When it comes to the increasingly leftist, woke, and gradually more antisemitic Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), one has to distinguish between its radical activists, the Kentucky headquarters of the church, and the people in the church pews across the country. The recent 225th General Assembly (GA) has shown the anti-Israel bias emanating out of the PCUSA church. That anti-Israel bias is merely a cover for latent antisemitism pervading among many church leader and activists.
The exclusively anti-Israel overtures to the exclusion of the rest of the world, including the world’s chief violators of human rights, Iran, Syria, China, and Russia were ignored. That in itself is a confirmation of the anti-Israel bias. Human rights activist, Nathan Sharansky, defined antisemitism by using the 3D formula: Demonization of Israel, Double Standards when it comes to dealing with Israel, and Delegitimization of Israel. PCUSA is certainly guilty of Double Standard. It is ignoring Palestinian-Arab terrorism, overlooking apartheid in Islamic states like Jordan, the Palestinian Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, where Jews are forbidden to live. For Jews seeking a home in Gaza, Nablus or Amman, it is a death sentence. That is worse than apartheid, it is genocidal intolerance.
PCUSA resolution INT-02 was approved with an amended version of the original overture, which recognizes that the “government of Israel’s laws, policies, and practices regarding the Palestinian people fulfill the international legal definition of apartheid.” This is an affront to the only democracy in the Middle East and a shameful display of libelous charges without proof. The PCUSA claimed that Non-Jewish Arabs in Israel have an “inferior status,” and that “Palestinians are unable to participate in the political, social, economic and cultural life of their country.”
Whether through ignorance or malice, the PCUSA initiators of the above hostile and outrageous claims could have first and foremost personally visited Israel. Israel is not only an open and tolerant society; it stands in sharp contrast to the hate and intolerance toward Israel and Jews in Palestinian society. Moreover, in Hamas ruled Gaza, and in the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled West Bank, genocidal tendencies are pervasive throughout society. Children are taught to hate and kill Israeli-Jews and Jews in general. In the Palestinian media as well as mosques, hatred toward Jews, Israel, and America, are inculcated daily. And one shouldn’t forget, Hamas and the PA have refused to end the conflict with Israel despite endless Israeli concessions witnessed by former US Presidents Clinton, Bush, and others. No other peoples (certainly not the Kurds) have had as many opportunities to establish a sovereign state as the Palestinian-Arabs have had since 1937 onward. They declined only because it would have given Palestinian-Jews sovereign rights as well. The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, leader of the Palestinian High Committee, was Hitler’s ally and sought a Final Solution for Jews of Palestine. The PCUSA drafted no resolutions that condemned Palestinian terrorism, intolerance, or unwillingness to end the conflict.
In Israel, Arab-Muslims and Arab-Christians are full participants on levels of Israeli society. There are currently more than 10 elected Arab members in the Israel Parliament (Knesset) who openly display their contempt for the Jewish state. Go to any hospital in Israel and you will find Arab doctors, hospital directors, nurses, and pharmacists. Arab-Israelis are involved in all forms of arts including cinema, dance, etc. as well as in sports and broadcasting. There are also Arab members on the Israeli High Court and Arab soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). If that is apartheid, go tell that to the South-African blacks! And let us be clear, Israel is the state of the Jews just like 22 Arab states are the states of the Arabs, with one difference, while in the Jewish state Arabs are equal citizens under the law and in practice. In Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, Jews do not exist – they have been expelled after more than two millennium of residence. The PCUSA has not, however, questioned that, nor enacted resolutions to condemn that.
In January 2022, the PCUSA Stated Clerk Herbert Nelson II described Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians as “enslavement.” Need one even address this malicious absurdity? The International Engagement Committee of the PCUSA passed a resolution that designated May 15, as “Palestinian Nakba Remembrance Day,” and commemorate it annually as part of the PCUSA Planning calendar. It is meant to negate Israel’s independence after 2,000 years of forced exile, persecution, inquisition, and Holocaust.
Another anti-Israeli/Jewish resolution unanimously passed by the same committee stated that, “The face of Jerusalem has been changing rapidly in the direction of a heightened Zionist-Jewish identity.” It also charged falsely that Israel disregards freedom of worship for Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem. One only has to look back at Jordanian rule in Jerusalem, where Jews were denied any access to the holy sites in Jerusalem to see the difference today. Any objective opinion would praise the tolerance and openness toward Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem. Naturally, dhimmified Palestinian-Christians (subjugated people who need to appease their Muslim overlords to survive) have influenced the GA sessions of the PCUSA, and the resolutions that follow. And yet, despite the terrorist attacks by Palestinians on Israelis in Jerusalem, and throwing of rocks at Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall, Palestinians who are not engaged in violence and terror have full access to worship in the mosques and churches of Jerusalem.
The resolution to “end the siege of Gaza…” also passed unanimously at the 2022 GA. Self-righteous PCUSA activists are not the target of Hamas’ and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) missile attacks, but Israeli civilians are. The “siege” didn’t exist before Hamas took over Gaza. Will PCUSA activists guarantee the safety and property of Israeli-Jews should Israel end the “siege?” Still, in spite of rockets fired at Israel from Gaza, Israel is helping Gaza Palestinians in the most humane way; 15,000 of them work in Israel, so that they can feed their families. Hamas ignores the economic stress of its people, and the PCUSA, beyond empty words, has done nothing to help the Gazans, except bring solace to Hamas.
The social “justice” warriors of the PCUSA are single-minded about undermining the legitimacy of the Jewish state, while ignoring the persecution of fellow Christians in Ayatollah-led Iran, in Hamas’ controlled Gaza, and throughout much of the Muslim world. The PCUSA activists no longer pray to the God of Jesus – the God of Israel, but take guidance from Bernie Sanders, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. There is little spirituality and faith in God left in the radical leadership of the PCUSA. No wonder many of its former members have flocked to the evangelical churches.
Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of the International Legal Forum, had this to say about the PCUSA labeling Israel an apartheid state. “With its plethora of antisemitic tropes, it crosses all acceptable boundaries and descends into full-blown Jew-hatred, which will only incite and fuel further violence against Jews. Furthermore, by making such mendacities accusations invoking the Holocaust to compare to contemporary Israeli policy, the PCUSA is in direct violation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.”
In resorting to antisemitism in the guise of anti-Israelism, the PCUSA activists have shown their true colors.