The World Council of Churches (WCC) is training volunteers to promote boycotts of Israel and engage in antisemitic rhetoric, with funding from several Western governments and the EU, as well as support from the United Nations, a new report by research institute NGO Monitor has found.
The WCC flagship project, Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) – has sent 1,800 “ecumenical accompaniers” from around the world to serve as observers in the West Bank and Jerusalem over the past 15 years, and aim to have 25 to 30 of these unofficial observers on the ground at all times. This is the only program of this kind run by the WCC.
The stated goal of EAPPI observers is “accompanying, offering protective presences and witness…monitoring and reporting human rights abuses…standing with local peace and human rights groups…and advocacy.”
The volunteers receive 10 days of training at the start of the program, and at the end, there is a two-day debriefing, which includes “tips for public speaking and advocacy.”
This advocacy includes recounting what they saw “to open the eyes of their communities, churches and governments to the realities of the occupation,” the EAPPI says, and is meant to spark “international action for change.”
The WCC calls itself the broadest organized group of churches, and says it seeks to represent 350 member churches in 110 countries and 500 million Christians throughout the world. Its website says that the group’s goal is Christian unity.