Methodists Reject Divestment, But Tolerate Anti-Semitic Rant


CAMERA reports:

For the past several days, the United Methodist Church has been meeting in Tampa, Florida for its General Convention that is held every four years. At this convention, the delegates approved a resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli products made in the West Bank.

The assembly also rejected a resolution that would require the denomination’s Board of Pensions and Health Benefits to sell its stock in three companies that do business with Israel — Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Motorola.

Yesterday’s video of processeds regarding these two resolutions:

The defeat of the divestment proposal was a bitter pill to swallow for many of the activists that descended on the UMC’s General Convention. Jewish Voice for Peace was out in force at the assembly, as were a number of anti-Israel activists from inside the denomination.

As is to be expected at the national assembly of any mainline church in the United States, the proceedings bespoke of a monomaniacal obsession on the alleged sins of the Jewish state and absolute silence about the misdeeds of other countries in the region.

Search the legislation before the assembly for resolutions regarding Coptic Christians in Egypt or Assyrians in Iraq and you will find nothing.

One of the more outrageous moments of the assembly took place after it became apparent that the proposal to demand that the UMC sell stock in the three companies mentioned above was not going to pass. A woman who introduced herself as Margaret Novak said the following to the gathered assembly:

I would just ask us all to imagine we were United Methodists in the 1930s and 40s [and] that our Board of Pensions held stock in the very successful manufacturing firms in Germany that bid and received the bids to manufacture the ovens for the concentration camps. At what point would we decide it was time to divest? How much evidence would we ask for before it was time to stop the wholesale destruction of people?

Source: Video of 2nd Session +0:05:47 to +0:06:37

The moderator did not call her out of order, but merely asked if her speech was for or against the non-divestment resolution then before the assembly. (She was against.)

Margaret Novak compared Israeli policies in the West Bank to the destruction of Jews in Europe. She made this statement in front of several hundred people and the moderator of the assembly let her statement pass unchallenged.

More after the jump.
Novak’s comparison between current Israeli policies and that of the Nazi regime falls under the working definition of antisemitism issued by the European Forum on Antisemitism. This definition warns against “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

Novak’s suggestion that the Israelis are perpetrating a genocide (“wholesale destruction of people”) is defamatory. The population of the Palestinians has grown fourfold in the decades since the 1948 War.

Will someone from the UMC’s leadership condemn Novak’s remarks before the General Convention comes to an end on Friday May 4, 2012 or will they pass unnoticed?

This is a reasonable question to ask. The UMC has been the source of some ugly rhetoric in the past. For more information about this problem go here and here.

James E. Winkler, General Secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), can make it right. He can issue an unequivocal apology for the ugly anti-Semitism that was allowed to pass unchallenged at the UMC’s General Assembly on May 2, 2012.

It is also reasonable to ask if Jewish Voice for Peace [no relation to the Philadelphia Jewish Voice!] is going to condemn Novak’s rant. As stated above, JVP was out in force at the assembly.

And will the Methodist activists, operating under the banner of UM Kairos Response condemn Novak’s statement?

Such rhetoric simply cannot pass unnoticed at the UMC General Convention.

Will Winkler act? Will Jewish Voice for Peace respond? Will UM Kairos Response?

European Rabbis Slam Dutch Ban on Jewish Slaughter

–by the Conference of European Rabbis

The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) has slammed a decision by the Dutch parliament to ban Jewish religious slaughter.

CER President Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt called the ban an outrage in that it would prevent Jews from living a Jewish life in The Netherlands.

“We have passed the stage of arguing the nuances of intention of anti-Semiitsm. The practical effects of this bill mean that Jews are no longer welcome in The Netherlands. This has not happened for 70 years,” Rabbi Goldschmidt said.

On Tuesday, the Dutch lower house passed a bill banning all meat which is not stunned before slaughter.

The effect of this legislation will see the banning of kosher and halal slaughter.
Rabbi Goldschmidt said that “on the basis of flawed and agenda-based science and merely to appease an ill-informed Animal Welfare Lobby, the Netherlands has thrown away centuries of liberalism, human rights, welcome and tolerance for Jews.”

“We will not rest until this discriminatory, intolerant and hateful bill is thrown out. We call upon the members of the Dutch Senate to use their constitutional powers to restore the dignity of their country,” Rabbi Goldschmidt said.    

The Conference of European Rabbis federates Jewish religious leaders in over 40 European states and includes all the continent’s chief rabbis and senior rabbinical judges. The CER holds consultancy status as an NGO at the Council of Europe and within the institutions of the European Union.  

Holocaust Denier at Lincoln University


Professor Kaukab Siddique at Lincoln University has recently been writing and speaking about Israel, the Holocaust and the Jewish people in an extremely offensive way. Since Lincoln University is supported through our tax dollars as part of the Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth System of Higher Education, State Senator Daylin Leach has organized an effort to prevent students of history in our state from being taught a revisionist, anti-Semitic version of history.

Lincoln University is an outstanding institution of higher learning. Distinguished alumni include Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, writer Langston Hughes, as well as the founders of South Carolina State University, Livingstone University, Albany State University, Texas Southern University, Ibibio State College (Nigeria) and the Kwame Nkruma University of Science and Technology (Ghana). It is a shame for Prof. Siddique to sully the reputation of Lincoln University.

