News Revelations

Christian Broadcasting Network links Tel Aviv attack to BDS

Israelis light candles near the site of a Palestinian shooting attack in Tel Aviv, Israel, June 9, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Baz Ratner *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CBN-TELAVIV, originally transmitted on June 10, 2016.

(RNS) The Christian Broadcasting Network said Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists share blame for the shooting that killed four Israelis in Tel Aviv, saying in a statement condemning the attack that the movement encourages “violent anti-semitism.”

Two Palestinian gunmen opened fire Wednesday (June 8) in a trendy shopping and dining market, killing two women and two men and wounding six others. It was the deadliest single incident in Israel since an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue in November 2014 killed five people.

CBN, the broadcasting organization launched by televangelist Pat Robertson, issued a statement Thursday condemning the violence, mourning the deaths of those who were killed and saying it stands with Israel.

It also linked the shooting to the movement that encourages boycotts, divestment and sanctions as a way to pressure Israel to give up territories it occupied in the 1967 war.

“This latest terrorist attack is a direct result of incitement within the Palestinian community in the West Bank and points to the encouragement of violent anti-semitism by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement,” the statement said.

BDS activists describe their movement as a peaceful effort, inspired by the anti-apartheid campaigns against South Africa.

The CBN statement comes as mainline Protestant denominations have increasingly been asked to consider sanctions put forward by BDS activists, with mixed results.

The United Church of Christ in 2015 and the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2014 both voted to divest from companies they consider complicit in the occupation. By contrast, the Episcopal Church has rejected such efforts, and the United Methodist Church General Conference recently recommended the denomination cut ties with a group founded to end the Israeli occupation.

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“Every act of aggression against the Jewish people will only fortify our resolve to support their right to have a Jewish State in the land of their forefathers,” CBN said in its statement.

The gunmen in Wednesday’s shooting came from near Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups have praised it.

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

About the author

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.


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  • If the policies and actions of the Nation of Israel were described only as Nation-A, with no religious mantel, I believe those policies and actions would be condemned by a sizable majority of Americans. I suspect at the heart of US support for Israel is an attempt to buy insurance for the “End Times.” Many laws, policies, and practices in the United States are crafted to fit within the Christian Milieu. The vaunted “seven-decade bipartisan pro-Israel consensus” and steadfast support of Israeli policies (no matter how odious they may be) is inexorably linked to the premise we’re backing the winner at Armageddon… so much for the separation of Church & State

  • Pat Robertson can go kiss my posterior. He is not a friend of Israel and is as anti-semitic as they come

    [Robertson] Thinks of Jews as “spiritually deaf” and “spiritually blind.” In the end times, Robertson believes, Jews will be brought in as “offerings to the Lord.” He predicts mass conversions of Jews to Christianity, and toward this end, Robertson built a Christian radio station in Lebanon to beam the Gospel into the Jewish state, which Fundamentalists believe will eventually be inherited by Christians. For the present, Jews occupy the land as caretakers.
    http://www.publiceye dot org/ifas/fw/9405/antisemitism.html

  • Guess what, many Israelis, Jews and sympathizers also disagree with many of the policies concerning the Palestinians. But unlike BDS, they don’t make arguments against the existence of Israel, ridiculously glorify the Palestinians side of the conflict, use deliberately inflammatory language, or recycle old Arab League propaganda tropes. BDS does absolutely nothing for the Palestinians at all.

  • Ohferpete’ssake. Political Pat and his CBN cronies are being ridiculous. BDS does not carry any responsibility for attacks in Israel.

    It’s true that many Israelis and Jews around the world feel as sickened at Netanyahu’s election as Americans felt about GWB. I am acquainted with several people who are opposed to the way Israel treats the Palestinians. They are also opposed to Palestinian attacks on israel. It’s not an either/or belief. It’s both/and. 2 states.

    My personal sense is that the biggest obstacle to peace is Netanyahu and his flat opposition to 2 states and the Palestinian terrorists because, well, they’re terrorists.

  • Hard to say if BDS played a role, but, we have documented a three fold increase in anti-Antisemitism in communities that have increased Muslim immigration including correlation to increased Muslim student enrollment…. regarding the Middle East, it should be noted that BDS activists and other ultra-left wing advocated are one of the main victims of Arab terrorism… this includes the murder of the BGU Professor in the recent terrorist attack.