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Simon Wiesenthal Center Calls on Presbyterians to Discipline Group That Promoted Anti-Semitic Imagery

February 9, 2012    


The Simon Wiesenthal Center is calling on Presbyterians (PCUSA) to rein in an influential group that has injected anti-Semitic themes into the Church debates on the Middle East.

The call comes in the wake of the Israel-Palestine Mission Network’s (IPMN) removal of its Facebook page, which it used to present recurrent anti-Semitic themes and discussions delegitimizing the Jewish State. Between its webpage and Facebook presence, IPMN has harped on themes, including alleged Jewish control of the US Administration (including a caricature of President Obama wearing large Jewish-star earrings), blaming Israel for American economic woes, complaining about alleged Jewish domination of Hollywood and the Media, and dismissing the legitimacy of the very idea of a Jewish State. It also hosted a horrible Palestinian diatribe about Jewish world control.

“While people are dying by the thousands in Syria, and millions of Christians from Egypt to Pakistan live with the constant threat of discrimination and violence, people of conscience and faith-community leaders should be working together to protect the vulnerable,” urged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Instead, the IPMN has chosen to use its platform to inject ugly stereotypes and rhetoric into the debate over the future of the Holy Land. This is unacceptable for the Jewish community, and should be totally unacceptable to the leadership of PCUSA.”

“Instead of apologizing to their church for such odious behavior, IPMN chose to play the role of victim, and blamed Jewish groups,” noted Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center’s director of interfaith affairs. “Members of PCUSA have been struggling for years to prevent IPMN from speaking in their name. Regrettably, more important than IPMN’s impunity was the failure of PCUSA leadership to do anything at all about the problem, even after many church members urged them to take action. In this instance, PCUSA leadership has been a model of moral failure.”

The Wiesenthal Center calls upon its many friends in PCUSA to ensure that the Church’s leaders finally hold IPMN accountable to accepted standards of civil decency, or end its status as an agency of the Church.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device. 

 The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe, and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).