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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fair Witness Is Disturbed By Methodist "Mission Study"


A Press Release Distribution Service from Religion News Service
Wednesday, February 13, 2008


February 13, 2008

Contact: Sr. Ruth Lautt, O.P., Esq.
Christians For Fair Witness on the Middle East
(212) 870-2320

Fair Witness Is Disturbed By Methodist "Mission Study"

    Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East ("Fair Witness") is deeply disturbed by the profoundly unbalanced manner in which "Israel-Palestine: A Mission Study," published last year by the United Methodist Church, General Board of Global Ministries, Women's Division, depicts the conflict in the Middle East.

    According to Sr. Ruth Lautt, Fair Witness National Director, "the volume is so replete with factual errors, misrepresentations, material omissions and distortions that we have to question the intentions of the authors Revs. Stephen Goldstein and Sandra Olewine. As just one example, the Mission Study completely distorts the period and events leading up to the Six-Day War.  It blames the outbreak of war on  'Israeli aggression' while largely ignoring the historical record that Israel was defending itself after the collective Arab armies lined up on Israel's borders and vowed openly to annihilate the Jewish state."

    "Even more disturbing," says Rev. Dr. Archer Summers, Senior Minister, First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, California "is the blatant attempt to portray Jews and Israelis in as damning a light as possible.  The Mission Study engages in overt stereotyping of Jews as belligerent, inherently racist and vengeful and even resorts to exploiting the history of the Holocaust by portraying Israelis as so psychically damaged by this event that they are now indifferent to human suffering and seek to victimize non-Jews in a vengeful sort of manner."

    "As is the case in most situations of conflict, neither side is completely without blame here. The Methodist Mission Study, however, makes no attempt to present the facts and the history of this conflict in an honest or balanced way.  Our churches must make a serious effort to listen to all voices so that we can work cooperatively for peace, rather than merely condemning and attacking one side," adds Sr. Ruth.

    A full analysis of the Mission Study is now available on the Fair Witness website:

Here  and Here.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


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