ADL slams Presbyterian Church decision to explore 2-state solution alternatives

The ADL also took the time to praise the efforts of those at the General Assembly who reaffirmed the church's support of the Jewish right to self- determination.

June 27, 2016 19:25
1 minute read.
First Presbyterian Church of Houston

First Presbyterian Church of Houston . (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Anti Defamation League released a statement Monday, expressing their disappointment over recent Israel-focused motions that were endorsed at the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly, last week.

Among the motions was an overture stating that the church should research further the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement as well as a report stating that the church should look into two-state solution alternatives.

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“We are deeply disappointed with the Presbyterian Church’s decision to embrace motions which forward arguments in favor of a bi-national state and of the anti-Israel BDS campaign,” said Rabbi David Sandmel, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs. “Any alternative to the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would mean the demise of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, a view that is offensive to millions of Israelis and Jews around the world."

The ADL also took the time to praise the efforts of those at the General Assembly who reaffirmed the church's support of the right to self- determination for Jews and Palestinians. 

“We note with gratitude that, despite the efforts of a hostile leadership and activists within the church, rank and file members insisted on reasserting favorable language countering those views which was supportive of Israel’s legitimacy, the Jewish right to self determine and the promotion of Jewish-Christian relations,” Rabbi Sandmel said.

This isn't the first time the Church has voiced disapproval of Israel.

Beginning in 2004, the Church adopted a policy of “phased, selective divestment” from certain American corporations operating in Israel. That policy was later switched in 2006 to use divestment as a last resort.

In 2014, PCUSA and the United Church of Christ passed resolutions to boycott and divest from companies they decided were “complicit” in the Jewish states alleged misdeeds against Palestinians.

The PCUSA meeting heard only BDS representatives accusing Israel of holding Palestinians under “biblical scale enslavement” and poisoning Palestinian livestock.

Presbyterians for Middle East Peace released the book “Two States for Two Peoples” last week in an effort to persuade the Presbyterian Church USA to keep its support for the two-state solution and not to heed to the calls of BDS activists.

Benjamin Glatt contributed to this article.
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