Tuesday, June 8, 2010

USCJ Passes Resolution in Advance of Presbyterian Church Vote on MidEast Study Committee Report

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Resolution on the Presbyterian Church USA Middle East Study Committee Report

Approved at June 6, 2010 General Assembly

Whereas Jews and Presbyterians in the United States have cooperated in joint advocacy on many social issues and we wish to further that productive relationship; and

Whereas the Presbyterian Church USA at its General Assembly in July 2010 will consider a report of its Middle East Study Committee (MESC) which if adopted would damage the relationship between our communities; and

Whereas the report is distinctly one-sided, traffics in troubling theology, distorts history; and

Whereas we determine that the report specifically:

(1)  misrepresents Jewish history when it indicates that there is no scientific evidence that contemporary Jews are linked to their ancestral home in Palestine;

(2)  describes Israel as the occupying army and the major impediment to peace without acknowledging that the Israeli government has the ethical imperative to defend its citizens from terrorist infiltration;

(3)  considers the settlements as the obstacle to peace without recognizing that there has been longstanding hostility to Israel predating the defensive 1967 War;

(4)  and praises the Kairos Palestinian document, ignoring its virulently anti-Israel content. The Kairos document employs retrograde theology that has been rejected by most Christians as supercessionist.  It refers to Palestinian terror as “legal resistance,” and calls for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel; and

Whereas we believe that the Middle East conflict can be resolved with the kind of two-state solution that is promoted by moderates in Israel and among the Palestinian leadership and has been endorsed by most world leaders and the United Nations; and

Whereas we further affirm that it is important for both sides of the conflict to recall that the United Nations recognized the State of Israel in 1948 and the government of Israel has recognized the rights of Palestinians to a state of their own.  Israel will defend its citizens against terrorist attacks and provide for their security. It is a tragic consequence of this conflict that innocent people on both sides continue to suffer; and

Whereas our friends and colleagues in the Presbyterian Church should understand that slander of the State of Israel will be felt deeply in the American Jewish community;

Therefore be it resolved that the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism urge our rabbis and congregational leaders to familiarize themselves with the content of the MESC report. They should approach their Presbyterian colleagues and specifically delegates to the July General Assembly and advocate for the defeat of that report.  Towards that end, the USCJ will provide our regional leadership with names and contact information for local delegates.

For additional information, contact: Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications. Jason Edelstein    jason@rabinowitz-dorf.com