Apparently an Overwhelming vote by Scotland's largest Church against Christian Zionism and silence of Christian churches, for Palestinian suffering after six decades under brutal Israeli Occupation.
"A motion to effectively remit the report until 2014 was overwhelmingly rejected by delegates who agreed instead to promote the widest discussion of the report and its conclusions throughout the local committees of the Church and beyond."
by Florence Leone
Recently I had the pleasure of conversing over lunch with one of the leaders of the Presbyterian church's BDS (Boycott, Divestment and sanctions) effort.
From that conversation I learned that, after eight years of effort, at their 2012 biennial meeting, the Presbyterian vote in favor of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctioning of Israel until it complies with international law and ceases its occupation of Palestinian lands and oppression of Palestinian people, was very close to passage. But for the last minute influence of Jewish activists who brought pressure to bear on members of the Presbyterian voters, it would have received a majority vote.
Christians throughout the world have got to take a stand: Who do they worship and seek to emulate: Jesus of Nazareth, whose commitment to the principle that all human beings were children of god, or Abraham, to whom, Jews claim, Yahweh made a particularist promise? The courage of Jesus in defending the principle that all human beings are children of God cost him his life.
Pontius Pilate sought a compromise — a way to 'square the circle' that would not imperil his career or his position, or his friendships. He washed his hands of the conflict.
For too long the entire Christian world has sought the line of least resistance, or worse, the line of political expediency.
The Church of Scotland is in the precious position of giving an example to the rest of Christendom — (including the shamefully disengaged Roman Catholic church): The Church of Scotland has the opportunity to benefit from the baleful experience of the Presbyterian church, and resist the pressures of the Jewish representatives who seek to influence them.
Following the path of Jesus is not the line of least resistance, nor the line of compromise. It requires courage, perhaps courage unto death. "Speak the truth in love" does not mean to acquiesce to untruth, or to water down justice.
What would Jesus do?
Even as Rev. Sally Foster-Fulton expressed gratitude toward "the Jewish community who sat down with us and were gracious in their concern," the United States Senate, heavily influenced by that same Jewish community, passed S.Res.65. A resolution conveying U.S. support for potential Israeli military strikes on Iran.
Earlier, the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee approved of H.R. 850, a new sanctions bill that included an amendment by Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R-FL) that removes the President's sanctions waiver authority.
Concerning that bill, NIAC's (National Iranian American Council's Policy Director) Jamal Abdi wrote: "Attacking the President's waiver authority is a cynical attempt to weaken his hand at the negotiating table and sabotage diplomatic efforts. If the President can't lift sanctions in exchange for concessions, the Iranians will have little incentive to cooperate.
Some in Congress appear eager to turn the Iran sanctions into the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which tied our hands on sanctions and all but guaranteed a disastrous war."
In many of their public appearances discussing their book, "Going to Tehran: Why the US Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran," Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have underlined the fact that no mechanisms exist for sanctions to be removed, thus, any presidential administration that purports to negotiate with Iran is doing so with its hands tied, by US Congress.
If the gods are kind, and people such as participants on MCS (My Catbird Seat) are energetic enough to print copies of the Church of Scotland's courageous decision and distribute them to Christian churches in their neighborhoods, especially in the USA, a "multiplier effect" can be produced that will send a message to US Congress:
We are America.
We oppose oppression of Palestinian people.
We oppose sanctions and threats of war against Iran.
Florence Leone was a Roman Catholic nun before marrying and raising a family. On the conviction that prayer is political action, she has spearheaded efforts to make religious programming on cable television more representative of the communities served, and has created forums to educate church groups and other community groups in the history and culture of Iran, and also the history and ideology of Zionism. Influenced by concepts introduced by Joseph Campbell, Leone attempts to understand religious/political topics by exploring their foundational myths. Her work has been published in the monthly newspaper of The Thomas Merton Center, and acknowledged by former ambassadors to NATO, the United Nations, and the IAEA.