©Wendell Griffen, 2024

I am a public theologian, pastor in the religion of Jesus, retired jurist, legal scholar, activist for peace and justice, and cultural competency and inclusion consultant who has written and spoken publicly about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.[1] I now offer my latest and most extensive judgment about the impact of the hateful faith of U.S./Jewish Zionism, white supremacy, racism, Anglo-European imperialism, settler colonialism, apartheid, genocide, and xenophobia on Palestinians, other people of African descent in Palestine and Israel, and on the Muslims, Christians, and persons of other faiths in the region of Africa between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea that is called “the Holy Land.”

The United States government has invested over $150 billion in foreign aid to Israel since 1948. Israel has used that money to arm its military and depopulate indigenous Palestinians from Palestine, Zionist Christian and Jewish settler colonies in Palestine, state-sponsored assaults against Palestinians in Jerusalem, the Israeli occupied West Bank, and Gaza.

 Over 29,000 Palestinians, most of them unarmed and defenseless women and children, have been killed by Israeli assaults in Gaza, since October 7, 2023. Countless other persons are buried under the rubble of demolished churches, mosques, synagogues, residential dwellings, hospitals, schools, and other structures due to the ongoing Israeli genocide against Gaza that is enabled by the United States.

           Yet, the United States has cast votes on three occasions in the UN Security Council to veto resolutions calling for immediate bilateral ceasefire in Gaza.

THEREFORE, I call on prophetic people to take the following positions. 

1.    Condemnation of U.S. support for and to the apartheid State of Israel. We should deplore, denounce, and condemn United States diplomatic, economic, military, and other support to and funding for the apartheid State of Israel from its inception.

2.    Call for end to all U.S. governmental aid to Israel. We should call for the immediate end to all U.S. governmental aid to Israel.

3.    Demand that the United States vote for a UN resolution calling for an immediate bilateral ceasefire. We should demand that the United States vote in favor of a resolution in the United Nations Security Council calling for an immediate bilateral unconditional ceasefire by all parties to the ongoing Israeli war against Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, and for the safe unconditional release and return of all hostages held by Hamas and Israel.

4.    Demand that funding be restored to UNRWA. We should demand that funding be immediately restored to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for humanitarian assistance and welfare relief for displaced Palestinians refugees from Gaza, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

5.    Demand that the U.S. withdraw opposition to South Africa’s Petition in the International Court of Justice charging Israel with genocide. We should demand that the United States withdraw its opposition to the Petition of the Republic of South Africa which accuses the State of Israel with genocide against the Palestinian population of Gaza.

6.    Demand that the United States formally recognize East Jerusalem, the Israeli-occupied West Bank Territories, and Gaza as the independent sovereign State of Palestine. We should demand that the United States formally recognize Palestine as an independent State, and support the admission of Palestine as a free and independent sovereign state before the United Nations.

7.    Demand for reparations through United Nations diplomatic, security, economic, and cultural relief to the State of Palestine from the United States, United Kingdom, Israel, and their allies in genocide, depopulation, settler colonialism, land and mineral theft, and apartheid in Palestine. Conditioned on acceptance by and cooperation from indigenous leaders from the State of Palestine, and as reparations for almost a century of Zionist-inspired and U.S. funded and outfitted white supremacist violence against Palestinians and other persons of African descent in Palestine and Gaza, we should demand that the United Nations establish and administer a temporary diplomatic, security, economic, and cultural presence in Palestine tasked with the following mission:

(i)             to support the right of Palestinians to sovereignty, security, restoration, return to their homes, villages, and neighborhoods;

(ii)            to coordinate the safe release, recovery, and return of all persons who are detained or otherwise held hostage by Hamas and the Israeli regime; and

(iii)          to cooperate in demanding, procuring, and distributing reparations to the free and independent State of Palestine in an amount equal to the monetary value of all funding, weapons, munitions, other materiel support, and diplomatic support provided to Israel by the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and other Nations during its almost 76-year scheme of settler colonialism, white supremacy, Christian and Jewish Zionism, mass murder, and land and mineral theft from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

8.    Demand an end to Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, West Bank territories, and Gaza. We should demand that the Israeli regime immediately thereafter withdraw all civilian, military, and intelligence security personnel and forces from East Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank, and Gaza, and that the United Nations supply a security force, with the advice and consent of the State of Palestine, to ensure the security of Palestine and protect Palestinians from settler and other Israeli-U.S. sponsored and subsidized violence.

