Simon Wiesenthal Center: Presbyterian Vote to 'Reconsider 'Two-State Solution Aligns Church with Those Seeking End of Israel

June 20, 2014

PCUSA Divestment Resolution Bolsters Anti-Peace Extremists

The Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced today's  votes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA) in Detroit to reconsider its long-standing support of a two-state solution in the Holy Land, and to divest from a number of American companies doing business with Israel.

"We are shocked beyond words. With the crimes against humanity occurring in Syria and Iraq, with the Middle East in chaos, with African Christians regularly selected by terrorists for murder because of their faith, PCUSA chooses to flex its moral muscles by aiding and abetting those pledged to do away with the Jewish State," said Rabbi Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center

"The vote to 'reconsider' a two-state solution – the cornerstone of US foreign policy and negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is actually a recommendation to drop it. They call the two-state solution 'unrealistic…when no real possibility of that seems to exist'," he added.

We are witness today to an ugly spectacle of righteous hypocrisy, as an American church punishes the sole Middle East democracy for the sin of safeguarding its security while some of its Palestinian neighbors pass out sweets to celebrate the abduction of Israeli teenagers," Rabbi Cooper concluded. 

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center's director of interfaith affairs, was not surprised by the floor votes. "Church leadership ensured that only anti-Israel voices were given extended testimony time during the crucial committee hearings, while the pro-Israel Presbyterian Friends of Middle East Peace were told to contain their remarks to 90-second statements, with no questions from committee members. This was what we expected."

"Earlier, we were correct for breaking off relations with this church – whose numbers have dwindled to the point that the denomination has become irrelevant – because of the administration's unequivocal hostility to Jews and Israel.  The church published a study guide a few months ago that stripped Israel of its millennia-old continual physical stake in the Holy Land, coddled terrorism, and called the very idea of a Jewish state illegal and racist," Adlerstein continued. 

"The church continues to tolerate overt anti-Semitism on its website without even bothering to dissent.  Ironically, as others get ready to celebrate 50 years of productive interfaith relations since the Catholic Church's Nostra Aetate document, Presbyterians have reverted to the pre-Holocaust stance of an adversarial relationship with the Jewish community. Jews should stop and reflect on who their friends are – and who are not," Rabbi 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).