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17 Feb 2024

NextImg:Leading Black Church Pours Salt on Jewish Wounds with 'Mass Genocide' Claim

The Council of Bishops of the American Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), a leading church among African Americans, issued an extraordinary statement Thursday accusing Israel of “mass genocide,” exacerbating a rift between black Americans and Jews.

The statement reads, in part:

Israel has trapped 1.6 million desperate Palestinians in the southern Gaza city called Rafah. Most of them are women and children. They have denied them access to food, water, shelter, and health care. After this torture, they plan to murder them. The United States of America will have likely paid for the weapons they use. This must not be allowed to happen.

The Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church calls on the United States Government to immediately withdraw all funding and other support from Israel. Since 1954, Israel has shown a willful disregard for the human dignity of Palestinians. Since October 7, 2023, in retaliation for the brutal murder of 1139 Israeli citizens by Hamas, Israel has murdered over 28,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children. The United States is supporting this mass genocide. This
must not be allowed to continue.

There must be an immediate and permanent ceasefire between these two communities.

The statement also refers to Jesus Christ as a “Palestinian Jew” — reflecting the false claim of Palestinian nationalists that Jesus identified as “Palestinian.” The term “Palestine” was not used until a century later, after a failed revolt by Jews against Romans.

Israel is a multiracial society, one in which non-European Israelis are in the majority. Israel also rescued the Ethiopian Jewish community from famine and oppression, marking the first time in history in which black people were brought en masse out of Africa, but to freedom and not to slavery. Today, black Israelis serve — and fall — alongside Israelis of every other color, and of every other faith, in a fight to save their country from the genocidal aims of the Palestinian Hamas terrorists that attacked them.

The statement by the AME Church will pour salt on the wounds of October 7 for many Jews — and re-open old wounds in the black-Jewish relationship. Many Jews participated in the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, but were alienated by the racial nationalism adopted by some black leaders in the years that followed. In 2020, many Jews and Jewish organizations supported the Black Lives Matter movement, only to be betrayed when that movement supported Palestinians against Israel.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.