Wiesenthal Center Denounces Churches’ Senior Middle East Executive Interview With Extremist American Free Press

November 14, 2012

The Simon Wiesenthal Center calls upon the United Church of Christ (UCC) and the Disciples of Christ to dismiss Dr. Peter Makari, their shared executive for Middle East ministries. Dr. Makari gave a long interview recently for a well-known extremist group, the American Free Press.

“For a senior official of a church pledged to Biblical justice to conduct business with an extremist racist and anti-Semitic entity is an act of theological infidelity and a slap in the face to minorities and the Jewish community," charged Rabbis Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein, Associate Dean and Director of Interfaith Affairs of the major Jewish NGO.

American Free Press (AFP) is regarded as the successor to the now defunct Liberty Lobby’s Spotlight. Willis Carto, one of America’s most notorious racists, is a founder of both. Carto is also the founder of the Holocaust-denying Institute For Historical Review. Some of the books that have been offered for sale by the AFP include The Judas Goats: The Enemy Within (details governmental infiltration of the American nationalist movement at the behest of “the alien force of international political Zionism”), The Conspiracy of the Six-Pointed Star, El Sicario: The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin, and March of the Titans: A History of the White Race. The AFP site includes this quote in one of their essays: “Israel … is contributing to the unification and activation of the colored world for war against the colonial and other outsiders.”

The interview with Makari concerned a controversial letter sent to all members of Congress by fifteen leaders on the Protestant left seeking to curb United States military assistance to Israel. “Exactly which constituency was Rev. Makari reaching out to through this interview? The Middle East situation and interfaith relations are fragile enough without such a provocation. In the past, churches have dismissed officials more senior than Makari for inappropriate activity. It is time for Makari to go," Center officials concluded.

To speak with Rabbi Adlerstein or for more information, please contact the Wiesenthal Center’s Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).