As Presbyterians prepare to convene in Pittsburgh for their biennial General Assembly, and plan to consider a resolution to divest from companies that do business with Israel, here’s a stark reminder of moral choice they are making.
As I discussed in my Huffington Post column yesterday, Hewlett-Packard — one of the companies proposed to be boycotted —
is charged with selling “hardware to the Israeli Navy that is used for its operational communications, logistics and planning including the ongoing naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.” Yet, as an official report of the notoriously anti-Israel-leaning United Nations declared in 2011, the blockade was manifestly legal, and it was instituted for the very purposes of upholding the peace. Wrote the Palmer Commission: “Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza…The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”
Yesterday, came this report from the Washington Free Beacon:
As Gaza militants renew violent rocket attacks on Israeli cities, a Hamas national security minister told a delegation of graduating police officers in the Gaza Strip that they should help liberate Israeli cities, such as Jerusalem, from Jewish control, according to a recently released translation of his remarks.
“None of you should give up playing with all the tools of force and equipment, which will bring us closer to our aspirations: Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Haifa, Akko, and Jaffa,” Hamas Minister Fathi Hammad declared during a Gaza police academy commencement ceremony on June 13, about a week before militants began firing hundreds of rockets into Southern Israel.
“The officers of the class graduating today will become the police chief of Jaffa, the police chief of Haifa, the police chief of Akko, the police chief of Lod, the police chief of Ramle, and of all other places,” said Hammad, an interior and national security minister said, according to a translation of his remarks by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
“Therefore, from this place, we declare to all those who usurped our lands that they must prepare to leave, because we have prepared for jihad,” said the Hamas official, which remains officially committed to the destruction of Israel. “You are going to leave, while we are summoned to battle. We are the owners of this land.”
Hammad’s remarks, which are routinely echoed by Hamas officials, provide context for the currently stalled peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Click here for the full article.
I hope members of the General Assembly seriously consider whether the interests of peace are best serve by divesting from Israel, and taking the side of brutal thugs like Fathi Hammad who calls for Israel’s very destruction.