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Statement by Catholic Friends of Israel on Presbyterian Anti-Israel Actions

[These comments appeared in the August 8, 2004, newsletter of Catholic Friends of Israel.]

The bad news is that the Presbyterian Church USA has decided to divest from Israel. There was no mention of divesting from any other country in the world, however horrible its human rights record. This decision came during a convention that included

  1. denouncing Israel's anti-terrorism barrier (but no other unilaterally-constructed barrier in the world),
  2. equating Israeli defensive actions with Palestinian terrorism, and
  3. backing a PLO policy that would effectively destroy the Jewish state. This policy is the "right of return" that would allow millions of Arabs to claim citizenship in Israel. Not a word from the PCUSA on the more than 850,000 Jews that were driven from their homes after the 1948 Arab war to destroy the newly formed Jewish state.

It is a shameful, hateful, and ideologically-driven decision by the Presbyterians. After receiving thousands of complaints, PCUSA director Clifton Kirkpatrick sent out a self-serving bit of nonsense aimed at backtracking without actually diverging in the slightest from any of the above decisions.

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