As Presbyterian Church (USA) Meeting Begins, Simon Wiesenthal Center Severs All Relations, Calls On Members to Vote Down Anti-Israel Agenda

June 15, 2014 3:01 pm 5 comments

Presbyterian Church (USA).

Presbyterian Church (USA).

As the biannual general meeting of the Presbyterian Church (USA) begins this week in Detroit, Jewish human rights group The Simon Wiesenthal Center said they have severed all relations with the controversial church.

The group also called on PC (USA) members to vote down the anti-Israel agenda that has been praised by David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and Press TV, a semi-official Iranian government news channel.

In a statement, SWC said it was “urging the rank and file of the Presbyterian Church (USA)… to defeat the leadership’s embrace of extreme anti-Israel positions, including a report that called Israel racist and illegal.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Center, said, ”We are severing all dialogue with PC (USA), because of a pattern of malicious behavior on the part of church administration,” pointing to Zionism Unsettled, a 74-page monograph released in December and sold on PC (USA)’s website.

“This demonization of an entire nation and its supporters around the world is an outrage that makes further conversation with this church impossible. Zionism Unsettled does not merely attack Israeli policies, but calls the quest for a Jewish State racist and illegal,” Cooper said.

“This invokes memories of  the UN’s notorious ‘Zionism is racism’ resolution of 1974 (repealed in 1991) –  but this time PC (USA) has substituted  theological language to dismiss the Jewish people’s 3500-year presence in and association with the Holy Land,” he added.

“The long-standing protocols of interfaith dialogue have always demanded that no partner attack the core beliefs of the other. This document, and the cynical response of church leaders to criticism of it from other Presbyterians is a frontal assault on the central place of the Jewish State in Jewish life and thought,” the rabbi said.

In 2004, SWC said PC (USA) became the first mainline denomination to vote for divestment from Israel. Strong opposition by church rank and file led to an overturning of that resolution in 2006, but those groups who oppose the leadership generally face an uphill battle.

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, SWC’s director of interfaith affairs, said, “While Israel enjoyed strong support from the ordinary worshipers and pastors of this church – including a large cadre of tireless workers for balance and fairness to all peoples of the Middle East – their wishes were frustrated by church leadership bent on taking the church in a different direction.”

“After every defeat at a biennial General Assembly, the church administration raised the ante, building partnerships with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement that abandoned the very two-state solution that was the historic policy of the church,” he said.

“It gerrymandered key committee appointments, and tolerated overt anti-Semitism on church websites. We stayed in an abusive relationship too long. We will continue to love Presbyterians, but we will inform our community that PC (USA) is a group that disrespects the Jewish People.”

In his own commentary on PC (USA)’s booklet, in February, former KKK leader Duke wrote,“Zionism Unsettled is not only an attack on Israel and its Jewish supporters. It criticizes the Catholic Church’s landmark 1965 Nostra Aetate, which opened the door for a new relationship between Jews and Catholics, saying that the declaration ‘raises as many questions as it answers.” It also “features an entire chapter panning Evangelical Christian support for Israel,” Duke said.

He praised the organization for “calling Zionism ‘Jewish Supremacism’ — a term first coined and made popular by Dr. David Duke.”

5 Comments

  • Glenn Koons

    The historic PC USA Church descends into hell step by step. For years Presbyterians have fought a division in their denomination as has all Mainline churches. The Libs have seemingly won as the Church splits and seems bent on becoming some cult. But to say it is Christian, is simply a lie from the Pit. Being a Presbyie for decades I had a chance to become a pastor but was forced to go to an independent Christian church where I pastored for 20 years. I never regretted the move.

  • Julian Clovelley

    America is one of the last bastions of a well attended Christianity. The phenomena that has hit other churches around the world has not so strongly hit America. It is the phenomena of intelligent people leaving the churches in droves. But when we read the opinions of church leaders, based anywhere, we are very rarely seeing the brightest lights on the Christmas tree

    It isn’t just Protestantism; the phenomena rages throughout the denominations. People have simply had enough of churches that are so far behind the times, and as a result the old institutions are drifting into irrelevance. The attempts to make Christianity more cult like, and run like modern businesses, peripheral to the pop music industry, only make the religion look even more ridiculous. The guts is kicked out of the faith, leaving us with the Atonement, talking in gibberish, very dubious “spiritual” healings, and deliverances from non existent entities, all wrapped in heavy metal songs about how “you just gotta love Jesus” crash bang wallop twang… This particular parade of bosh generally holds a person for between nine and eighteen months, before they walk away wondering what all that was about. ”Hillsong” is Australia’s own manifestation of this nonsense, a noisy cult that follows Shakespeare’s description, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”

    The problem with Christianity, and this now extends into all religions, is the institutional failure to embrace scholarship. Christianity is wedded to outdated creeds written originally to create theological peace, and define heresy, in the long dead Byzantine Empire. They existed as a set of enforced beliefs aimed at maintaining a cohesive and largely theocratic state. But in the experience of many they are simply a bit silly, Virgin Birth indeed!

