Concerning “Score One For Community Relations” (Editorial, July 16), while it is important to recognize and appreciate the extraordinary efforts of our many Presbyterians friends who worked diligently to reduce the horrendous anti-Israel proposals before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), we cannot ignore the serious anti-Israel positions that remain.
Most disturbingly, the Church reaffirmed its one-sided call to withhold U.S. aid as a means to pressure Israel to make peace and cease settlement activity. Those who dismiss this action because it is “old policy” miss the point. Singling out Israel has always been insidious, particularly in today’s environment where Israel is the target of organized campaigns that question its legitimacy.
The Church also failed to repudiate a Palestinian Christian document that calls terror a form of legal resistance, endorses divestment against Israel and denies any connection between biblical covenants and the Jewish people. A six-year joint interfaith study to improve Presbyterian and Jewish relations was rejected.
Yes, the PCUSA did reaffirm “Israel’s right to exist.” But 62 years after the United Nations declared Israel a sovereign state, have we set the bar so low that such an act can be described as miraculous?
Our focus now must be to maintain and build on the respectful interfaith relationships made and reinforced between the Presbyterian and Jewish communities in the effort to dispel the still-existing anti-Israel bias.
Director, Interfaith Affairs