NEW YORK, June 27 NY-Jewish-Council
NEW YORK, June 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Delegates to the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) have taken an important step forward, acknowledging that its congregations, members, and associated bodies should not “over-identify” with either party in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but should instead strive to serve as “nonpartisan advocates” for peace and compromise. The church also decided against new motions for divestment from various companies operating in Israel, and called for a comprehensive two-year study of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
We welcome the movement by Presbyterians toward balance. However, concerns remain. One adopted PC (USA) resolution endorsed a World Council of Churches statement known as “The Amman Call,” which purports to advance peace, but is inconsistent with a political solution that would include a viable Jewish state alongside an independent Palestinian state. The church also voted to continue its policy of “engagement” with corporations whose products are used in a manner disapproved by the denomination. We hope that the new policy of nonpartisanship will motivate the church to recognize the need to exert pressure on companies operating in Iran and Syria, state sponsors of terror.
We are hopeful that two years of careful study of the Middle East conflict will result in a fresh look at the situation. Presbyterians have now stated, in the resolution calling for non-partisanship, that the conflict should not be reduced to “a caricature of reality where one side clearly is at fault and the other side is clearly the victim.” The cause of a secure and just peace, a goal we very much share, will be furthered by the more nuanced approach sought by the General Assembly.
We are thankful to the many Presbyterians who made their voices heard in recognizing the need for a fair and responsible approach to the complexity of the Middle East and we hope these decisions will not be reconsidered before the conference concludes. We look forward to strengthening the Presbyterian-Jewish relationship as the PC (USA) realizes this approach in all of its peacemaking efforts.
American Jewish Committee Anti-Defamation League B’nai B’rith International Central Conference of American Rabbis Jewish Council for Public Affairs Jewish Reconstructionist Federation Simon Wiesenthal Center Union for Reform Judaism United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
SOURCE Jewish Council for Public Affairs