This is the third commentary on Jim Wallis’s book, God’s Politics, written in 2005. It specifically refers to the chapter ‘Against Impossible Odds’ (chapter 11).
The Reverend Jim Wallis is a leader figure in Christian politics in America. He has been categorised as a “public theologian”, a liberation theologian, a preacher, a “faith-based activist” and suchlike. He is closely connected to the Democratic Party and is even the personal friend of our very own Gordon Brown (as well as being a friend of Michael Lerner – the Jewish “anti-Zionist”).
“Israel is not an apartheid state… Arab citizens of Israel can vote and serve in the Knesset; black South Africans could not vote until 1994. There are no laws in Israel that discriminate against Arab citizens or separate them from Jews… South Africa had a job preservation policy for white people; Israel had adopted pro-Arab affirmative action measure in some sectors. Israelis schools, universities and hospitals make no distinction between Jews and Arabs.”
– Rhoda Kadalie and Julia Bertelsmann, two black South African women (March 2008, Z-Word.com)
[Note: This is a comment about Israel itself, rather than the situation in the West Bank and Gaza. However, many Western Leftists, as well as Muslims, don’t distinguish the two cases. And that’s usually because they haven’t distinguished the two cases in their own minds either.]
Jim Wallis makes the explicit statement, about Palestine, that
“the more I saw, the more it reminded me of apartheid in South Africa.” (173)
That is an extremely disingenuous comment because he visited Palestine knowing full well that the situation in Palestine had been repeatedly compared to apartheid South Africa. More than that. He says himself that he went to the West Bank and Gaza specifically to see if it was as bad as South Africa. So he believed that Israel was an “apartheid state” before he visited the area. And he believed it during his time there. Indeed he went specifically to back-up his pre-existing belief that Israel was an “apartheid state”. Everything he says about his visit should be seen from the context of his already believing Israel to practice apartheid against the Palestinians.
At one point Jim Wallis even has the audacity to claim that the situation in Palestine is worse than that which existed in South Africa before the end of apartheid. He says that, unlike in Gaza and the West Bank, at least
“South Africans could still visit their mothers or join their buddies to play soccer, and generally to move freely around the country” (174).
Really? Apart from this being an outrageous slur against Israel, I thought that these sorts of things were precisely the sorts of things South African blacks couldn’t do in that old regime. That’s what we were repeatedly told by people very much like Jim Wallis. But now, in order to score another point against Israel, he even suggests that black South Africans could “move freely around the country” – unlike Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. What about the South African “sus laws”? It’s amazing what anti-Zionists will say in order to demean Israel. Hell this man elsewhere even offers us outright lies in order to do that job. (See the later comment on the killing of Mohammed Dura.)
Apart from all that, did black South Africans indulge in numerous terrorist attacks? No. Did they fire numerous rockets into government areas or even white suburbs? No. Did they call for the annihilation of the South African state? No. They wanted to be a part of that state.
On a lesser scale, is it really true (is anything this man says true?) that Israelis stop all Palestinians from visiting their mothers and also stop all Palestinians from playing soccer? I don’t think so. What’s more, I don’t think that Jim Wallis thinks so either. He is, instead, simply “lying for justice”, which is what many leftists do – especially when it come to the Israel-Palestine situation.
Jim Wallis Lies About the Killing of a Palestinian Boy
The worst part of Jim Wallis’s account of Israel is when he appears to blatantly lie about a specific event which occurred during the 2000 intifada. He tells us this:
“[the] Israeli military shot and killed twelve-year-old Mohammed Dura in his father’s arms as they cowered in fear against a wall in Gaza, the powerful images went around the world.” (176)
Now, Wallis wrote this in 2005. However, it has been widely known, as well as accepted by all sorts of individuals and groups, that it was probably the case - or even very likely to have been the case! - that Mohammed Dura was shot by Palestinians! This take on the event was confirmed by German ARD Television, amongst many others, at the time. Not only that. It came to be known that film of the event was both censored and manipulated by the Palestinians to make it look as if the Israelis had killed him. Above and beyond all that is the fact that numerous commentators also think that the killing was stage-managed by the Palestinians themselves. Again, absolutely none of this is mentioned by the Reverend Jim Wallis.
So why, five years after all this contradictory information was evidenced, did Jim Wallis explicitly state that the Israelis were responsible for the death of this boy without even a hint that there have been many other takes on the event?
One thing Wallis says on this is true. This event certainly “went around the world”. That is, the censored and doctored images went around the world. The anti-Israeli propaganda went around the world. And it had such a big impact that Jim Wallis himself appears to have lied about it five years after the event actually occurred!
A Peace Movement in Palestine?
Here’s another fact Jim Wallis disregards. He tells us about the deaths of Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndull (page 178). These people were classed, by Wallis (plus many others!), as “peace activists”. They weren’t peace activists at all. They only believed that Israel should be peaceful. Not Palestinians.
Wallis does tell us that both of them belonged to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). He doesn’t tell us that this group is a far-leftist (broadly Trotskyist) movement that believes not only in Palestinian violence against Israel, but also in the violence committed by all sorts of Islamist and even non-Islamist terrorist groups. They also believe in violent revolution and violent direct action against “capitalism” and whatnot. How could they not believe in violence, not “peace” – most of them, perhaps all, are revolutionary leftists? They don’t believe in peace in the abstract. They believe in Israeli peace. Actually, they also only believe in the peace of all “Western capitalist democracies”. Hell, there are even easily-available photos of members of the ISM posing with guns with Palestinians terrorists with big smiles on their faces (the Trotskyist ISM smiling, that is).
Perhaps we are not told these inconvenient facts about the ISM because Jim Wallis himself not only sympathises with - and directly supports - their defence of Palestinians, but also their Leftist take on all the events and history of the Palestine and Israel conflict. He is, after all, a believer in “liberation theology”. He is a self-confessed “progressive” (leftist) who is open about his support for the Democratic Party, the UK Labour Party, and a whole host of other movements far more left-wing than the Democrats or New Labour.