Peace-loving Mennonites buy dinner for the new Haman

News item:

The president of the United Nations General Assembly is expected to attend a dinner in New York organized by five American Christian organizations at which Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will be a featured guest…

The private dinner is being billed as “an international dialogue between religious leaders and political figures” in a conversation “about the role of religions in tackling global challenges and building peaceful societies.” It is being sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee [MCC], the Quaker United Nations Office, the World Council of Churches, Religions for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee. — Jewish Daily Forward

This is not the first time that the Mennonite Central Committee — a relief and social action organization representing the Mennonites and several other denominations — has sponsored a meeting with Ahmadinejad.

Keep in mind that Ahmadinejad has

  • Called for the state of Israel to be ‘wiped off the map’
  • Said (several times) that the ‘Zionist regime’ is on the verge of destruction
  • Hosted a holocaust denial conference; he himself has called the Holocaust a “fairy tale”
  • Financed and armed the terrorists of Hezbollah and Hamas who have killed hundreds of Jews and Israelis
  • Financed and supplied a huge military buildup in Syria, including chemical and biological weapons — all aimed at Israel

The fact that he does this while aggressively developing nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them makes him more than a garden-variety bigot. A principled reaction — especially for a group ostensibly dedicated to non-violence and peace like the MCC — to a head of state like Ahmadinejad would be to denounce him, to urge his quarantine from the society of peace-loving nations, and to call for real sanctions against Iran, strong enough to topple Ahmadinejad’s regime.

Instead, they are buying him dinner.

Unfortunately, the MCC has a long history of one-sided anti-Israel expression, uncritical adoption of the most virulent slanders against the state, and even explicit denial of Israel’s right to exist. It ‘partners’ with groups such as the Sabeel ‘Ecumenical Liberation Theology’ Center and the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, and other extreme anti-Zionist organizations. Legitimizing the anti-Semitic Ahmadinejad is only a continuation of a policy that does not believe that there should be a Jewish state of Israel.

Here in our valley we have many Mennonite Christians, who have a reputation as honest, kind and hardworking people. I have two questions for them:

  • How can you support (if indeed you do support) the MCC’s action which legitimizes an anti-Semitic fanatic who threatens a second Holocaust while denying the first one?
  • How can you countenance the participation of the MCC and its ‘partners’ in the promulgation of vicious lies and distortions against the state of Israel, a propaganda campaign designed to lay the groundwork for its physical destruction?

The original Haman gets his just desserts

The original Haman gets his just desserts

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4 Responses to “Peace-loving Mennonites buy dinner for the new Haman”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    Ahmadinejad in his U.N. speech took a page from the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ and accused the Zionists. i.e. the Jews, of controlling world finance and world government. So the Christian groups that sit down with him are in effect giving sanction to the worst blood- libel of all, the one which was used by the Nazis in the propaganda by which they justified genocide.
    These Christian groups having heard Ahmadinejad call for the destruction of Israel are knowingly giving sanction and respect to the would be destroyer of Israel.
    They are phony hypocrites who instead of contributing to Peace as they pretend are really giving support to a would- be mass- murderer.

  2. jlkroe says:

    I actually think it might be productive for everyone interested to attend this upcoming forum. There is NO ONE with “clean hands” in this history:

    West Coast MCC has received word from constituents with serious concerns regarding MCC’s participation in a meeting with Iran ’s President Ahmadinejad on September 25. In response to these concerns, MCC is hosting an open public forum:

    Wednesday, October 1
    2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
    Fresno Pacific University ‘s Ashley Auditorium

    The purpose of this public conversation is twofold:

    1. To enable members of the Fresno Christian community to come together to listen to MCC discuss its reasons for engaging in dialogue with President Ahmadinejad

    2. To provide a forum for community members to express questions and concerns about this meeting

    The intent is to provide a safe space in which community members can listen to and learn from each other and to allow MCC to better understand why these meetings have been troubling to some even as it describes what led to the decision to engage in them in the first place.

    Robb Davis, former MCC Executive Director will be present to explain how MCC came to the decision to engage in dialogue with the president of Iran . Other MCC representatives will include Sheri Plett Wiedenhoefer, Executive Director of West Coast MCC; Laura Schmidt Roberts, vice chair of the MCC Board; and Bill Braun , chair of the West Coast MCC board.

    Please extend this invitation to anyone who is interested in this issue. We are eager to hear from those who care about MCC and about the impact of our work.

    Thank you for your prayers as we listen to God’s Spirit together and continue to minister “In the Name of Christ.”

  3. Debra says:

    Mennonite Central Committee’s has answered some of these questions and also attempted to explain the Christian motivation behind these meetings on the web pages. Some links are below if you want to check them out.

    Questions and Answers:
    http://mcc.org/iran/meetings2008/qa.html

    Article on the Sept. 25 dialogue:
    http://mcc.org/news/news/article.html?id=395

  4. jlkroe says:

    Here is another MCC Press Release on the meeting:
    http://tinyurl.com/4shan7