“One does not judge a democracy by the way its soldiers immediately react, young men and women under tremendous provocation. One judges a democracy by the way its courts react, in the dispassionate cool of judicial chambers. And the Israeli Supreme Court and other courts have reacted magnificently. For the first time in Mideast history, there is an independent judiciary willing to listen to grievances of Arabs — that judiciary is called the Israeli Supreme Court.”
— Alan Dershowitz3
“The Israeli regime is not apartheid. It is a unique case of democracy.”
— South African Interior Minister Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi5b
We do not want to create a situation like that which exists in South Africa, where the whites are the owners and rulers, and the blacks are the workers. If we do not do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, if we become merely landlords, then this will not be our homeland.6
“There is still one other question arising out of the disaster of nations which remains unsolved to this day, and whose profound tragedy, only a Jew can comprehend. This is the African question. Just call to mind all those terrible episodes of the slave trade, of human beings who, merely because they were black, were stolen like cattle, taken prisoner, captured and sold. Their children grew up in strange lands, the objects of contempt and hostility because their complexions were different. I am not ashamed to say, though I may expose myself to ridicule for saying so, that once I have witnessed the redemption of the Jews, my people, I wish also to assist in the redemption of the Africans.”
The absurdity of the charge is also clear from the demography of the disputed territories. While detractors make outrageous claims about Israel committing genocide or ethnic cleansing, the Palestinian population has continued to explode. In Gaza, for example, the population increased from 731,000 in July 1994 to 1,324,991 in 2004, an increase of 81 percent. The growth rate was 3.8 percent, one of the highest in the world. According to the UN, the total Palestinian population in all the disputed territories (they include Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem) was 1,006,000 in 1950, and rose to 1,094,000 in 1970, and exploded to 2,152,000 in 1990. Anthony Cordesman notes the increase “was the result of improvements in income and health services” made by Israel. The Palestinian population has continued to grow exponentially and was estimated in 2004 at more than 3.6 million.11The view that Zionism is Nazism — there is no other way to understand the phrase “Zionist SS” — is not different in kind from the view that the moon is cheese. It is not only spectacularly wrong, it is also spectacularly unintelligent. I will not offend myself (that would be self-hate speech!) by patiently explaining why the State of Israel is unlike the Third Reich, except to say that nothing that has befallen the Palestinians under Israel's control may responsibly be compared to what befell the Jews under Germany's control, and that a considerable number of the people who have toiled diligently to find peace and justice for the Palestinians, and a solution to this savage conflict, have been Israeli, some of them even Israeli prime ministers. There is no support for the Palestinian cause this side of decency that can justify the locution “Zionist SS.”10
- Coordinated the movement of Palestinians seeking medical care, assisting 40 to go to hospitals, including four patients from Gaza who were transferred to Israel for medical treatment.
- Coordinated the movement of 284 Palestinians in the West Bank who were transferred by ambulance.
- Coordinated the passage of building materials for the construction of a hospital in Kalkilya.
- Coordinated the passage of humanitarian goods to Bethlehem.
- Coordinated entry of ration cards sent by an international aid organization to the residents of Azoun.
- Enabled the distribution of ration cards by the Red Cross in Salfit.
- Coordinated the passage of agricultural produce and food between Muassi and Khan Yunis.
- Coordinated the passage of an UNRWA team in Gaza to aid in the disposal of rubbish.
- Arranged entry into Kalkilya for an Israeli Arab family from East Jerusalem to attend their son’s wedding.
The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular attempts to shield military objects from attacks or to shield, favor or impede military operations.13
"Many people think: The dove is a bird that pursues peace. This belief is incorrect; it is a prejudice: people believe it without checking it. There are a lot of prejudices. For example:1.The Jews control the world and exploit all those who live in it.
2.The blacks are inferior; they are incapable of being scientists.
3.The Arabs only understand the language of force...Be ready to explain orally why these are prejudices." (I Understand, 1993, p.259)
“Israeli hospitals extend humanitarian treatment to Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and West Bank. These efforts continued when all other cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis came to a halt during the most recent intifada.”
— Palestinian obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish35
- In Septemer 1996, Palestinian rioters destroyed a synagogue at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus.
- Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem has been repeatedly attacked since 1996.
- In October 2000, Joseph's Tomb was torched after the Israeli garrison guarding it was temporarily withdrawn. It was subsequently rebuilt as a mosque.
- Also in October 2000, the ancient synagogue in Jericho was destroyed by arson and a second historic synagogue was damaged.
2Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.
2aAlan Dershowitz, The Case for Israel. (NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2003), p. 157.
3Speech to AIPAC Policy Conference, (May 23, 1989).
4Newsview, (March 23, 1982).
5El-Wahda, (Abu Dhabi).
5a"Water Resource Development," USAID West Bank and Gaza
5bHaaretz, (September 23, 2003).
6Shabtai Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs: From Peace to War, (London: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 140.
6aJames Bennet, “Letter from the Middle East; Arab Showplace? Could It Be the West Bank?” New York Times, (April 2, 2003).
7Golda Meir, My Life, (NY: Dell Publishing Co., 1975), pp. 308-309.
8Moshe Decter, To Serve. To Teach. To Leave. The Study of Israel's Development Assistance Program in Black Africa, (NY: American Jewish Congress, 1977), pp. 7-8.
9Meir, p. 306.
10The New Republic, (December 30, 2002).
11Anthony Cordesman, "From Peace to War: Land for Peace or Settlements for War," (DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 15, 2003), pp. 12-13.
12Jerusalem Report, (December 20, 2002).
13Washington Times, (February 20, 2003).
14See, for example, August 2003, Palestinian National Authority Ministry of Finance.
15See, for example, Center for Monitoring the Impact on Peace, Newsletter, (December 2003 and February 2004).
16Center for Monitoring the Impact on Peace, Newsletter, (February 2004).
17Khaled Abu Toameh, “Kaddoumi claims Israel poisoned Arafat,” Jerusalem Post, (March 30, 2005).
18Associated Press, (November 17, 2004).
19John Ward Anderson, “Conspiracy Theories Persist on Arafat's Death, ” Washington Post, (November 18, 2004), p. A36.
20Elisabeth Rosenthal, “Secrecy surrounds diagnosis,” International Herald Tribune, (November 12, 2004).
21Bob Novak, “Hyde fights for overlooked Christians,” Chicago Sun-Times, (April 18, 2005).
22Alex Safian, “New York Times Omits Major Reason Christians are Leaving Bethlehem,” (December 24, 2004), CAMERA.
23“Christians in Palestine Concerned About their future Zenit,” Zenit News Agency, (November 14, 2004).
24Hanan Shlein, Ma'ariv, (December 24, 2001).
25CNN, (April 17, 2002).
26Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, (May 15, 1997).
27Jerusalem Post, (May 23, 2001).
28Palestine News Agency WAFA, (April 28, 2005).
29Al-Quds, (April 27, 2005).
30Endwave Corporation and SafeView, Inc.
31“Human Development Report 2004,” United Nations Development Programme, 2005.
32Jerusalem Post, (June 20, 2005).
33Jerusalem Post, (June 20, 2005); BBC, (June 21, 2005).
34Jerusalem Post, (June 24, 2005).
35Jerusalem Post, (June 24, 2005).
36“PA bulldozers begin razing remaining Gaza synagogues,” Jerusalem Post, (September 12, 2005).
37Herb Keinon, “Cabinet votes not to dismantle Gaza synagogues,” Jerusalem Post, (September 12, 2005).
38Herb Keinon, “Cabinet votes not to dismantle Gaza synagogues,” Jerusalem Post, (September 12, 2005).
39Yoav Stern, “PA to raze synagogues, spokesman says,” Ha’aretz, (September 12, 2005).
40Khaled Abu Toameh, “PA, Hamas defend synagogue razing,” Jerusalem Post, (September 12, 2005).
41“PA bulldozers begin razing remaining Gaza synagogues,” Jerusalem Post, (September 12, 2005).
What the Evangelicals Give the Jews
- Many Jewish voters this November will find themselves at a crossroads: Will they accept their deep disappointment with Barack Obama and vote for his reelection, or will they overcome their own discomfort with Christian evangelicals and vote for the Republican candidate? The irrepressible argument about the appropriate relationship between the Jewish community and Christian conservatives has returned with a vengeance, forcing a fresh response to a fundamental question: Should Jews view our born-again fellow citizens as natural allies or inevitable adversaries?
