Wiesenthal Center Denounces Latest U.S. Presbyterians’ Call for Israel Boycott

October 17, 2011

The Simon Wiesenthal Center denounces the call from an activist group within the Presbyterian Church – USA (PCUSA) to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel.

The National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus (NMEPC) is urging the important mainline Protestant Church to fully embrace the so-called BDS movement to delegitimize the Jewish State.

PCUSA was the first mainline Protestant denomination to call for divestment from Israel in 2006. Widespread unhappiness among members of the Church led to repeal that call, but some leaders and activists persist in their anti-Israel slanders.

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center urges the members of PCUSA to reject the onerous, dishonest, and unfair campaigns of vilification waged against Israel within its church by extremists, once and for all,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “Make no mistake, these activists are not just interested in ameliorating Palestinian suffering, but eliminating the State of Israel altogether,” Cooper added.

“No matter what is happening in the world, no matter how much Christian blood flows through the streets of Egypt, the Philippines, Iraq and Iran, some people in PCUSA see only the Jewish state as the world’s worst demon,” said Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center’s Director of Interfaith Affairs. He added, “The NMEPC call begins with a self-description as ‘Middle Eastern Americans who trace their faith origin to the apostolic age.’ We at the Simon Wiesenthal Center trace our faith origin – and our continuous presence in the Holy Land - to well before that. When you are ready to acknowledge that we are also stakeholders in the Middle East, when you are ready to say ‘We accept Israel as a Jewish State,’ you can make a contribution towards peace. Until then, we call upon members of PCUSA to reject calls to action that distort truth, pervert justice, and poison interfaith relations.”

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).

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