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B'nai B'rith Calls for the End of Interfaith Dialogue With the Presbyterian Church (USA)

July 21, 2004

At its recent 216th General Assembly, the Presbyterian Church (USA) issued hostile and aggressive declarations against the Jewish people and the State of Israel, thus shattering nearly 50 years of interfaith dialogue.

The church, voting earlier this month, decided to:

  1. Fund missionary activities aimed at converting U.S. Jews to Christianity.
  2. Call Israel a racist, apartheid state for building a security fence that thwarts suicide bombers.
  3. Advocate the divestment of holdings by multinational corporations doing business with Israel.

The measures listed above neither accept the right of Jews to practice their own religion (by being targeted by missionary conversion) nor the political rights of Jews (by calling for measures that would eventually destroy Israel).

A press release explaining the Assembly's position on the security fence expresses concern for hardships Palestinian farmers face while trying to tend to their orchards and fields. However, there is no mention in the statement of the reason Israel was forced to build the structure -- namely, to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from murdering innocent Israeli citizens. The fence was built after Palestinian terrorists had killed nearly 1,000 Jews. Since its construction, the number of fatalities has sharply decreased.

We call on the leadership of the Presbyterian Church USA to recant these three hostile declarations and make a good-faith effort to distinguish between terror and defending oneself against it. Failure to make that critical distinction means that interfaith dialogue cannot happen, effectively ending the hard work of so many who have sought to build bridges of understanding and tolerance.

Interfaith dialogue will one day be possible. It is up to the Presbyterian leadership to take the next step.

The original article could be seen at the following link.

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