Now some Evangelicals are turning away from Israel too
will the presbyterians side with the murderers, suicide bombers and terrorists?
Presbyterians Debate Anti-Israel Measures
July 8, 2010
Dear Friend of Israel,
The Presbyterian Church (USA) -- one of the “mainline” Protestant denominations that used to make up the religious establishment in this country -- is once again embroiled in controversy for its stance on Israel. In the past, the denomination was at the forefront of the anti-Israel divestment movement. At its biennial General Assembly the group has considered an array of resolutions and statements harshly critical of Israel.
As I write this, the PCUSA is again holding its General Assembly, and is again considering adopting controversial statements against Israel. On the agenda this year is a report titled “Breaking Down the Walls” by the church’s Middle East Study Committee (MESC). Critics have lambasted the report for legitimizing doubts about Israel’s right to exist, for endorsing a notorious document authored by virulently anti-Israel Palestinian leaders , and for calling on both Iran and Israel to “refrain from nuclear arms proliferation” -- as if peaceful, democratic Israel and bellicose, authoritarian, Israel-hating Iran pose a similar threat to the Middle East.
But the tide may be turning against the anti-Israel faction in the PCUSA. It is significant and heartening to note that more and more people, including Presbyterians, are speaking out against the MESC report. One pastoral letter signed by a number of prominent Presbyterians called the report “unbalanced, historically inaccurate, theologically flawed, and politically damaging.” Guastav Niebuhr, a prominent religion writer and great-nephew of Reinhold Niebuhr, perhaps the preeminent Protestant theologian of the 20th century, said in a blog post co-written with Katharine Henderson that the report “strays from this path to peace-building and instead deals in neatly-assigned roles Israel as oppressor, Palestinians as victims.”
Still, the fact that such resolutions are even considered for approval at all is a sign that the anti-Israel sentiment in mainline Protestant denominations like the PCUSA runs deep. Despite their lessening influence, the decisions made by these denominations do have an effect on public opinion, and can help influence policy. That is why we must continue to hope and pray that their influence diminishes and that the influence of the majority of Christians who love and support Israel continues to rise.
The PCUSA likely won’t make a decision on “Breaking Down the Walls” until their General Assembly ends later this week. But there is much you can do as this denominational debate continues. First, you can stay abreast of these developments on our Stand for Israel blog. If you are a member of a PCUSA congregation, ask your pastor to speak out against this anti-Israel document. Voice your support for Israel in the political realm. And, of course, pray that the world will come to a truer understanding of the dynamics in the Middle East and stand united in support of God’s chosen people.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Letter to the Presbyterian Church (USA) on Middle East Study Committee's "Breaking Down the Walls"
WRITTEN BY CCJR AD HOC COMMITTEE
JUNE 29, 2010
On June 29, 2010 the following letter was approved by supermajority vote of regular members as an official communication of the CCJR concerning a proposal before the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
“Breaking Down the Walls: Report of the Middle East Study Committee to the 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)”
Primary authors, Adam Gregerman and Christopher Leighton,
Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, Baltimore, MD
The Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations, a network of academic and educational organizations that promotes mutual understanding between Jews and Christians, recently assembled a scholarly subcommittee of members to examine the new report, “Breaking Down the Walls,” by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Middle East Study Committee. The MESC report’s authors state that their purpose for writing is to offer “priestly, prophetic, and pastoral” perspectives on conflicts in the Middle East, above all the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (p. 1). It will be voted on at the Church’s General Assembly in July in Minneapolis.
Because of the report’s extensive discussions of religious texts and topics relevant to relations between Jews and Christians, the CCJR has decided to offer a response. This report has already prompted statements from numerous Jewish and Presbyterian groups. While most have dealt primarily with historical and political issues, we focus largely on the theological and exegetical issues that are raised in the report, especially as they relate to trends in Jewish-Christian relations. We also recognize the diversity of views among CCJR members regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and do not evaluate the policy recommendations and historical sections in the report.
