Presbyterians Avoid Rupture with Jewish People, But Bias Against Israel Continues

New York, NY, July 9, 2010 … While the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly averted a rupture with the Jewish community by rejecting some extremely harsh anti-Israel proposals and language, bias continues and serious issues remain, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said today.

On the issue of aid to Israel, the 219th General Assembly meeting in Minneapolis voted to recommend that the United States consider withholding military aid "as a means of bringing Israel to compliance with international law and peacemaking efforts" and withholding government aid as long as Israel creates new settlements on the West Bank. Additionally, it called for Israel to end immediately its blockade of Gaza.

The General Assembly also voted to disseminate the highly problematic text, known as the Kairos Palestine document, which calls for boycott and divestment from Israel and calls terror a form of legal resistance; while at the same time rejecting a years-in-the-making interfaith report, "Children of God," to try and improve Presbyterian-Jewish relations.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

We are saddened that the efforts of our good friends in the Presbyterian Church who worked so hard were not more successful and, at best, averted a rupture between the Church and the Jewish people.

However, anti-Israel bias continues with the approval of recommendations which single out and put the onus for peacemaking on Israel. The recommendations against U.S. aid to Israel are one-sided and demonstrate the depth of anti-Israel bias.

Now we must build upon the positive efforts and move forward to continue the dialogue in an honest and fair manner.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

More from this Section

Sarah Lynne Reul
Ashley Herring Blake