|PETITION CONDEMNS CHURCH FOR 'HATRED' OF ISRAEL
Mainline Presbyterians largest group to divest from Jewish State
WorldNetDaily, July 30, 2004
|An online petition signed by more than 2,000 people protests the Presbyterian Church USA general assembly's decision to side
with Palestinian Arabs and against Israel, choosing to divest from the Jewish state as it did only with apartheid South Africa.
With the decision, approved in a 431-62 vote at the 216th annual general assembly of the PCUSA, the denomination is believed
to be the largest organization or institution to join the divestment campaign against Israel. It is the first Christian denomination to
The petition, addressed to the church's stated clerk, Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, asserts the vote is "morally wrong."
The petition says the church's resolution is "anti-Semitic because NO OTHER nation is being singled for divestment, not even
those whose violations of human rights are truly egregious."
"Only the moral blindless of Jew-hatred could lead the church to compare Israel's multi-racial democracy to apartheid South
Africa," the petition says. "Only anti-Semitism could lead the church to condemn democratic Israel, while not voting
divestment from Saudi Arabia, where women have virtually no rights and non-Muslims are not even permitted to enter the country without special permission, from Sudan, where race-based genocide is occurring even as we speak, from Iran, where Bahai are murdered for their faith, or from the many other countries where human rights are violated as a matter of routine."
The petition concludes: "We condemn the Presbyterian divestment resolution as an act of hatred against Israel and the Jewish people and call for its immediate revocation."
Leaders of the liberal mainline Protestant church approved several other anti-Israel resolutions at their gathering in Richmond, VA., and also refused to halt funding for "messianic congregations" that target Jews for conversion.
In 2001, the combined value of the church's foundation and pension fund was estimated at $7 billion.
The Presbyterian resolutions came just as Jewish organizations were hailing the results of a historic international interfaith meeting in Buenos Aires last week, where Roman Catholic officials for the first time signed on to a document equating anti-Zionism with
The assembly set the stage for the church to divest itself from companies that receive $1 million dollars or more in profits per year from investments in Israel or have invested $1 million dollars or more in Israel.
In a news release, the PCUSA liaison to the Middle East, Rev. Victor Makari, was quoted as saying: "If nothing else seems to
have changed the policy of Israel toward Palestinians, we need to send a clear and strong message."
The church statement noted that "divestment is one of the strategies that U.S. churches used in the 1970's and '80s in a success-ful campaign to end apartheid in South Africa."