind Bars: Living Resistance from the US to Palestine.”

“No Child Behind Bars” Tour: Promoting ‘Intersectionality’ to Hate On Israel

The tour is now being advertised for January through February 2017. It’s apparently already being booked in cities across the country:

The tour is sponsored by the east Jerusalem-headquartered organization Sabeel (Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center) and its American branch—Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA).

As we’ve noted in a prior post, Sabeel and FOSNA have played a critical role in the effort to reverse Christian support for Israel in the U.S. and around the world. Promulgating a Palestinian form of supercessionist theology, their messaging constitutes a theological assault on the Jewish state and the Jewish people.

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA Church) is also involved in the Living Resistance Tour.

One of its ministers is participating on the program. And the UUA’s church subgroup, the virulently anti-Israel Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME)—see our posts here and here—is promoting it.

As noted in its online publicity, the program aims to

“connect state-sponsored violence and the criminalization and incarceration of youth in the United States and Palestine.”

Three “powerful women” will be featured speakers: Nadya Tannous, Amanda Weatherspoon, and Ahed Tamimi.

[UUJME website & Facebook]

Tannous, a self-described writer and organizer in the Bay Area who has “researched the detention of Palestinian minors since 2013”, will be joining the tour to “provide additional insight into the realities Palestinian minors face with the Israeli detention system.”

Weatherspoon is a “Unitarian Universalist minister whose ministry is centered on collective liberation and cross-movement solidarity between oppressed peoples.” By joining the tour, she’ll be helping FOSNA to “move forward…to build coalitions that will organize around halting state repression and state-sponsored violence.”

Basically, from the looks of it, their talks for the tour will draw heavily on the bizarre notion of intersectionality.

[FOSNA website & FaceBook]

As we’ve discussed in many posts, it’s the nonsensical but very popular contemporary claim that all “oppressions” intersect.

So, to account for the politics of race and racial injustices in the United States, the issue of Palestine can’t be an “overlooked subject” even if that means inventing false connections between the problems of policing and incarceration in America and the situation facing detained and imprisoned Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

Intersectionality is a “mockery of common sense” that develops the ludicrous meme that Jewish Israelis are oppressive ‘white people’ and that the Jewish state is an extension of the racist and discriminatory American white power structure that progressives in the U.S. want to upend.

People who hold by this muddled theory, like Tannous and Witherspoon, try to create “global racial solidarity platforms” by establishing some kind of firm (but in fact, nonexistent) link between “Palestine and Ferguson.”

They spend an inordinate amount of time constructing bogus analogies between police shootings or the need for prison reform in the United States and Israeli counterterror responses to Palestinian rock-throwers and knife-wielding attackers.

The Reality of ‘Living Resistance’: Murder and Mayhem on Israel’s Roads

Recently, many Palestinian assailants have been minors in their teens or even younger.

They admit that they set out to harm Jews after having been brainwashed to see themselves as soldiers in a holy war.

Stabbings by young Palestinians have been a common feature of the recent wave of violence that engulfed Israel. But lethal rock-throwing and petrol bomb-hurling have always been popular tactics of “resistance” for Palestinian youth.

As we highlighted in a post last year, after years of scores of innocent Israeli civilians (including kids and infants) being killed in car accidents, seriously hurt or even burned alive in their vehicles, Israel’s government adopted new measures to crack down on Palestinian youth who hurl stones and Molotov cocktails onto highways and city streets.

The new measures have relaxed open-fire protocols and stiffened penalties for offenders. They’ve undoubtedly served as a deterrent and helped police to save lives.

Will Weatherspoon or Tannous “provide these additional insights” to their audiences on the Living Resistance Tour?

Probably not.

Based on the event publicity thus far, for them rock-throwing by angry Palestinian children is something to be condoned and even encouraged—a rite of passage of Palestinian “resistance.”

Images like these which depict how rocks can be deadly weapons—especially when flung with state-of-the-art slingshots that increase their lethality—and inflict unimaginable devastation aren’t likely to be featured on the new tour:

Ahed Tamimi: Star Attraction

Audiences at the FOSNA organized, and UUJME promoted, upcoming national tour won’t be seeing or hearing from Israeli children who’ve been traumatized or hurt by Palestinian “living resistance.”

But there’ll be at least one young lady featured on the program.

FOSNA has booked the Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi to tell her story and describe the Palestinian situation.

She’s reportedly been denied a visa to enter the U.S. (h/t Israelly Cool)

But as noted in a recent email from FOSNA, the organization won’t be daunted by efforts to “silence” Tamimi’s story of “struggle and resilience”.

They aren’t “giving up” and are planning to “amplify” Ahed’s remarks about the “situation on the ground” via live video-streaming.

Regular Legal Insurrection readers will know all about Ahed and the West Bank Tamimis, and will have a pretty good idea about the kinds of distortions and outright lies that she’s likely to peddle in her presentations.

We’ve covered her extended family’s deplorable glorification of terrorism and its violent anti-Israel activism in numerous posts (for a partial list see here).

Based in the village of Nabi Saleh, the Tamimis have become heroes in the West—particularly among sympathetic journalists who frequently feature them as prominent civil society leaders of “non-violent resistance” against Israel.

