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Church World Service

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited States
Websitehttp://www.cwsglobal.org/
Founded1946
In their own wordsFeed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless.”

Funding

  • 2014 revenue of $80,728,200, of which $45,385,667 (56.2%) was provided by the U.S. government.
  • Additional financial details, including amounts to grantees, are unavailable, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.

Activities

Political Advocacy

  • Lobbies churches, policymakers and the general public and in the U.S. “to give voice to the issues that affect hunger people and promote sustainable solutions.”
  • Partners with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).
    • EAPPI frequently uses inflammatory and demonizing rhetoric against Israel; engages in BDS campaigns; participates in activities commemorating the Palestinian “Nakba” (catastrophe); and promotes a Palestinian “right of return,” meaning the end of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
  • During the 2014 Gaza war, CWS condemned “Hamas militants’ practice of firing rockets into Israel, and Israel’s bombardment of homes, hospitals and other civilian centers in Gaza,” drawing an immoral symmetry between Israeli self-defense and illegal attacks by terror organizations and failing to acknowledge Hamas’ responsibility through its systematic exploitation of civilians, homes, hospitals and population centers. The statement also ignores the illegal flow of weapons to Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza.
  • Signed a 2014 letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry and the administrator USAID, urging the US government to: “Increase the U.S. financial commitment to the reconstruction of Gaza, and ensure that these funds are disbursed immediately to relevant U.N. agencies and non-governmental organizations operational in Gaza”; “Urge Israel to fully lift the blockade on Gaza”; and “Urge Egypt to allow full freedom of movement through the Rafah crossing.” The letter ignores Israel’s legitimate security concerns regarding restrictions on Gaza.
  • During the 2012 Gaza war, CWS submitted an appeal to raise $100,000, claiming that the “Israeli military offensive” continues to be “categorized by poverty, unemployment, forced displacement, lack of access to basic goods and services, impeded freedom of movement, aid dependency, food insecurity, confiscation and inadequate access to healthcare, education, jobs and markets.” This biased and distorted picture of the conflict furthers a Palestinian narrative of victimization. The CWS appeal supported ACT Alliance members including Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Christian Aid (UK), the Middle East Council of Churches/Department of Service to Palestine Refugees (MECC/DSPR), International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), and DanChurchAid (DCA). According to the appeal, “DCA is heading ACT member efforts for advocacy work to promote a global discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
  • President and CEO Rev. John McCullough signed the January 2013 letter to President Obama, calling on the “[a]dministration to play a catalytic role in the resolution of this conflict.” He also signed a 2005 letter to President Bush alleging that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become a threat to the people of the United States.”
  • Middle East Regional Coordinator Steve Weaver wrote a 2009 article, “We are captive and slowly suffocating,” alleging that “the 22-day assault that ended early this year [which] was only the most recent, although especially brutal, chapter in a longer context of occupation and blockade” of Gaza.
  • In November 2006, CWS led a delegation of African-American religious leaders to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, where they met with local religious and government leaders. A summary of their trip is published on the website of the “US Campaign to End the Occupation,” which quoted Church World Service Board Representative Dr. Belletech Deressa of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as stating: “This crisis is different to me than any other one. I always thought that yes, there is a difference between the Palestinians and the Jews; yes, there is animosity. But now I realize that it is worse than racism and worse than apartheid. I don’t really have a word for it.” (emphasis added)

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