The Warnock Church belongs to the coalition that wants to end military aid to Israel

Georgia Dem has a history of anti-Israel rhetoric

Senator Raphael Warnock (D., Georgia)

Alana Goodman • November 17, 2022 11:00 am

Democratic Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock’s church, where he serves as senior pastor and CEO, belongs to a coalition of far-left congregations calling for an end to US military aid to Israel.

The Ebenezer Baptist Church of Warnock is listed as a member of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, a left-leaning Baptist faith group that has been a vocal critic of the Jewish state. The senator delivered the keynote address to the PNBC’s annual conference last year, where he passed a resolution accusing Israel of “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing”.

Warnock’s affiliation with the PNBC comes nearly two years after he was criticized by the Jewish community for signing a statement, released by the same organization, that compared Israel to apartheid South Africa. In response to the controversy, Warnock’s campaign said he supports US-Israeli relations and “opposes the end of direct military aid to such a powerful ally”.

Despite Warnock’s own history of anti-Israel statements, such as accusing Israel of shooting unarmed Palestinians “like birds of prey,” he pivoted on the 2020 election campaign and positioned himself as a supporter of the Jewish state. But his church’s continued membership of the PNBC – and Warnock’s decision to headline its annual gathering last year – could reignite questions about his views.

Danielle Repass, press secretary for the Republican Party of Georgia, told the Free Washington Beacon that Warnock’s involvement in the group is consistent with its “relentless history of anti-Israel speech”.

“Time and time again, Raphael Warnock proves that he is hopelessly out of touch with Georgians,” Repass said.

Warnock served as chair of the PNBC’s social justice committee until 2018, according to the group’s newsletter. The organization has been pushing the US government to cut off military aid to Israel since at least 2019.

The PNBC took an even tougher stance at its annual conference Warnock attended last year, issuing a resolution that denounced “Israel’s long and violent history of ethnic cleansing throughout Palestine” and called for “recognizing the reality that Israel is an apartheid state”. , which practices separate but unequal treatment of Palestinians and denies Palestinian human rights. »

“Therefore, be it resolved that the Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc. call for the immediate end of all U.S. military funding to Israel,” the PNBC said, according to a copy of the resolution.

The PNBC said it would establish a “Palestinian solidarity campaign” among its member churches and develop an “action plan” to “end Israel’s military occupation of Palestine”.

The resolution also endorsed the Kairos Document, issued by Palestinian Christian leaders in 2009 with the aim of recruiting churches into a global anti-Israel boycott campaign. The document defends Palestinian terrorism as “legal resistance” and calls for a “system of economic sanctions and boycott to be applied against Israel”.

Warnock was criticized in his last election for signing a National Council of Churches statement along with other clergy, which said Israel’s policy in the West Bank was “reminiscent” of apartheid South Africa. The PNBC adopted the same statement as a resolution at its 2019 conference, which also included a call to cut military aid, the Jewish insider reported.

During a 2018 sermon, Warnock also accused Israel of “pulling[ing] shoot down unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey. »

The senator tried to distance himself from those comments during his 2020 campaign, saying through a spokesperson that “the reservations he has expressed about settlement activity do not change his strong support for Israel and his belief in its security – which is exactly why he opposes the direct end.” military aid to such a powerful ally. »

Jerry B. Hatch