Roundup of Information on PC(USA) Israel Debate

The Presbyterian Church (USA), which has lost approximately 1 million members over the past 25 years, is preparing to debate a number of resolutions regarding Israeli policies at the church’s upcoming General Assembly. One resolution calls for the church to convict Israel of the crime of “apartheid” while others call on the church to rebuke Caterpillar for continuing to sell products to Israel.

The information delegates will use to inform their decision comes from a number of sources which ominously enough, have exhibited a troubling hostility toward Israel. For example, the Israel/Palestine Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA), has hosted a blog which linked to an obviously anti-Semitic video titled “I AM ISRAEL” that accused Israel of controlling American foreign policy.

While IPMN’s website attracted some negative attention to the PC(USA), it will soon become a sideshow to another controversy after the publication of a lengthy report by the denomination’s Middle East Study Committee, created by a vote of the General Assembly in 2008.

This report, which includes a historical analysis that demonizes Zionism, omits important information about Arab violence against Jews in the first half of the 20th century also includes a letter to American Jews that seeks to undermine the legitimacy of mainstream Jewish leaders in the U.S.

Jewish leaders in the U.S. have responded with anger, as have some members of the denomination. Below is a roundup of useful links relating to the PC(USA)’s deliberations.
The U.S. Presbyterian Church’s Renewed Attack on Israel,” Jewish Council for Public Affairs, May 12, 2010. (Written by CAMERA Analyst Dexter Van Zile.)
When is enough time too much?” Presbyterian Outlook, May 2, 2010.
Mission Council sets stage for messy General Assembly,” The Presbyterian Outlook, April 5, 2010. (Includes information about objections from Presbytery of Great Rivers.)
A Shipwreck of Their Faith,” New English Review, April 2010.
Middle East study report: 30 recommendations, tons of fallout,” The Presbyterian Outlook, March 22, 2010.
J Street troubled by Presbyterian Church Report,” JStreet Blog, March 19, 2010.
Jews up in arms over Presbyterian report, conference,”, March 18, 2010.
Report demonizing Israel risks Presbyterian-Jewish ties,” The Jerusalem Post, March 17, 2010
Presbyterians prepare to vote on anti-Israel report,” The Connecticut Jewish Ledger, March 17, 2010.
More Presbyterian Bias,” The New York Jewish Week, March 16, 2010
Presbyterian Group Calls For U.S. Aid Freeze,” The New York Jewish Weekk, March 16, 2010.
Press Release, Presbyterians for Middle East Peace, March 15, 2010. (Posted on Viola Larson’s website, Naming His Grace.
JCPA Finds Church’s Report on Israel and the Middle East is Biased and Flawed,” Jewish Council for Public Affairs, March 15, 2010. (Posted on J-Newsline, a blog published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, Iowa.)
Presbyterian report on Mideast stirs controversy,” Louisville Courier-Journal, March 13, 2010. (May 26, 2010: Link is dead, but article can be viewed here.)
Jewish Groups Upset With Presbyterians,” Jewish Telegraph Agency, March 11, 2010.
Presbydrearians,” Spengler (a First Things Blog), March 11, 2010.
Presbyterians Seen Renewing Attacks On Israeli Policy,” The Jewish Week, March 9, 2010.
Israel releases part one of Israel-bashing report,” Washington Times, March 8, 2010.

Presbyterian report affirms Israel’s right to exist, criticizes occupation of Palestinian lands,” (Louisville), March 5, 2010.

Jewish Group: PC(USA)’s Israel Proposals Will Damage Relations,” Christian Post, Feb. 23, 2010.

Gearing Up for Another Season of Anti-Zionism in the PC(USA),” Snapshots, (CAMERA’s blog), Feb. 20 2010.

Middle East study team nears release of its final report,” Presbyterian News Service, Feb. 2, 2009. This article, published before the report was released, provides interesting detail about the committee’s deliberations regarding Israel’s right to exist.

Readers should also visit Viola Larson’s blog, “Naming His Grace.” Larson has numerous posts related to the PC(USA)’s stance on Israel. She has addressed the issue here, here and here. (There are numerous posts on this issue at this blog.)
Will Spotts, a former member of the PC(USA), has also created a blog devoted to the same subject. His blog can be found here.
For historical background about the PC(USA)’s animus toward Israel, read “Pride and Prejudice: The Presbyterian Divestment Story,” by Will Spotts, a former member of the PC(USA). Spotts left the denomination in part because of the church’s animus toward Israel.

Numerous CAMERA articles about the PC(USA) can be found here.

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