(Go to JAT-Action Home Page or Presbyterian Section)

History of Anti-Israel Bias of Presbyterian Church Leadership

[These official Presbyterian Church USA statements on the Middle East were compiled by the Institute on Religion and Democracy and can be found at the following link.]

Letter from Clifton Kirkpatrick, PCUSA Stated Clerk, to President Clinton, October 14, 2000.

"While we deplore hostage taking and the brutalization and murder of Israeli soldiers, such acts simply do not justify the unconscionable, massive retaliation of the Israeli military, including indiscriminate shooting of children and adults on the streets, the denial of access to emergency medical care and relief supplies from the international community, and the rocket attacks on apartment buildings containing innocent civilians. Surely you can understand the frustrations of Palestinian Christians and Muslims forced to live under a clear form of apartheid, in which their land has been expropriated and turned into hostile illegal settlements, their workers denied access to their jobs, their homes destroyed and their basic human and civil rights denied."

Note: Kirkpatrick did not enumerate specific abuses by the Palestinian Authority in the same manner that he enumerated Israeli abuses.

Letter from Stated Clerk Kirkpatrick to Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, March 11, 2002.

"While we do not condone the acts of violence by certain Palestinian extremists, we are appalled that Israel, in response, has continued to punish the entire Palestinian population and its leaders who have been your government's partners in the peace process. For the past year and a half, the Israeli army has continued to bombard Palestinian institutions and the civilian population, including those in refugee communities, with merciless attacks...
"We protest the continuing degradation of the Palestinian people by Israel. We again appeal to you for the immediate withdrawal of the military from the Palestinian territories. We urge you to renounce and to stop this violent madness and seek the course of peaceful negotiations, for the sake of justice, on which Israel's own security depends."

Note: Kirkpatrick did not send any similar letter to Chairman Arafat. Indeed, his words suggest that he ascribes terrorist acts only to "certain Palestinian extremists"--not to the Palestinian Authority. He regards that authority as a "partner in the peace process."

Statement by Stated Clerk Kirkpatrick, April 5, 2002.

"We decry the continuing occupation of the Palestinian territories by the Israeli government, and the terror inflicted upon the Palestinian people through Israel's repeated military incursions into Palestinian towns and villages. We do not believe that the might of the powerful can bring peace through the force of humiliation, violated rights, and death...
"We have repeatedly called for the end of the Israeli occupation, a halting of the building and expansion of Israel settlements and colonies on confiscated Palestinian land, a halt of the continuing humiliation and degradation of the Palestinian people by Israel through collective punishment, demolition of houses, damage and destruction of public buildings, including church structures, invasion of hospitals, schools and church buildings and annexes, border closings, military check points, denial of access to health and social serviceocial services and religious sites, and even brutal attacks on Palestinian police and civilians, including women, men and children inhabitants of refugee camps."

Note: The statement contains no comparable catalogue of abuses by the Palestinian Authority.

(Go to JAT-Action Home Page or Presbyterian Section)

Valid HTML 4.01!