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.
the view the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) will be asked to endorse
when it meets in Minneapolis to consider a report by its Middle East
Peace could again prevail over the land if the Israelis would
only withdraw from all the lands occupied in 1967. To that end, the
for the US to halt all military and economic assistance for Israel.
there were no occupation, there would be no Palestinian resistance,”
The Israeli occupation is “the major obstacle to regional
stability” and is “an evil that must be resisted and removed.” The
they understand “resistance” is a euphemism for terrorism, but say it is
Israelis’ own fault for inflicting so much suffering on the
“Resistance is a right and a duty for the
IT WOULD be too easy to dismiss such unreality as terminal
naïveté, but there is something much more poisonous here.
PCUSA report says the “primary” cause of the Middle East conflict is
ongoing Israeli occupation...
and American complicity in this unjust
You can read it at http://www.pcusa.org/middleeastpeace/
pdf/middleeastpeace- fullreport.pdf. It also includes a lengthy Kairos
document, by an affiliated group of Christian Palestinians, that further
the demonization and delegitimization of Israel.
Taken together, the
contempt for Israel is so blinding that it not only justifies
against the Jewish state but is little bothered by the avowed goal of
Hizbullah, like their Iranian mentors, to wipe Israel off the map.
that may be because the authors question whether Israel should be on the
the first place. The report insists “we support the existence of
that is unconvincing in the context of the entire document.
ignores Arab refusal to recognize the Jewish state, the attempts to
at birth and the threats to drive it into the sea. It was the Jews’ own
for being there in the first place. The report reaches back to biblical
delegitimize Jewish claims to the land. Jacob, aka Israel, stole the
from his brother Esau and refused later entreaties to combine their
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
Abraham’s covenant applies equally to Jews and
The ancient Hebrews under Joshua took the land illegally from
the Canaanites by “holy war.” In a very revealing footnote (p. 21), it
“The phrase ‘the right of Israel to exist’ is a source of pain” for
the report, “who are in solidarity with Palestinians who feel that the
Israel has denied them their inalienable human rights.”
Israel’s Law of Return for Jews, it insists there must be a “right of
compensation” for Palestinians “to Palestine- Israel.”
organizations, which the report accuses of “complicity in the excesses
Israeli policy,” have unders t a n d a b l y denounced the document.
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism has said it is “distinctly
traffics in troubling theology, misr e p r e s e n t s Jewish
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
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
give significant voice to anti-Zionists, condemn companies that sell to
and allow for the demonization of Israel. That’s several red lines.”
ITS 2004 meeting PCUSA voted for divestment from Israel but was forced
down two years later when many members objected, but this latest report
little doubt its authors endorse the policy. The group promised to take a
balanced approach but so far there the evidence points in the opposite
Next month’s PCUSA meeting in Minneapolis has an opportunity
to reject the anti- Israel, anti-Jewish excesses of its study committee
inflict further damage on the church’s relations with the Jewish
“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
this brand of witness with all its toxicity.”
The Presbyterians say their
goal is peace, but their heavily biased assessment can only make peace
attain by reinforcing the growing skepticism by an Israeli public that
delegitimization, not a twostate agreement, as the goal of the
their supporters – and give fuel to those Palestinians who believe the
coming when the world will force Israel to, in the immortal words of
Thomas, “get the hell out of Palestine.”firstname.lastname@example.org