Presbyterian Church USA and Anti-Israel Actions
When 'Presbyterian' becomes synonymous with Jew-hate.
The Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) has been gradually moving to the radical left spectrum. Moderates have been leaving the church in droves in recent decades. As of 2019, the PCUSA membership numbered 1.3 million, down from 3.1 million in 1993. Its radical social justice agenda has come at the expense of traditional values. Chased away by the radicalization of the church, many have found the evangelical (Protestant) churches far more appealing. The issues that the PCUSA officialdom has gotten involved with go beyond domestic issues, such as taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The church officialdom has supported Palestinian Muslim terrorists, seeking to undermine the Jewish state by condemning Israel’s efforts to protect its citizenry from Arab-Palestinian killers. The “woke” PCUSA is enamored with radical Palestinians whom the PCUSA has designated as “victims.”
At its latest 2020 General Assembly (GA) in Baltimore, the PCUSA has adopted the radical left terminology, using the term “White Supremacy.” This is clearly in accord with the Marxist, racist, and the anti-Semitic Black Lives Matter (BLM). Pandering to the BLM’s agenda means that only Black Lives Matter, while Jewish lives and property do not matter. In last summer’s riots and looting by the BLM and Antifa groups, Jewish places of worship in LA were desecrated, shops were burned, and white people beaten. The Times of Israel reported (June 3, 2020) that, “Graffiti on the walls of synagogues read ‘free Palestine’ and ‘f*** Israel.’ A statue of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis, was smeared with anti-Semitic slogans. Along with synagogues, Jewish owned buildings, and stores were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti. Businesses were looted, too.” The Times of Israel also pointed out that the Jewish owned Canter Deli was spared destruction because it posted a sign expressing solidarity with the BLM movement, out of fear and intimidation.
The same PCUSA officials who rush to condemn Israel and “White Supremacy” said nothing of the BLM’s riots, looting, and anti-Semitic slogans they smeared on defaced synagogues. The same anti-Semitic and radical elements that dominate the political left today, now controls the resolutions issued and passed by the PCUSA. While alleging to be serving the cause of social justice, the PCUSA radicals engage in supporting the likes of the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel only) anti-Semitic attacks against the Jewish state, and by extension, on supporters of Israel in general.
If the biennial GA in 2020 was marked by limitations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, no such limitations occurred in the 2018 General Assembly in St. Louis, Missouri. The Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) once again championed support for the anti-Israel BDS movement by passing a number of resolutions condemning Israel. Bassem Eid, a Palestinian Muslim civil-rights activist who attended the GA in order to bring balance and fairness on issues pertaining to Israel/Palestine, was verbally attacked for condemning the one-sided resolutions offered by the PCUSA against the Jewish state.
The PCUSA GA News reported (June 19, 2018) that, “Eleven out of 13 resolutions considered by the (Middle East) Committee addressed issues surrounding Israel/Palestine. The committee rejected one resolution condemning the militarization of Palestinian children to be used in attacks against Israeli civilians. The committee also disapproved a resolution that would no longer classify Israel as a “colonial Project.”
The sheer chutzpah and shamelessness, not to mention the ignorance and malice of the PCUSA Middle East committee, is simply astounding. They have obviously ignored the Bible and G-d’s promise to the Children of Israel. Clearly, for the radical leftists in the PCUSA, the Bible no longer matters. However, aside from the biblical confirmation of the Jewish rights to the land and two Jewish commonwealths that even the Quran affirms (Jews/Israelites were the only people that created a national life in the land, all others were conquerors. While the Romans exiled the Jews, and destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, Jews always clung to the land of Israel), there is the November 1947 United Nations Partition resolution (#181) passed by a two third majority and adopted. It called for the creation of both a Jewish, and Arab sovereign state in Palestine, which ended the colonial British Mandate. While the Jewish-Palestinians accepted the partition, and on May 14, 1948 declared the establishment of the State of Israel, the Arab-Palestinians rejected the partition and statehood, and together with seven neighboring Arab states, set out to destroy the nascent Jewish state of Israel. There would be no Arab-Palestinian refugee problem today had they accepted partition. A peaceful relationship with their Jewish neighbors was never an option considered by the Palestinian-Arabs. They were led by an arch anti-Semite and racist, Haj Amin el-Husseini, who was Hitler’s ally, and urged the German Nazis to liquidate the Jews of Palestine in the same way they had dealt with European Jewry. The Arab-Palestinians gambled on the destruction of the Jews of Israel even in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
The anti-Israel sentiments within the PCUSA establishment is clearly evident in the rejection of the above two resolutions, while adopting all the anti-Israel resolutions. Apparently the PCUSA wants to score points against Israel by sacrificing Palestinian-Arab children in order to adopt further anti-Israel resolutions. Of course, killing Israeli civilians by terrorist Palestinian children is encouraged by the PCUSA. The GA had, in addition, urged the real estate company RE/MAX, LLC, “to do everything within its legal and moral power to stop facilitating the sale of property in Israeli settlement colonies.” They also condemned “Violence against Palestinians during the Great March of Return protests along the Gaza Strip.”
As a witness to the so-called “March of Return protests,” it must be said first, that it was a violent march, with Hamas and Islamic Jihad snipers targeting Israeli soldiers. Second, bombs attached to kites torched Israeli agricultural fields in the Israeli Negev. Of course, one would not expect the PCUSA radicals to acknowledge such Palestinian terror. Moreover, unprovoked, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza have regularly, and intentionally, fired rockets at Israeli civilians and children. The edict by the PCUSA of not selling homes to Jews in Judea and Samaria is reminiscent of the Nazi boycotts. Judea and Samaria Jewish settlements are legal as pointed out by former US secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The territories are disputed territories under the UNSC resolution 242. And since there has never been a Palestinian state, they are hardly “Palestinian territories,” and Israelis have as much right to settle there as Palestinian-Arabs do.
Much of the anti-Israel action by the PCUSA has been driven by the IPMN. In the 2014 GA, the PCUSA approved an anti-Israel divestment measure. The anti-Israel measures continued in the 2016 GA with several resolutions aimed to pressure Israel to leave the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria.
Dexter Van Zile, a research fellow at the Committee for Accuracy in the Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), and a Christian believer, pointed out in his Times of Israel blog (May 9, 2018) that a relatively small number of anti-Israel activists in the PCUSA have effectively hijacked the denomination’s polity and used it to affirm a dishonest narrative that portrays Israel as a singular enemy of human rights in the Middle East. Van Zile suggested that, “Over the past decade or so, the word ‘Presbyterian’ has become synonymous with Jew-hatred and unreasonable hostility toward Israel.”