In 2004, The Presbyterian Church in the US (PCUSA) became the first mainline
Protestant denomination to approve a policy of divestment from Israel. Unpopular with church members, it was later rescinded.
But in 2008, church leaders supposedly seeking to balance PCUSA’a Middle East policies, instead, created a committee dominated by seven activists holding strong anti-Israel beliefs. The lone member sympathetic to Israel, quit in protest when he saw their radical agenda.
Here’s what we know about their report from a press release leaked by the committee last month:
•the report calls for the US to withhold financial and military aid to Israel
•it apologizes to Palestinians for even conceding that Israel has a right to exist
•it declares that Israel, if defined as a Jewish State, must be inherently racist
•it embraces the Kairos Palestine Document, produced by Palestinian Christians, calling for boycott and sanctions against Israel and endorses full Palestinian ‘right of return‘ to Israel which would lead to the demise of the Jewish democratic state
•it denies any connection between biblical covenants and the Jewish people. Israel’s history, it claims, begins only with the Holocaust, a nation mistakenly created by Western powers at the expense of the Palestinian people to solve the ‘Jewish problem’
“In addition,” Chesler says, “PCUSA has also resolved to divest in companies that supply military equipment to the American Army, e.g. Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, etc.”
This certainly will do nothing to enhance relations between Jews and Presbyterians.
And to oppose this kind of talk does not mean that one has to endorse “Christian Zionism.”
Where in the example of Jesus do we find precedent for Christians needing to make these kinds of pronouncements?