Like the authors, we urgently hope to see a speedy and peaceful resolution of this conflict. We express our deep concern for the many on all sides who are suffering. It is appropriate for our religious communities to encourage peacemaking efforts, including constructive engagement by the American government. Neither the Israeli government nor the Palestinian leadership is immune from criticism. Likewise, we expect that foreign organizations and governments, including our own, as well as religious groups will play a responsible role. In particular, we view with dismay interventions by outsiders to ratchet up hostility and violence for their own religious or political ends.
However, we offer a critical evaluation of the MESC report, and identify serious theological and exegetical problems. These include imbalanced or unreliable analyses of religious themes, highly questionable interpretations of biblical passages, and statements reminiscent of traditional Christian anti-Judaism. We believe that this report will harm interfaith relations in the United States and the Middle East, and undermine the prospects for effective negotiations and positive outcomes for all parties.
We have chosen to highlight selected issues that we found especially troubling:
The report’s biblically-based critique of the political decisions of the State of Israel reflects problematic hermeneutical assumptions.
First, without explanation, the report assumes that biblical passages addressed to ancient Israel can be applied to the modern State of Israel. This is evident in the extensive focus on passages under headings such as “Zion” and “Covenant and Land,” chosen for their perceived usefulness in supporting criticism of the political policies of modern Israel (pp. 11, 14-23). However, this is a simplistic and selective analogy between the ancient Israelites and modern Israelis. It ignores the complex issues involved in reapplying millennia-old statements, whether denunciations or affirmations, to later generations of Jews in very different circumstances. We caution against any attempt, by the Presbyterian Church or by other religious groups, to offer a theological evaluation—positive or negative—of the policies of the modern State of Israel through analogy with biblical Israel. The report’s approach is reminiscent of a traditional Christian anti-Jewish perspective, now widely rejected by Western churches, of viewing contemporary Jews as modern versions of biblical Jews, against whom one can reapply biblical critiques of injustice and unfaithfulness. It differs only in its politics from the problematic approach of Christian Zionists and others who reapply biblical promises and affirmations to the modern State of Israel.
Second, also without explanation, the report presents a biblical concept of justice as the dominant theological principle by which to analyze the policies of the State of Israel (pp. 11-27; cf. pp. 38; 59ff.). It is true that justice, though interpreted in diverse ways, is an important biblical and religious value. Nonetheless, the report overlooks or subordinates other, equally relevant theological concepts to justice, which it then uses in a strictly circumscribed fashion. It almost entirely appeals to justice in order to derive a few standards of behavior that can then be applied to modern Jews (but not Palestinians), subsumed under the heading of “[treatment of] others different from ourselves” (p. 13). Again, this approach, emphasizing not only this one principle but just a few specific standards, is highly selective and even biased. What is clear is that it reflects the report’s intention to demonstrate Jews’ failures to fulfill their “covenant responsibilities” because of the actions of the Israeli government (p. 23).
The report is theologically inconsistent. As noted, it often links ancient Israel with the State of Israel in order to reapply biblical critiques to modern Jews. However, without any discussion or exegesis, the report refuses to explore theologically the modern Jewish experience of a (partial) end of exile and the creation of the State. These, the report asserts, should be seen entirely in secular terms and not “validated theologically” as reflections of God’s will (p. 22). Yet this results in a serious tension, and perhaps contradiction in the report. It is logically inconsistent to then criticize the State of Israel for not fulfilling its covenantal (i.e., theological) responsibilities. While denying that the creation of the State reflects divine intentions or is the fulfillment of God’s biblical promises to the Jews, the report insists that actions of the modern State will lead God to punish the Jews (pp. 15, 18). That is, the report implies that God’s involvement in Jewish history is strictly punitive. This furnishes another example of the unacceptability of any theology that simplistically links biblical and contemporary contexts.
