The United Church of Christ (UCC), a liberal Protestant church with roots that go back to the Mayflower, is at it again. During the first few days of July 2017, the denomination’s deliberative body, the General Synod, will gather in Baltimore Maryland. The General Synod will approve the denomination’s budget and vote on some proposals that determine how the church’s national bureaucracy will be reorganized. The synod will also vote on a number of resolutions that call on the denomination’s officers and local churches to advocate for particular social causes that the assembly deems important.
There are 17 resolutions on the General Synod’s agenda, one of which deals with Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children in its detention centers. As of this writing, there are no resolutions on the agenda dealing with the massacre of huge numbers of people in Syria by the regime led by Bashar Al-Assad, who has killed hundreds of thousands of Sunni Muslims, many of them children, since the beginning of his country’s civil war in 2011.
There might be some pushback within the denomination against the resolution, which portrays Israel as guilty of crimes against Palestinian children. There should be. The resolution, which was submitted by a number of churches located mostly in coastal “blue states” such as California, Oregon and Connecticut, makes no pretense of holding Palestinian leaders accountable even as it invokes the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the Palestinian Authority signed in 2014, to justify its condemnations of Israel.
In particular, the text makes no mention of the crimes against children perpetrated by Palestinian leaders in both the Gaza Strip and West Bank who teach children to hate, nor is there any reference to Hamas’ tendency to put children in harm’s way by using schools and hospitals as storage stations and launch pads for rocket attacks against Israel. Nor is there any reference to the use of child labor in smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Every one of these actions is a crime against the welfare of children. Not one of them is mentioned in the resolution on the General Synod’s agenda.
The whole point of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child is to protect children from exactly the type of misdeeds that the PA and Hamas have either perpetrated or allowed, but the resolution on the UCC’s agenda ignores these issues altogether.
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