The reality, as we’ve noted in our prior posts, is that the Tamimis are a bunch of terrorism-promoting and blood-libeling Palestinian activists who have the nasty habit of spending much of their time exploiting their and other village children for anti-Israel publicity stunts.

Readers may recall that young Ahed’s story and the real situation for her (and many other children who live in her West Bank village of Nabi Saleh) includes being manipulated for years for propaganda purposes.

We documented how the photogenic Ahed grew up being exploited in the media and featured constantly in staged anti-Israel online videos and photos.

Basically, it’s been a form of child abuse as Ahed, her siblings and relatives, and her childhood friends have been frequently placed in harm’s way, told by their parents and other Nabi Saleh adults to provoke armed IDF soldiers and encouraged to initiate so-called “non-violent” protests via rock-throwing, tire-burning, and the like.

[Ahed Tamimi near Nabi Saleh village | West Bank | 2012 | Credit: YouTube screenshot]

[Nabi Saleh demonstration | September 2015 | Credit: YouTube screenshot]

Readers will also remember that Ahed’s father is Bassem Tamimi—the notorious “human rights activist” who enjoys posting antisemitic blood libels on social media.

In a story that LI broke and has covered for months, last year Bassem was brought into a third grade public school classroom in Ithaca, NY.

The goal was to indoctrinate the kids.

As Professor Jacobson reported in a recent post, which has since made national and international headlines (see for example here and here), a video of the public school event, depicting the shameful efforts of Bassem and his handlers (including teachers and anti-Israel activists) to demonize Israel as an evil oppressor of defenseless Palestinian children, was recently released by court-order to Legal Insurrection.


Over the next few months, Bassem Tamimi’s daughter Ahed will have the opportunity to do some indoctrinating of her own in a brand new set of videos.

Like the many others in which she’s played a starring role, in these Ahed will no doubt also passionately share her hatred of Israel—this time to church audiences around the country courtesy of FOSNA and the UUJME, who are now partnering to bring ‘her voice’ via video to a city near you.

We should feel sorry for this girl. In many ways she’s really been a victim.

For her entire life Ahed’s been told by people she loves and trusts what to think and feel about, and how to respond to, Israelis and Jews.

A pretty and outgoing kid, she’s been pushed into spending much of her time in the limelight and in the public eye, often forced to risk life and limb.

Raised for years to despise the ‘other’ and to use her talent to show it for the camera, Ahed Tamimi couldn’t give a different talk to these church audiences even if she tried.


Miriam F. Elman is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Robert D. McClure Professor of Teaching Excellence at the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University. She is the editor of five books and the author of over 60 journal articles, book chapters, and government reports on topics related to international and national security, religion and politics, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She also frequently speaks and writes on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) anti-Israel movement. Follow her on Twitter @MiriamElman                            


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Also recruited no doubt because her blondish hair, white skin and striking blue eyes make her the perfect poster child for eliciting sympathy and bucks from American WASPs.

Because they wear the name “Christian Church” or “Mainline Christian Church” does NOT MEAN that they are either a church or Christian. Most Bible believing Christians that I know would consider them reprobate imposters of Christianity, bereft of Biblical knowledge or understanding.

I have YET to meet a bible believing Christian that supports BDS. Over 90% support Israel as the Jewish homeland, just as it’s proclaimed throughout history.

The mainline protestant churches are losing members at an incredible rate. Why?

Because they have ceased being religious institutions and are little more than the Obama wing of the Democratic party, with all its anti-Israel bias Whatever line the White House says during the week becomes the sermon for that Sunday.

The good news is their membership is declining – the bad news is that they still have influence beyond their true status. And the influence is used for evil deeds, like BDS.

As a member of a mainline denomination (ELCA), I find this incredibly sad. At the congregational level, the differences between most mainline churches and most evangelical churches are stylistic and maybe a little bit choice of focus. I have a couple LCMS friends, and even though we’re supposed to be mortal enemies, locked in a death struggle for the soul of American Lutheranism, the points of disagreement are actually pretty minor.

The problem, like the author said, is structure. While not as bad as the UUA or UCC, we have some truly terrible bylaws, particularly on ethnic and gender quotas, that has turned the national body and many of the Synods into leftist echo chambers. Really tragic, it’s damaging the rest of us.

While I am an Evangelical Christian, I do not hold to the Dispensationalist theology that sees the re-establishment of Israel as a nation-state a harbinger of the end times. I believe that the Chosen People of God are those clustered around the Messiah, not in a piece of land.

However, the attacks on Israel are despicable, and symptomatic of the “Mainline” churches’ capitulation to the liberal zeitgeist. I further agree that anyone pushing the blood libel should not have a hearing in our churches.

    userpen in reply to Kepha H. | December 24, 2016 at 2:32 am

    God’s Word affirms that the Jews (all of them) are God’s chosen people: “You are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

    This is not dependent on:
    a. being clustered around a piece of land
    b. being clustered around the Messiah

“Brave” little girl. Is she pulled any of these stunts in Saudi Arabia or the like – or the MAJORITY of the nations that are members of the UN, and she’d be shot.

Only in a democracy will a useful idiot like this be tolerated.