Sen. Daylin Leach and numerous other members of the State Assembly have sent the following letter to Lincoln University President Ivory Nelson. The letter quotes Prof. Siddique’s at length to make clear how unacceptable he is as a “teacher of history.”

If your State Senator and State Representative are not on this list, please contact them and encourage them to sign on. (Please post a comment below to indicate their response.)

President Ivory V. Nelson, Ph.D.
Lincoln University
1570 Baltimore Pike,
P.O. Box 179
Lincoln University, PA 19352

Dear President

        As members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly we, as I’m sure you know, not only support Lincoln University financially, we also have a high regard for the University’s excellent reputation and a large stake in its future success. Given this, we maintain a keen interest in what is happening at Lincoln, and how it affects the image of the school, and by extension, our image as a state.

        It has recently come to our attention that Lincoln employs a literature professor by the name of Kaukab Siddique. Mr. Siddique  has written an article and appeared in a video in which he denies that the Holocaust happened, calls for the destruction of Israel through the use of violence, and calls Jewish people a whole series of offensive names.

        With regards to the Holocaust, Mr. Siddique writes:

“Open up the DISCUSSION of the HOLOCAUST story. What did really happen in World War II? The Auschwitz “gas chambers” story has been meticulously analyzed, rebutted and destroyed by critics like Mark Weber, David Irving. Germar Rudolf and Wilhelm Staeglich. These are scholars following the highest levels of scholarship. Notice that the chain bookstores do not carry their books and the corporate media simply don’t mention them. Read even one of them and you’ll be rid of the holocaust myth forever. Don’t take the “holocaust” issue lightly. It is the main source of funds for international Jewry. It is Israel’s milk cow.”

       With regards to Israel, Mr. Siddique writes:

“Israel is an ILLEGITIMATE, TERRORIST entity…DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH JEWS unless they clearly say that Israel is illegitimate. If you are careless, you might find that you have a doctor or a lawyer who supports Israel. You can pick and choose lawyers and doctors. Rabbis are the worst of the lot.”

       Regarding Jews, Mr. Siddique refers to them as “the hydra-headed monster” and “the devil who resides in Tel Aviv”. Further, he asserts:

“The Jews are a small minority in America, yet they have taken over this country by devious and immoral means. They control the government, the media, education, the libraries, the book chains, the banks, Hollywood, Wall Street, Madison Avenue.”

      For reasons which I am sure are obvious, this sort of rhetoric raises concerns.  We support academic freedom and certainly a professor has the right to criticize Israel, or any other entity or policy he wishes. However, we are all familiar with the adage “you are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts”. I think this applies in this case. The Holocaust is not a theory or opinion, it is historically documented fact, denied only by those with a hateful anti-Semitic agenda.

     We are hoping that you can provide some clarification on a number of issues begged by Mr. Siddique’s conduct.

  1. What level of awareness did Lincoln’s administration have of Mr. Siddique’s propensity to engage in the sort of speech described above when he was hired and awarded tenure?
  2. Are Mr. Siddique’s anti-Semitic diatribes any part of his class-room presentation, or other presentations outside oft he classroom but on campus?
  3. What steps are being taken to ensure that Mr. Siddique is not teaching students at Lincoln University that the Holocaust is a myth, and is not perpetrating false and derogatory information regarding people of the Jewish faith?

    We appreciate your prompt response and very much look forward to hearing from you. You may reply to me and I will pass along your reply to my caucus.

Very Truly Yours,

  • State Senator Daylin Leach, District 17
  • State Senator Jane Orie, District 40
  • State Senator Vincent Hughes, District 7
  • State Senator Anthony Williams, District 8
  • State Representative Bryan Cutler, District 100
  • State RepresentativeGordon Denlinger, District 99
  • State Representative Eugene DePasquale, District 95
  • State Representative Russ Fairchild, District 85
  • State Representative Florindo Fabrizio, District 2
  • State Representative Dan Frankel, District 23
  • State Representative Mike Fleck, District 81
  • State Representative Robert Freeman, District 136
  • State Representative Pat Harkins, District 1
  • State Representative Phyllis Mundy, District 120
  • State Representative Harry Readshaw, District 36
  • State Representative Ken Smith, District 112
  • State Representative Dick Stevenson, District 8
  • State Representative Rose-Marie Swanger, District 102
  • State Representative Katie True, District 41

Jews & Blacks “Refudiate” Tea Party Racism

— David Streeter

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) applauds the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for passing a resolution condemning the “racist language” used by elements in the Tea Party. NJDC has repeatedly condemned the anti-Semitic and abusive Holocaust rhetoric used by certain Tea Party activists and we hold the same position towards racist language. Racist language has no place in our political discourse and should be condemned by all, regardless of political orientation.

As NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris wrote following the incidents that occurred before the final health care reform vote:

… last weekend’s amped-up protests, egged-on by Republican members of Congress, just took things to a new level as racial epithets and homophobic slurs were hurled at House Democrats.

This is miserably bad for our society, and it’s bad politics for the GOP too as the public associates an unfortunate face with some of health care reform’s loudest detractors. It’s long past time for Republican and conservative leaders to step up to the plate and clearly denounce such comically over-the-line tactics …