On July 7, the first organized protest demonstration against the ideology and policies of Christians United for Israel [CUFI] will take place in Washington D.C. during the annual CUFI summit. Representatives from the highest levels of our government will be present. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is listed as a speaker; last year Vice President Pence was guest speaker. As a Christian Zionist organization, CUFI has clout in Congress through its powerful lobby, pressuring our government to support the Israeli Occupation as well as promoting Islamophobia, white supremacy, and, ultimately, anti-Semitism with its apocalyptic vision of global warfare leading to the Second-coming of Christ to his Kingdom in Jerusalem.
EPF PIN endorses this protest and supports the objectives of the sponsors: Friends of Sabeel North America, Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. PIN activists in the D.C. area are involved in the planning and are actively organizing Episcopalians locally and regionally to take part in the demonstration. PIN fully supports our allies as we confront together the misuse of Christianity as a moral cover for violence and racism. PIN is also committed to raising consciousness in our church about the breadth and depth of CUFI’s influence in our government and funding by Christian Zionists of the Settlement movement in Palestine. Knowledge is power: power to hold ourselves accountable as a church to the teachings of Jesus in response to CUFI’s assault on the Gospel.
What can PIN activists do from a distance? If traveling to D.C. is not possible, how can we join the protest against CUFI’s dangerous impact on U.S. foreign policy and their funding of Palestinian dispossession of both land and rights?
PRAY: Prayers of the People: consider crafting a prayer petition for your parish worship, asking for Christ’s Spirit to empower our Gospel witness against Christian Zionism.
Read Challenging Christian Zionism: Theology, Politics and the Israel-Palestine Conflict edited by Naim Ateek (Palestinian Episcopal priest and founder of Sabeel), Cedar Duaybis and Maurine Tobin (recipient, with her husband Bob, of PIN’s inaugural Cotton Fite Award). Consider a study group in your parish or community using these resources and others.
ACT: Use the information you gain through study for action. Consider writing letters to your Representatives and Senators, expressing concern about the objectives of the CUFI lobby and the dangers of an ideology that actively promotes global warfare, Islamophobia and anti-semitism. Submit a “did you know” op-ed in your local paper … because many Americans don’t know what CUFI is promoting in the name of its 4 million Christian Zionist members. Perhaps a letter of concern to your bishop or the social justice committee in your diocese, expressing the moral imperative of Episcopalians to raise consciousness and organize a Gospel response to Christian Zionism : “Not in OUR name.” Reach out to local allies like JVP or the Muslim community to plan educational events or demonstrations. Include Christian Zionism as a topic in other organized events on behalf of Palestinian human rights. Shed light on the relationship of convenience between Christian Zionists and Jewish Zionists. Carpe diem!