Saturday, May 23, 2015

Methodist boycott of the Holocaust Museum?

Janet Lahr Lewis’ angry, uninformed and insensitive screed on the Palestinian “nakba” is attracting the wrong sort of attention, apparently, and has been removed from the online weekly newsletter of the Methodist’s  General Board of Church and Society.

Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy in Washington, D.C. and author of Methodism and Politics in the Twentieth Century writes in the American Spectator:

Maybe the Methodist “missionary” and “peace with justice” advocate will explain what she means by “ongoing Palestinian Holocaust” in her next column. Except the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society has evidently deleted her last “holocaust” column, whether from shame or prudence. This Capitol Hill agency routinely demonizes Israel and for years has been trying to persuade its denomination to divest from Israel. But apparently it’s not ready to embrace openly a call to boycott the Holocaust Museum

Removing an absurd and disgusting column without public comment is not sufficient. This agency that represents United Methodism’s political witness to Congress should apologize. Its staff and board members should conduct a group visit to the nearby Holocaust Museum to be reminded why the Nazi murders of the Jews has special ranking in human depravity.

Janet Lahr Lewis's essay had  urged a boycott of Holocaust museums, in light of the "ongoing Palestinian holocaust", writing:

Don’t participate in Holocaust Remembrance Day without participating in Al Nakba Remembrance Day. Don’t visit a Holocaust museum until there is one built to remember the other holocausts in the world: the on-going Palestinian holocaust, the Rwandan, the Native American, the Cambodian, the Armenian… You could be waiting a long time!

With this comment.  "peace activist" Janet Lahr Lewis has placed herself squarely in the company of anti-Semites, Holocaust minimizers and deniers.
Holocaust denial and Holocaust minimization  is Antisemitism
Read Mark Tooley's full article here


Media Watchdog CAMERA writes about it here, in a post by Dexter van Zile:
Methodist Staffer Demonizes Israel, Reveals Ignorance

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good biographical material on Janet Lahr Lewis here, at

Note: 12 years working for Naim Ateek of Sabeel.

Janet Lahr Lewis is a professional anti-Israel activist who (according to her bio) worked for Sabeel's main office in Jerusalem for 10 years and has since served as the executive director of Friends of Sabeel for two years, in which position she runs their international outreach operations. She has also achieved a level of prominence within the United Methodist Church, which is the largest mainline Protestant denomination in the U.S.

Her UMC profile lists her as the UMC "liaison between ecumenical groups and Israel and Palestine"... Janet is the main contact for ... United Methodist visitors who wish to follow the recommendation of the General Conference to spend a significant amount of time in the area with (Israeli and Palestinian) Christians." In other words, the United Methodist Church has installed a strident anti-Israel activist as their primary contact person for groups wishing to conduct fact-finding tours of Israel and the Palestinian territories under church aegis. (More here in this piece on Sabeel)

Lewis, who worked as a civil engineer and "troubleshooter" at a Old Cast Stone Products in Thompson, OH, says she received a calling on a visit to "the Holy Land". According to the bio she posts on the official website for United Methodist missionaries:

“After taking a typical Holy Land tour and seeing the devastating consequences of the ongoing illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, I experienced not only a ‘call’, but rather an undeniable ‘push’ to go back to that not-so-holy land and do whatever I could to help bring about ‘freedom for the oppressed,’” Janet recalls. She sold her house in the U.S. and volunteered for several years, first in the Galilee, then Bethlehem where she “lived with my neighbors under the heavy hand of injustice and military occupation.”

I'm not sure how that bio corresponds to the more than 12 years working directly for Naim Ateek at Sabeel, but, putting that aside, the main point is clear: she is the most senior United Methodist missionary in Israel and she is an outspoken partisan for the Palestinians against Israel.