United Methodist group observes 'catastrophe' of Israel
The United Methodist headquarters in Washington, DC, is hosting a month-long exhibit that portrays the founding of Israel as a catastrophe.
The display, which is titled "60 Years of Dispossession," chronicles what Palestinians call the "Nakba" -- the Palestinian word for "catastrophe." Palestinians use the word to describe Israel's founding, an event that is reviled in the Arab world. The photo exhibit trumps what it describes as "the 1948 mass deportation of Palestinians, massacres of civilians, and the razing to the ground of hundreds of Palestinian villages" following Israel's creation.
According to a Faith in Action report, the exhibit is an "awareness building resource" that is being used in several countries to educate and inspire advocacy. But Mark Tooley, director of UM Action with the Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD), says the exhibit is proof that activists with the religious left have a deep dislike of Israel.
"Even though they claim they support Israel's existence, they continuously host or support events and programs like this that not only portray Israel very negatively, but ultimately call into question the very existence and validity of Israel," says Tooley.
The IRD spokesman points out in a column for The Weekly Standard that this is not the first the UM headquarters building has hosted a controversial event. He cites past events for groups supportive of Marxist guerillas in El Salvador, the North Korean regime, Fidel Castro's rule in Cuba, and the Soviet empire.
"By portraying Israel's founding as a 'catastrophe' that can only be redeemed through the gradual eradication of the Middle East's only longstanding democracy, the Methodist lobbyists are at least faithful to a decades-long tradition," he writes.
Tooley wonders when the United Methodist lobbyists will host an event celebrating the founding of Israel.