In my last column, I praised Presbyterian Church USA for voting down Zionism Unsettled, a libelous document that portrayed Zionists as supremacists, and charged Israel with practicing apartheid in its treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.
There is no doubt that the church should still be recognized for the good sense it exhibited at its recently ended General Assembly. Yet, as more information comes to light, the accomplishments of last week reflect an attitude toward the State of Israel, and some would say the Jewish People, that is at least disquieting if not downright irksome.
The General Assembly refused to approve the document, but it did approve a resolution calling for the church to divest itself of all investments in Motorola Solutions, Hewlett Packard and Caterpillar because of their sales to the State of Israel. When kowtowing to the BDS movement in this manner, the church group relied on a different set of approaches for how it deals with Jews and Moslems. The Bible teaches us to have one set of rules for citizens and for aliens. It is a statement repeated often in four books of the Torah, and is a basic principle at the root of all Bible rooted religions. The discrimination between Jews and Moslems, therefore, has a blatant patina of impropriety if not anti-Semitism.
An observer at the conference, Rabbi Kenneth Cohen, in describing the passing of the resolution on Facebook referred to the resolution being railroaded through the group. He cited “Some Unvarnished Truth,” a report prepared by Presbyterians for Middle East Peace. Articles on Fox News and in The Christian Post were equally disheartened by the stance of Presbyterian Church USA.
When confronted about the group’s new policy on television, Presbyterian moderator Heath Rada responded, “in no way is this a reflection of our lack of love for our Jewish brothers and sisters.” Your examiner is the oldest of four brothers and through that experience knows a bit about sibling love. When a man stabs his brother in the back and says that does not reflect a lack of love, one must wonder. Is he just naïve, stupid, or is he two-faced? The same moderator had no response when asked why, if the church does not accept “Zionism Unsettled” as church doctrine, does it still sell it through its website. One would think that its promotion by a white supremacist , i.e. David Duke, would be enough to prove that the piece is tainted.
As for the divestment resolution, how could informed people pass it? The Presbyterians for Middle East Peace document speaks specifically to that issue, and it is linked here for readers to study.
What the assembled Presbyterians were never told is that while Motorola Solutions provides the software used at border crossings to Palestinian regions, it does not hurt the Palestinians. Not only does it speed the flow of traffic as Arabs try to cross the Green Line into Israel, which most would see as advantageous, it enables the Israelis to maintain firmer control of borders. Protecting national borders is a solemn right of any sovereign nation.
Regardi ng Hewlett Packard, the Israelis were accused of using software from that group when blockading the Gaza Strip. What they failed to note is that Israel imposed the blockade only after Hamas refused to abide by agreed upon rules, and regularly smuggled armaments, especially rockets. Those rockets were most often used to launch illegal attacks against civilian targets inside the Green Line Those launches resulted in numerous deaths and the maiming of myriads more. To demand divestiture for Israel asserting its right to self protection is not only unjust, it is beneath contempt. To Rada one might quote Genesis and yell “your brother’s blood is crying to me.”
As for Caterpillar, they deny ever selling equipment to Israel. All of their sales were made to US purchasers. If those items were later delivered to Israel, and even if they were used by Israelis to destroy Palestinian homes as alleged, Israel claims that it only destroys Palestinian buildings when they are used to perpetrate terrorist acts.
Thankfully, as my brothers and sisters of the Presbyterian Church have shown in interactions with them, the actions of the General Assembly have little to do with individuals’i lives, or their views of the Jewish People or the Jewish State.
If there is a divestment needed, it should be accomplished rapidly. Affiliated churches must openly voice their anger and despair with the national association’s determinations. Moral Jews, Christians and Moslems all can ably differentiate between righteousness and evil. Costuming evil as church policy galls.