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Op-Ed: Presbyterian Church USA and the Banality of Evil

These are our neighbors who’ve gone over to the “banality of evil.”
Published: Thursday, June 26, 2014 12:56 AM


Even as we’re hurting over the three kidnapped Yeshiva kids in Israel, along comes the Presbyterian Church USA to pour it on, as if to say, here’s more.

The Elders of that Church do not speak for the vast majority of Presbyterians across the USA – I am sure of this – but a sizeable minority within its hierarchy can’t seem to shake loose from the wildfire of European anti-Semitism.

So last week they joined the BDS movement. They voted to oust three companies that do business in Israel: Motorola, Hewlett-Packard and Caterpillar.

The vote was 310 in favor of divestment, 303 against, so it was close, but the Jew-haters still won. They do keep on winning.

Imagine being left to the tender mercies of these people…as once we were.

Proof that malice motivated the Elders comes by way of a move among the delegates to delete all references to Israel in the Book of Common Worship.

Plainly, they wanted to wipe Israel off the map. The motion failed, this time around, as otherwise the Book of Psalms, written mostly by King David in Hebrew from Jerusalem, would have to be scrapped. But even translated into English the line from their Liturgy still reads, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”  

I was listening to the CNN exchange between a man who represents the Church, Dr. Heath Rada, and for our side we had Reform Rabbi Rick Jacobs, who did me no favors. Rada said that he did not vote for the resolution but he did support the Church’s position.

In other words, he spoke from both sides of his mouth, as when he said that despite everything the Jews are his “brothers and sisters.”

No sir, you are not my brother.

He also said that most Jews agreed with the Church’s action. The Rabbi was terrific when he said, no, Jews are in pain over what the Church did.

The Rabbi had me there, yes, we are pained. We feel betrayed. These are not wild-eyed jihadist lunatics. These are our neighbors who’ve gone over to the “banality of evil.”  

I forgot to duck when the Rabbi switched and suggested that both sides should link up and demand that Prime Minister Netanyahu dismantle the “settlements.”

I should have seen this coming. Today it’s the settlements. Yesterday it was something else…and tomorrow?


Last week the Elders met in search of wrongdoing anywhere in the world and to their relief they found the world perfect, except for Israel.
Does the Rabbi not know that it’s always something, something else, and that nothing will satisfy the hunger of Israel’s enemies? Guess not.

So last week the Elders met in search of wrongdoing anywhere in the world and to their relief they found the world perfect, except for Israel. This is the only country in the entire Middle East where Christians are entirely safe and free, but for the Elders this is still not perfect enough.

Across the region, Iraq, Iran, Syria, people are being slaughtered, Christian and otherwise, and in Nigeria Christians are being systematically kidnapped and murdered. A Sudanese woman is being tormented because she dared to convert from Islam to Christianity. Over in North Korea, 80 people were publicly executed for possessing Bibles.

But to the Elders one nation needs to be punished…which by coincidence happens to be a Jewish State…that man Rada’s “brothers sand sisters.”

Also by coincidence the Elders met in Detroit. So they could have stayed in Detroit because what happens in Detroit is bad enough. You do not have to search the ends of the globe for wrongdoing. Detroit averages a murder a day. There is nothing like this in Israel. Not even close.

Next time, before fixing the Jews, the Elders might consider fixing their own House first.

Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. Engelhard wrote the int’l bestseller Indecent Proposal that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. New from the novelist, the anti-BDS thriller Compulsive. Website: www.jackengelhard.com