While most Israelis celebrated 67 years of independence last week, a fringe Israeli non-governmental organization (NGO) hopes this year will be the last for the Jewish state. Zochrot, a tiny radical anti-Zionist group, was established with the aim of “rais[ing] public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba (“Catastrophe” in Arabic)” and “recognizing and materializing the right of return,” an agenda equivalent to calling for the abolishment of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. With no local support base or constituency, Zochrot operates only through generous funding from a coterie of foreign Christian aid organizations.
Using church funds, Zochrot promotes a “de-Zionized Palestine,” meaning free of Jews. The group’s founder, Eitan Bronstein, advocates for Jews to abandon Israel en masse. He dreams of a time “when the refugees return, Jews will become a minority in the country… There may be Jews, most of them of European origin, who won’t be able to adjust to a non-Zionist reality, and prefer to use their other passport to move elsewhere.”
These charities, both Catholic and Protestant, receive funding grants from their respective governments, mostly European. The charities are Bischoefliches Misereor (Germany), Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Christian Aid (U.K.), Finn Church Aid (Finland), HEKS-EPER (Switzerland), ICCO (Netherlands), Trócaire (Ireland), the Mennonite Central Committee (Canada), and the United Church of Canada (Canada).
That these Christian groups support the abolishment of Jewish Israel is deeply troubling.
Following the Holocaust, a number of the world’s leading Christian theologians began a comprehensive reconsideration of Christianity’s attitudes toward Jews and Judaism.
Yet in the last two decades, some churches have partnered with anti-Israel activists to reverse these theological reforms, by introducing a “Palestinian liberation theology”—a fusion of Palestinian nationalism and Christian theology. This ideology seeks to undermine Jewish claims, religious or historical, to sovereignty in any and all parts of the Land of Israel.