A similar inconsistency is found in the report’s almost exclusive emphasis on biblical passages containing divine threats against the Jews, to the exclusion of passages that contain divine promises. For example, the report omits or dramatically de-emphasizes texts that refer to God’s promise of the land to Abraham and his descendants. It says Presbyterians believe “that the ‘land-grant’ to Abraham’s offspring described in Genesis is not so much a matter of ‘rights’ as it is a matter of ‘responsibilities’” (p. 18). Without explanation or interpretation, the report simply endorses this one-sided perspective on a complex biblical tradition, elevating threat above promise. It also misreads key passages to derive sharply critical meanings for modern Jews. For example, the citations of passages supposedly illustrating God’s warnings to Jews “about the potential loss of the promises [of the land] through deeds of injustice” misrepresent what the texts actually declare (p. 18, referring to Genesis 18:19; Leviticus 25:23-24, 38).
The report expresses disappointment that the creation of the State of Israel did not fulfill biblical hopes for the “dawn of an age of peace.” It sets the Bible’s eschatological dreams over and against Israel and the Jewish people. The creation of Israel, the report says, did not lead “other peoples and nations to worship and study the teachings of the one true God.” Likewise, though Jews benefited from the creation, “the longed-for age of peace and reconciliation has yet to come” to all humanity. This unrealistic comparison implies a unique clash between the State of Israel and God’s will for all humanity that would actually be true of any nation. It also recalls past accusations of Jewish false messianism and ethnocentrism (pp. 16-17).
The report implies a linkage between the ancient Israelites’ brutal “holy war” in Canaan and contemporary Israeli policies. Its denunciation of Joshua’s fulfillment of the “land promise” through “land violence” serves as a parallel to Israel’s actions, which it sees, like Joshua’s, as leading to “the displacement of the others who have long lived there.” However, this reference to Joshua’s genocidal slaughter (itself of questionable historicity) is a strikingly disproportionate comparison. Furthermore, this linkage suggests that modern Jews, while more often criticized for their disobedience to God (e.g., p. 37), are yet faithful to the most deadly and immoral aspects of the biblical tradition (p. 19).
While the authors reinterpret and sometimes reject biblical texts that might offer support to Israeli policies or the existence of the State, they consistently omit any discussion of whether Israeli or American Jews themselves rely on such texts or traditions. The report’s perspective on the political use of the Bible is largely unrelated to Jewish views on any of these complex topics. One would not know from the report that few Jews adopt such an exclusively theological view of the policies and existence of the State of Israel.
The report reveals a bias against Jews and Judaism, and is reinforced by supersessionist themes.
The report implies that the current plight of the Palestinians is fundamentally the result of Israel’s misdeeds, and specifically of Israelis’ unfaithfulness to the requirements of the Jewish religious tradition (p. 37-38). It does not subject any of the other parties in the region to a similar theological critique out of their own religious sources.
While it is appropriate for Presbyterians to rely upon Christian scripture in developing their own views, the report also cites New Testament passages when making demands upon Jews and Muslims. For example, the report suggests that the best model for reconciliation in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is “Christ’s death [which has] broken down the dividing wall of hostility between any two peoples” (p. 24, referring to Colossians 1:20; Ephesians 2:14). The report superimposes a Christological model that is either alien or irrelevant to Jewish Israelis and Muslim Palestinians.
Similarly insensitive is the choice of the title of the report, taken from this same verse in Ephesians. It hints at the report’s critique of Israel’s Separation Wall / Fence. However, it also recalls the New Testament author’s advocacy of the abrogation of the Torah because it divided Jews and Gentiles. For a report largely focusing on the policies of the State of Israel and partly addressed to Jews, the choice of this title and verse suggests a broader critique of Judaism generally.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) deserves credit for past efforts to improve Jewish-Christians relations. However, the MESC report, if approved in its present form, will not make a positive contribution. It fails to meet the Church’s own high aspirations to “establish a new basis of trust and communication with Jews” and never to countenance the “denigration of Jews or the belittling of Judaism” (see “A Theological Understanding of the Relationship between Christians and Jews” at http://www.pcusa.org/oga/publications/christians-jews.pdf). We believe this report threatens to unravel a vital web of relationships, even as we respect and affirm its concern for the Church’s relationship with Palestinian Christians in their context and its urgent concern for peace. We are disappointed that it fails to offer a theologically responsible and coherent approach to an enormously complex issue and distorts the biblical witness in profound ways.
