My teeth clenched as I read through the morally derelict companies included on the Presbyterian Church’s 2014 General Assembly divestment list. Of the 41 companies selected for dishonor and shame, none was in the category of “human rights violations.” But following this weekend’s vote and after years of careful planning, the church has finally uncovered its repressed yearning to single out the one human rights violator on this planet.
It’s archetypal, it predates the pyramids and you don’t have to be literate or blessed with vision to understand where this stems from. As a child of a family who survived Europe of the ’30s and ’40s and who grew up with no grandparents, uncles, aunts and few cousins to attend the rare celebratory respites of painful memories, I and too many like me recognize it too well. So do the truly morally conscious.
Ironically, of all the places in the United States for this vote to occur, Detroit was certainly divinely inspired. Its legacy of Henry Ford flutters in history like a Nazi banner. He accepted the Grand Service Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle there, was admired in “Mein Kampf,” and acknowledged by Hitler as an inspiration. Ford’s enthusiasm as a major distributor of painful propaganda, including “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” has been updated and embraced by the Presbyterian Church with their publication of “Zionism Unsettled” (DVD companion included to more effectively target their hostility) and singling out Israel as their only recognized human rights violator.
This is not intended as an affront to their Jewish friends and neighbors, they say? How original; we’ve never heard that before.