BDS IN THE PEWS
Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
December 11, 2014
- Website: www.eappi.org
- Founded by the World Council of Churches (WCC); WCC continues to fund the project, but neither EAPPI nor the WCC releases financial details, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability (WCC is a major supporter of the anti-Israel divestment campaign.)
- EAPPI emerged from WCC’s Ecumenical Campaign to End the Illegal Occupation of Palestine.
- The organization’s stated mission is “to accompany Palestinians and Israelis in their non-violent actions and concerted advocacy efforts to end the occupation.”
- Volunteers are based in Yanoun, Tulkarm, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron and Jayyous. EAPPI claims that participants in the program, “Ecumenical Accompaniers,” “provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor and report human rights abuses and support Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace.” Often, however, these activities instigate confrontations with Israeli settlers and the Israeli army.
- Consistently demonizes Israel, making accusations of “apartheid,” “war crimes,” and “Bantustans”; calls the security barrier, which has saved countless lives from suicide bombings, “evil.”
- EAPPI’s core publication, “Faith Under Occupation,” jointly published with WCC and the Jerusalem Inter-Church Centre (2012), places sole blame on Israel for the difficulties faced by Christians in the Holy Land. It also seeks to “disprove” what it calls “unfounded Israeli and Christian Zionist propaganda that Palestinian Christians are depopulating due to Muslim fundamentalism in Palestinian society” (page 10).
- EAPPI presents a one-sided Palestinian narrative, participating in activities commemorating the Palestinian “Nakba” (catastrophe) and promoting the “right of return.” The organization ignores terror attacks against Israelis and blames Israel for the conflict. EAPPI frequently uses inflammatory and demonizing rhetoric against Israel and engages in boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns.
- As part of this bias, EAPPI posted a statement in support of the conclusions of the Goldstone report, expressing concern that “there could be a resolution that dilutes the intent and scope of the Goldstone report.” It claimed that “During the Gaza War, civilians on both sides suffered and yet atrocities were significantly higher among the Palestinian population...The people of Gaza have suffered enough, and they deserve a respite in the knowledge that the perpetrators of indiscriminate violence against them will be brought to book.”
- A publication entitled “40 Years of Occupation” included an article advocating illegal and inflammatory activities to “end the occupation” – such as hacking government websites. [This document, Issue 6 of EAPPI’s Chain Reaction magazine, was removed from EAPPI’s website at the beginning of July 2012.]
- Promotes the Kairos Palestine document that calls for BDS against Israel, noting that “These advocacy campaigns must be carried out with courage, openly sincerely proclaiming that their object is not revenge but rather to put an end to the existing evil.”
- In 2014, EAPPI and Finn Church Aid traveled to major university campuses in Finland, alleging that Israel victimizes and discriminates against the Palestinian population and “vindictively persecutes” Palestinian children.
- Regularly engages in international advocacy, lobbying the European Union to impose sanctions on Israel and encouraging churches worldwide to increase “advocacy that might affect their countries’ foreign policy in the Middle East.” In 2013, sought to block the Horizon 2020 program, a mutually beneficial agreement aimed at promoting EU-Israel partnerships in scientific research.
- In 2013, members of EAPPI attended the 10th WCC General Assembly in Busan, South Korea, where EAPPI prepared a “façade designed as the separation wall” through which participants were forced to enter. A former EAPPI observer, disguised as an Israeli soldier, guarded the entrance, forbidding Palestinians to enter. The demonstration ended with a chant of “The wall must fall. The wall must fall” and a symbolic tearing down of the wall.
- When to be 'ecumenical' - and when not, Noru Tsalic, The Times of Israel, June 15, 2014
- Quakers Continue to Boycott Settlement Produce, Quakers in Britain News Release, October 5, 2013
- What are you hiding? NGOs, funding and websites, Naftali Balanson, Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2012
- EAPPI Factsheet, NGO Monitor Factsheets, July 9, 2012