We offer these comments in a spirit of collegiality and a shared commitment to peacemaking and interfaith harmony. We want to repeat our genuine concern over the plight of the most vulnerable persons, caught up in protracted turmoil over which they have little control. We believe that Christians, Jews, and Muslims together should call upon all those with political responsibility and influence to work urgently to remedy the present intolerable situation.
We respectfully ask the General Assembly to consider our response in light of the serious concerns raised above before voting on the report.
The Ad Hoc CCJR Committee on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Middle East Study Committee Report
Dr. Adam Gregerman
Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, Baltimore, MD
Rev. Dr. Christopher Leighton
Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, Baltimore, MD
Rev. Dr. John Pawlikowski
Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL
Rev. Dr. Peter A. Pettit
Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA
Dr. Ronald A. Simkins
Creighton University, Omaha, NE
As you have heard, when the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian
Church (USA) convenes on Friday, the report of their Middle East Study
Committee "Breaking Down the Walls" will be voted on.
I believe that it is critical that Jews follow this issue because the
report is both anti-Judaism and anti-Israel in very disturbing ways. If
this passes, as may well be the case, it will be a serious step backward for
Christian-Jewish relations both in this country and around the world. There
has been a strong response today from the Council of Centers of
Christian-Jewish Relations [CCJR].
You can access the release here:
and the full text of the letter of response at ³click here² at the
middle of that page.
The 100+ page Presbyterian report is also linked there.
One of those involved in drafting the letter of response is Dr. Adam
Gregerman, who is the Jewish Scholar at the Institute for Christian and
Jewish Studies in Baltimore and my son-in-law.
There is unfortunately a good deal of material here for sermons,
bulletin articles, and responses in the Jewish and general press.
British Methodist Report on Israel - Simon Rocker (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
Jewish leaders have condemned a "skewed" report on Israel prepared by the Methodist Church, warning it could set back interfaith relations for years.
The report, to be debated at the church's national conference later this month, calls for a boycott of goods from "illegal" West Bank settlements, and political lobbying to end Israel's occupation and the "siege of Gaza."
Over the past few days, Jewish organizations in London and Manchester have protested about its contents in meetings with Methodist representatives.
Presbyterians push to demonize Israel
By D. BLOOMFIELD
Church's report unconvincing in support of Israel.
You probably don’t remember but before June 1967 there was peace in the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan. There were no fedayeen, no terror attacks, no PLO. Only after it was “colonized in the 20th century” by Jewish immigrants from Europe who took “the land of Palestine from a majority of its inhabitants at gunpoint” did things go sour.
First came the Nakba, the catastrophe that was the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, followed 19 years later by the “illegal” occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
That’s the view the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) will be asked to endorse next month when it meets in Minneapolis to consider a report by its Middle East study committee.
Peace could again prevail over the land if the Israelis would only withdraw from all the lands occupied in 1967. To that end, the report calls for the US to halt all military and economic assistance for Israel.
“If there were no occupation, there would be no Palestinian resistance,” says the report.
The Israeli occupation is “the major obstacle to regional stability” and is “an evil that must be resisted and removed.” The authors show they understand “resistance” is a euphemism for terrorism, but say it is the Israelis’ own fault for inflicting so much suffering on the Palestinians.
“Resistance is a right and a duty for the Christian.”
IT WOULD be too easy to dismiss such unreality as terminal naïveté, but there is something much more poisonous here.
The 172-page PCUSA report says the “primary” cause of the Middle East conflict is “the ongoing Israeli occupation...
and American complicity in this unjust enterprise.”
You can read it at http://www.pcusa.org/middleeastpeace/ pdf/middleeastpeace- fullreport.pdf. It also includes a lengthy Kairos Palestine document, by an affiliated group of Christian Palestinians, that further pushes the demonization and delegitimization of Israel.
Taken together, the contempt for Israel is so blinding that it not only justifies Palestinian terror against the Jewish state but is little bothered by the avowed goal of Hamas and Hizbullah, like their Iranian mentors, to wipe Israel off the map.
But that may be because the authors question whether Israel should be on the map in the first place. The report insists “we support the existence of Israel,” but that is unconvincing in the context of the entire document.
