Background on World Council of Churches, Antisemitism, and BDS Court Case
Today, an Israeli court is considering an appeal from Isabel Phiri, a senior official in the World Council of Churches (WCC) who was denied entry into Israel. NGO Monitor is providing the following essential background on WCC and its “flagship project” Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), which falls under Phiri’s “overall responsibility” according to the WCC:
“Policy-makers and the courts will decide whether Isabel Phiri should be allowed into Israel. But there should be no doubt about the deeply problematic nature of the World Council of Churches, with a long history of antisemitism and anti-Israel hostility,” noted Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Its most grievous sin is EAPPI, for which this is no parallel anywhere in the world and is a vehicle for training BDS activists.”
EAPPI, which brings thousands of volunteers to the West Bank to “witness life under occupation,” receives direct and indirect funding from various European governments and church organizations. EAPPI functions as a training program for aspiring anti-Israel activists, with alumni dedicating their time to spreading BDS, while comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa.
The WCC also engages in a concerted effort to assail the legitimacy of the Jewish State, in clear violation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition on antisemitism.1 WCC endorsed and published a June 2017 letter from the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine, which rejects the Jewish people’s right to political sovereignty and frames the Palestinians as victims of the Holocaust. WCC officials have also labeled pro-Israel Christians as heretics, invoking charged theological terminology.
For more information on EAPPI, see https://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/ecumenical_accompaniment_programme_in_palestine_and_israel_eappi_/.
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, an expert on WCC and EAPPI, is available for interviews. Please contact Daniel Laufer, +972 54 338 1985.