Simon Wiesenthal Center: Presbyterian’s “Zionism Unsettled” - Theological Twin of UN’s Infamous 'Zionism is Racism' Resolution

February 6, 2014

Jewish Groups Should Divest All Contact with PCUSA

A new Presbyterian publication slanders Zionists — Jews and Christians alike — denigrating the heart of Jewish identity. The 74-page Zionism Unsettled, sold through the main PCUSA church’s website, “Explores the theological and ethical exceptionalism of Jewish and Christian Zionism, which have been sheltered from open debate despite the intolerable human rights abuses rooted in their core beliefs.”

“This outrageous screed is the theological twin of the infamous 1975 UN ‘Zionism is Racism’ resolution”, charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights NGO. "Zionism Unsettled is a hit-piece outside all norms of Interfaith dialogue. It is a compendium of distortions, ignorance and outright lies – that tragically has emanated too often from elites within this church,” Cooper continued.

“To be clear, this publication isn't an attack on particular Israeli policies but on the very idea of a Jewish return to Zion. By publishing this document, the Presbyterian Church (USA)(PCUSA) has deployed the nuclear option against the vast majority of Jews, calling us inherently racist and abusive. We call on our Christian associates – including those critical of some of Israel’s policies – to denounce this disgusting attack aimed at delegitimizing and demonizing the world’s largest Jewish community and all lovers of Zion. It will take Christian voices to offer the antidote to the poison served up by other Christians. And if this book reflects the feelings of the PCUSA, the Simon Wiesenthal Center will divest all contacts from this institution and call on other Jewish organizations to do them same,” Cooper added.

“PCUSA has plunged Interfaith dialogue back to the days of Adversus Judaeos literature of the early Church,” explained Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center’s Director of Interfaith Affairs. “Christian guilt for the theological anti-Semitism that helped paved the way for the Holocaust led to what was supposed to be a new understanding and mutual regard for the sister religions. Such dialogue always presupposed that Jews and Christians would not only listen to each other, but also understand – even when they could not adopt – the basic yearnings, needs, and self-definitions of the other. PCUSA leaders’ promotion of this document means that the leaders of this church have learned nothing about who Jews are after decades of conversation. Such attacks describing our core belief as 'rooted' in 'intolerable human rights abuses' reveals there is nothing left to talk about with such religious bigots. Jews will now regard PCUSA as a hostile church," Adlerstein concluded.

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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).