This document ignores Arab refusal to recognize the Jewish state, the attempts to destroy it at birth and the threats to drive it into the sea. It was the Jews’ own fault for being there in the first place. The report reaches back to biblical times to delegitimize Jewish claims to the land. Jacob, aka Israel, stole the birthright from his brother Esau and refused later entreaties to combine their interests and dwell in the land together.
(Proof those Jews can’t get along with anyone.) It denies that the Jews have “rights” to the land as Abraham’s descendants, only “responsibilities... for what is being done in and with it.”
Abraham’s covenant applies equally to Jews and Christians.
The ancient Hebrews under Joshua took the land illegally from the Canaanites by “holy war.” In a very revealing footnote (p. 21), it says: “The phrase ‘the right of Israel to exist’ is a source of pain” for authors of the report, “who are in solidarity with Palestinians who feel that the State of Israel has denied them their inalienable human rights.”
While questioning Israel’s Law of Return for Jews, it insists there must be a “right of return or compensation” for Palestinians “to Palestine- Israel.”
National Jewish organizations, which the report accuses of “complicity in the excesses of Israeli policy,” have unders t a n d a b l y denounced the document.
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism has said it is “distinctly onesided, traffics in troubling theology, misr e p r e s e n t s Jewish history.”
ADL has called it a “toxic mix of bad history, p o l i t i c a l l y motivated distortions and o f f e n s i v e attacks on Judaism and Israel.” The Jewish Council of Public Affairs has called it “blatantly anti-Israel and reduces the Arab-Israeli- Palestinian conflict to a caricature of right and wrong.”
“It’s a highly-selective use of text, history and circumstances to form an anti-Israel narrative,” said JCPA’s Ethan Felson. “They give significant voice to anti-Zionists, condemn companies that sell to Israel and allow for the demonization of Israel. That’s several red lines.”
AT ITS 2004 meeting PCUSA voted for divestment from Israel but was forced to back down two years later when many members objected, but this latest report leaves little doubt its authors endorse the policy. The group promised to take a more balanced approach but so far there the evidence points in the opposite direction.
Next month’s PCUSA meeting in Minneapolis has an opportunity to reject the anti- Israel, anti-Jewish excesses of its study committee or to inflict further damage on the church’s relations with the Jewish community.
“The church has a choice to make,” Felson added. “There is much valid witness for Palestinians that does not call into question the church’s integrity or endanger its relationship with Jews, or they can choose this brand of witness with all its toxicity.”
The Presbyterians say their goal is peace, but their heavily biased assessment can only make peace harder to attain by reinforcing the growing skepticism by an Israeli public that sees delegitimization, not a twostate agreement, as the goal of the Palestinians and their supporters – and give fuel to those Palestinians who believe the time is coming when the world will force Israel to, in the immortal words of Helen Thomas, “get the hell out of Palestine.”
The gist of the horrible Presbyterians
To distill this extensive document down to its essence, in one language or
another you have to read carefully, this is what it says:
1. That Israel is a delegitimate entity that neither the League of Nations
nor the United Nations had the right to create.
2. That Israel was only created because of the Holocaust and the Arab
Palestinians are paying for it.
3. That tracing our roots to the land throughout the Bible and the course o=
Jewish history is worthless. We have no claim to *any part of the land of
4. Nevertheless, with a fundamentalist reading of the Bible, Israel should
behave according to it. *No one else has to act that way!*
5. That the *true and rightful* inhabitants of *Palestine* are the Arabs.
6. That it is the fault of the Jews for *all* the violence that has
7. That the occupation of the *all* areas since the Six Day War is a sin
8. That the United States should completely reverse its support for the
State of Israel by withholding financial and political aid until Israel
complies with resolutions from the United Nations, no matter how one-sided,
anti-Semitic, racist and suicidal they will be.
9. That companies should follow *BDS boycott, divest and
10. That the conditions in Gaza are all Israel's fault.
11. That terrorism *against Israeli civilians *is legitimate.
12. That the problems of Christian Arabs, of which there are many, are
PLEASE Presbyterians. go to this site and watch and read
Friday, February 26, 2010
moral bottom of Presbyterian church
Presbyterians Usher in the Jewish Holiday of PurimDivestment and the War Against the Jews, Part 2010.
The Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUSA) is about to release a report which denounces Israel as a “racist” nation which has absolutely no historical, covenantal, or theological right to the Holy Land. The report calls for the United States to withhold financial and military aid to Israel and for boycotts and sanctions against Israel. That’s not all. The report also endorses a Palestinian “right of return” and “apologizes to Palestinians for even conceding that Israel has a right to exist.” According to the press release, it also states that Israel’s history begins only with the Holocaust and that Israel is “a nation mistakenly created by Western powers at the expense of the Palestinian people to solve the ‘Jewish problem’.”
In addition, PCUSA has also resolved to divest in companies that supply military equipment to the American Army, e.g. Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, etc.
In 2004, this Church became the first mainline Protestant denomination in America to “approve a policy of divestment from Israel.” This was rescinded, but in 2008 the Church “created a committee dominated by seven activists holding strong anti-Israel beliefs. The lone member sympathetic to Israel, quit in protest when he saw their radical agenda.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center notes that 46 members of the US Congress and Senate are Presbyterians and fears potentially “significant repercussions in the political domain” as well as a negative “impact on interfaith relations.” They urge us all to protest directly to the top leadership of the PCUSA “to stop this dangerous campaign which denies the legitimacy and security of Israel,” and to “reach out to your Presbyterian friends.”
Posted by truth seeker at 9:43 AM 0 comments
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Presnbyterian Church again on the attach vs Israel
hursday, February 25, 2010
Presbyterian Church's again blames wrong party
February 23, 2010
A statement from the Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) regarding the work of the General Assembly Middle East Study Team.
A human rights organization within the Jewish community has issued a statement about the report to the 219th General Assembly (2010) from the General Assembly committee to prepare a comprehensive study focused on Israel/Palestine. The statement says, “…we are deeply troubled that current moves underway in the Church radically depart from its 2008 commitment that its review of Middle East policies would be balanced and fair.”
The Middle East Study Team’s report, which will be released by Friday, March 5, 2010, contains a letter to the American Jewish community. The study team begins the letter by saying:
We want to be sure to say to you in no uncertain terms: We support the existence of Israel as a sovereign nation within secure and recognized borders. No “but,” no “let’s get this out of the way so we can say what we really want to say.” We support Israel’s existence as granted by the U.N. General Assembly. We support Israel’s existence as a home for the Jewish people. We have said this before, and we say this again. We say it because we believe it; we say it because we want it to continue to be true.
The team, which engaged in intensive study, meetings, and travel to the Middle East since their appointment following the 218th General Assembly (2008), continues:
And, at the same time, we are distressed by the continued policies that surround the Occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights, in particular. Many of us come to this work out of a love for Israel. And it is because of this love that we continue to say the things we say about the excesses of Occupation, the settlement infrastructure, and the absolute death knell it is sounding for the hopes of a two-state solution, a solution that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has supported for more than sixty years.
Several previous General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have adopted statements about Israel/Palestine. Two excerpts:
In 2004: The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has approved numerous resolutions on Israel and Palestine, repeatedly affirming, clearly and unequivocally, Israel’s right to exist within permanent, recognized, and “secure” borders (for example: 1969, 1974, 1977, 1983, 1989, etc.). It has deplored the cycle of escalating violence—carried out by both Palestinians and Israelis—which is rooted in Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories (cf. statements of successive assemblies since 1967). Presbyterians have continued to be concerned about the loss of so many innocent lives of Israelis and Palestinians (see “Resolution on the Middle East,” approved in 1997, and “Resolution on Israel and Palestine: End the Occupation Now,” approved in 2003).” GA Minutes, 2004, p. 66.
In 2006: We call upon the church…”To work through peaceful means with American and Israeli Jewish, American and Palestinian Muslim, and Palestinian Christian communities and their affiliated organizations towards the creation of a socially, economically, geographically, and politically viable and secure Palestinian state, alongside an equally viable and secure Israeli state, both of which have a right to exist.” GA Minutes, 2006, p. 945.
I join the Middle East Study Team that will be reporting to this summer’s General Assembly in asking all people to continue to pray, and work, for the peace of Jerusalem."