9.    Demand that Israel and the United States be prosecuted for war crimes in the International Court of Justice. We should demand that the United States and Israel be prosecuted in the International Court of Justice for mass murder, starvation, land theft, depopulation, genocide, atrocities, unlawful detainment, and other war crimes committed against Palestinians in Gaza, the Occupied West Bank Territories, and East Jerusalem. 

Admonition to U.S. President Joseph R. Biden. We should also remind President Biden that during his lifetime, another U.S. president who worshipped the gods of bloodlust, imperialism, domination, and subjugation of indigenous people, suffered damage to his legacy. Despite his success in securing passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, by 1968, public disgust surrounding U.S. atrocities and warfare in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, forced Lyndon Johnson to abandon efforts for reelection, and ended his political career.

 Similarly, President Biden needs to know that people who care about love, justice, and peace are disgusted by U.S. complicity in oppression in all its forms. South African liberation theologian Allan Aubrey Boesak is right. The wrongs we see are not just happening; they are caused to happen, and they are happening to… God’s children who are vulnerable, targeted, and excluded from human consideration. They are not happening randomly, they are deeply systemic, deliberately built into systems of oppression, domination, and dehumanization. And we must not be afraid to say it. [Allan Aubrey Boesak, Pharaohs on Both Sides of the Blood-Red Waters, (Cascade Books, 2017), page 81, italics added] 

 I am disgusted by the Biden administration’s complicity in the starvation, mass murders, collective punishment, destruction of housing, and calculated assaults on life support and infrastructure systems in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

 My disgust grows minute by minute as I and the rest of the world view live footage of starving, dismembered, unhoused, sickened, and grief-torn Palestinian men, women, and children.

 As the 2024 presidential election approaches, I refuse to conceal my disgust about the Biden administration’s support and supply to the orgy of Israeli violence that is killing, poisoning, starving, scarring, and destroying Palestinian Muslims, Christians, persons of other faiths, and persons of no faith.

Finally, I offer this this admonition to President Biden and others who claim to love God, whatever their faith may be, while being complicit in state-sponsored injustice by Israel and the United States against people of African descent in Palestine, across Africa, in the United States, and elsewhere throughout the African diaspora. At best, their claims of allegiance to God, and especially to the gospel of Jesus, are woefully misguided. At worst, such claims are manifestly counterfeit.

Any assertion that the divine imperatives of love, justice, hospitality, generosity, and peace are being followed by people who condone racist bigotry, white supremacy, settler colonialism, land and mineral theft, depopulation, genocide, apartheid, and mistreatment of vulnerable persons is not only specious. Such claims amount to moral and ethical nonsense.

The land that was called Palestine for more than two thousand years before May 15, 1948, is located on the continent of Africa. I am a follower of Jesus and faith leader to people with deep painful knowledge about the ways the “Hateful Faithful” hijack the gospel of Jesus and fraudulently use Christian identity to disguise white supremacy, Anglo-European paternalism, bigotry, discrimination, militarized authoritarianism, greed, and lust for empire. I will not betray the gospel of Jesus and become a counselor to, and a cheerleader for, the Biden administration of the U.S. empire as it murders, maims, robs, poisons, and torments other siblings in the family of God, in the United States, across the African diaspora, Palestine, and elsewhere in the world.

 Allan Boesak is right. The time for pious words is over.

 February 22, 2024

Chicago, Illinois, USA


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