Daily Israel Report

Anti-Semitism in the Presbyterian Church

Church's Facebook page includes anti-Israel, anti-Semitic content; accusing Jews of controlling politics, media; causing economic crisis
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/9/2012, 3:58 PM

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), an umbrella organization of 125 local Jewish federations and 14 national Jewish organizations, issued a press release on February 6, calling for the Presbyterian Church PC(USA) to “take concrete actions to address the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, and at times anti-Semitic content that has been all too common in the church’s Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN-PCUSA),” the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) reported.  

The JCPA issued a press release stating: “The IPMN-PCUSA Facebook page includes a cartoon of President Obama wearing weighty Jewish star earrings to suggest Jewish control of the American leaders, a common theme on the site. The IPMN-PCUSA has posted articles that accuse Jews of controlling Hollywood, the media, and American politics - and blaming Israel for the American housing and economic crisis. IPMN-PCUSA's communications chair also posted her opposition to a two-state solution and the existence of a Jewish state, something which she terms ‘anachronistic.’ The same IPMN leader, Noushin Framke, clicked ‘like’ on the Obama cartoon with the Jewish stars and another post that Hamas should keep Israeli Gilad Shalit hostage until Palestinians are granted a right of return.”

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) also issued a statement condemning the Presbyterian Church. Rabbi Noam Marans, director of the AJC’s Interreligious and Intergroup Relations stated, “When American church leaders allow extremists in their own community to dictate the direction of church activity on an issue as complex as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they weaken the stature of the church in the eyes of all.”

He continued by saying, “American Jews and Presbyterians have a long history of positive action on behalf of many bedrock causes in American society… But the ceding by PC(USA) to IPMN of leadership regarding the conflict in the Middle East blinds Presbyterians to the pain they cause their Jewish neighbors and denies the wider Presbyterian desire for fairness.”

The Presbyterian Church had been advised to end this anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda but did not do so. It was only after the JCPA gathered a collection of hateful postings on the IPMN’s Facebook page and distributed these findings to the leaders of the organization,that the IPMN-PCUSA finally deleted its Facebook page, CAMERA reported. 

For more on the American church's attitude to Israel and Jews, click here. For the World Council of Churches and Israel, click here.