When the Swedish Church talks about Palestine, they mean – just as Yasser Arafat does – a geographical area that belongs only to Arabs. Arabs who today call themselves Palestinians but who prior to Israel’s independence in 1948 neither belonged to nor voiced aspirations towards recognition as a separate people, nation or political entity.
When the Swedish Church calls for economic sanctions against only Israel – which they maintain is single-handedly responsible for the violence in the area – it chooses to ignore the roles played by Arafat, Al Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian groups. Criticism is directed solely at the Jewish state. Terror carried out by Palestinians seems somehow to escape the same critical review.
Not even when Yasser Arafat on Saturday the 15th of May explicitly calls for terror, does the Swedish Church alter its bias in favour of the Palestinians, against the Israelis. Not even when Arafat issues a decree to his people to “act in accordance with your calling as warriors of Jihad … (to) terrorise your enemy and God’s enemy”.
The question is what – if anything at all – can persuade the Swedish Church and its HOPP campaign to realise the truth about the brutal people it voluntarily chooses to back. They are, after all, the very same brutal people who last week were playing football in the streets of Rafiah with crowds of jubilant spectators lining the streets. The football consisted of part of the body of a dead Israeli soldier.
Just imagine how much positive input the Swedish Church could have stimulated if its HOPP campaign instead aimed at injecting real hope among all the peoples of this troubled area. Just imagine if the Swedish Church had lived up to true Christian ethics and stretched out its hand to everyone who is suffering, giving them hope for a brighter future. Just imagine if the Swedish Church had actually learned something of Jesus’ teachings and acted in accordance with what Jesus had preached, instead of turning its back on one part of the region’s people – the Jewish people.
The Swedish Church and its HOPP campaign are a scandal for true Christian teachings. Because there is no longer any room in Christianity for the two thousand year old hatred of the Jews – except among the Swedish Church and its HOPP campaign.
Prejudice breeds hatred. Christianity is about love. The Swedish Church seems to need fundamental education on the precepts of Christianity, love, respect, history and modern social science.
And on the drawbacks of hate propaganda.