Report: Jerusalem missionary promoting anti-Israel propaganda during Lent

"Instead of advocating goals of religious observance, document promotes contempt for Jewish state, indifference for safety of its citizens," says CAMERA

February 21, 2016 19:04
2 minute read.

Members of the Greek Orthodox clergy wait for the arrival of the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem Metropolitan Theophilos before the Eastern Orthodox Christmas procession outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A leading figure in United Church of Christ branch in Jerusalem has been broadcasting anti-Israel propaganda to Christians in the US during Lent, a media monitoring website reported. 

Dexter Van Zile of CAMERA – the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America – wrote on Friday that pastor and local YWCA communications officer Loren McGrail has published a series of works on Lent that portray the Israeli-Palestinian conflict purely as the “fault of Israel and as if the Palestinians bear no blame or guilt for the violence.”

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McGrail, who is a UCC pastor, has her work supported by Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Church of Scotland. The National YWCA of Palestine works to promote the welfare of women in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In “Breaking Down the Wall: Lenten Reflections,” edited by Rev. McGrail, meant to help with prayers and meditation during the 40-day season of Lent, each chapter includes a poem, or reflection, an article on the Arab-Israeli conflict and “Questions for Reflection.”

In “Reflection 2: Breaking Bread (Holy Thursday),” the document, which took an article published by  Palestinian National News says, that “Jewish extremists are also suspected in the murder of Mohammad Abu Khdeir whom they abducted and burned alive in July 2014 in Jerusalem... Israeli Occupation Authorities claim to start an investigation, but often fail to hold the attackers accountable for their crimes, as in the Dawabsheh case [Duma arson attack], where Israel said that the evidence against the Jewish suspects was ‘not enough’ to try them.”

The document fails to mention however, wrote Van Zile, that in the Abu Khdeir case the attackers were indicted and two of them were even convicted.

In another example of the editor’s attempt to demonize Israel, in the chapter “Breaking Spirits,” McGrail fails to mention the terrorist attacks that the security barrier has prevented, instead portraying Israel’s efforts to defend itself as “inherently evil” and not once mentioning Palestinian violence.


He said that the document’s silence about recent stabbings and attacks perpetrated by Palestinian assailants gives readers the impression that the Jewish victims of Palestinian violence are not worthy of Christian concern.

“It is a malign act that comes after years of anti-Israel propagandizing by Global Ministries and the YWCA,” he wrote.
Van Zile asked in his report if these Christian organizations are attempting to “fuse anti-Semitic incitement that permeates Palestinian society with the Christian anti-Semitism that historically has manifested itself on Good Friday?

The answer is clear. “Apparently so,” he wrote.
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