Presbyterian Church's unholy matrimony of BDS and anti-Semitism

NGO Monitor reveals new report by church seeking to actively promote economic attack on Jewish state while downplaying Arab terror.

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Ari Yashar,

Christians (illustration)
Christians (illustration)
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

A new report by an official committee of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) shows how the church is actively promoting the BDS movement seeking to economically cripple Israel, and downplaying Palestinian Arab terrorism at the same time.

The report, "Israel-Palestine: For Human Values in the Absence of a Just Peace," was released by the church's Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) on February 25, and was analyzed by the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor on Thursday.

"This report, based on selective claims, myths and distortions from anti-peace NGOs promotes boycotts under the guise of religious responsibility," said Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor.

"For years some factions of the Presbyterian Church have echoed calls by radical anti-peace NGOs promoting discriminatory attacks against Israel, while ignoring murderous Palestinian terror. Last year, these groups convinced the PCUSA to vote to join the BDS attack."

"Now, the ACSWP is again promoting this agenda, including the promotion of anti-Semitic theological themes. In order to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians, PCUSA's 2016 General Assembly must reject the blatant bias, distortions and immorality of the ACSWP report," concluded Steinberg.

Throughout the PCUSA committee's report it excuses and downplays Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians, revealed NGO Monitor.

It claims that Israel "labels any resistance as terrorism," but says Palestinians have "the right to armed struggle." Later the report says that "while there have been occasional internal spikes of violence (such as knife attacks in late 2015) and indiscriminate rocket attacks, most Israelis lead relatively secure lives."

Regarding the BDS movement, the report "affirms the traditional freedom of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and other religious, civic, and private organizations in the United States to determine their own practices of investment or divestment, boycott or selective purchasing."

It also makes use of theological language to oppose Jewish self-determination, and calls on the US to reevaluate its support of Israel.

The document will be presented at the 2016 PCUSA General Assembly and urges escalating the discriminatory attacks on Israel, even though other voices in the Presbyterian Church are challenging BDS.