    So if a churches leadership comes out with any opinion on a modern issue , does it really matter? The chances are their congregations have already left or at least left them far behind. The real battle now is the religious view per se, versus the increasingly awakening secular. To the secular, the battle is for sanity.

    The issues involving the State of Israel are complex and political. They are not religious issues. They involve such matters as the role of the United Nations and the application of the Geneva Conventions. Religion not only clouds the resolution of these complex problems, it creates in many of them a de facto tribalism. The ultimate resolution of the problems of the Middle East cannot take place, in my opinion, until that which is religious becomes secular. Judaism rejects conversion, Christianity rejects the validity of both Judaism and Islam. Islam rejects the validity of Christianity and Judaism. Each religion views the adherents of other religions as the “other” in their own concept of humanity.

    What’s in it for the common man, except division and enmity, the experiences of being a victim and of creating victims? As I have said before – on the boycott issue my personal attitude is to abstain. I shall still put cheese on my Matzos, not buy a Sodastream, and continue having coffee with my Jewish friends and making my own hummus

    And as for the political issue I’ll continue to express my attitudes in words rather that through the contents of my shopping basket. Irrespective of a complex and multifaceted history I believe modern Israel has a right to exist and to live in peace. I believe the Settlements should be closed and the Occupation brought to an end, with Jerusalem considered as a separate and entirely practical issue. And I also believe that the Hamas Charter should be repealed

    But on a day to day basis I believe that if Mount Carmel produces a good dry red nobody should criticise me for enjoying and sharing it. Come on world – grow up! – learn to share!

    By the way I’m having a problem with the Presbytarian logo you display here – surely that’s a burning cross – huh?

    • Comrade Clovelly:

      If you think ending the settlements will solve this, you have been too brainwashed by the BBC, ABC (both American and Australian), your lefty friends, and whatever lefty professors you had in college.

      For the Palis, this is not a territorial issue. It is an existential one. To them, Israel should not exist. Period.

      I am American, not Israeli, but have a lot of family in Israel who visit here. Twenty years ago, almost all of them thought that a separation would work. Now, almost none of them do. And none are very religious. Only one of the families lives in Judea and Samaria, and then in a block close to Jerusalem that almost everyone believes Israel would keep in an agreement – and they backed Lapid’s party in the last election.

      Well, Israel withdrew from Lebanon, and got hit with rockets. Israel withdrew from Gaza, and got hit with rockets. Israel withdrew from Sinai, and for awhile had to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood and rockets launched from the Sinai.

      You may be too blinded by your leftist anti-Israelism/anti-Semitism to see a pattern, but the rest of us do.

  • What too few people know, is that David Duke is a CIA agent and therefore a spawned and sponsored proxy for the Vatican/CIA mafia.

    Vatican’s sock puppets change but the Medusa head remains. So too the agenda to genocide the “heretics”.

    David Duke would be another deranged unknown nobody if not for the constant propaganda exposure he receives on the Vatican/CIA propaganda outlets.

    This is the basic technique the Vatican uses to create and nurture their various mass murders. The Vatican provides the money via their corporations and agents, the propaganda exposure via their propaganda outlets, the secret political cover via their surrogate diplomatic corp. The agenda is that of mass theft and mass murder, which then furthers their central control and global empire ambitions, aka, NEW WORLD ORDER.

  • Israel would have to back this up, if the resolution is passed, by banning PC-USA clergy and their families from entering Israel. That would have to include the pro-Israel faction, for two reasons:

    a) How would you know if an entering clergy is pro-Israel just because they say they are? Are you going to do an internet search and check their Twitter and Facebook accounts to see otherwise?

    b) If the majority of PC-USA votes to go Nazi, they rule and the minority must suffer. That’s the way it is. Look, I can’t stand Obama, but the majority of American voters were indoctrinated enough or fanatically left-wing enough (or both) to vote for him twice. Therefore, I have to suffer under his semi-totalitarian leftist regime even though I didn’t vote for him.

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