Monday, June 30, 2014
ANTISEMITISM IN THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Whilst the BDS movement continues to claim successes, the truth is that there are starting to be repercussions in those organisations who have voted for boycotts, divestment or sanctions.
RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) approved a motion in March calling on the International Architects Union (UIA) to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects while building continues in the occupied territories. The UIA has refused to put the motion on the agenda of its annual congress in August.
However, RIBA’s vote to suspend the Israeli architects’ union was passed and this decision which split the institute’s membership has cost it £100,000 in lost bookings and donations. President Stephen Hodder told the institute’s latest Council meeting that the financial fallout from Angela Brady’s motion ran to six figures.
Another divestment campaign is looking likely running into trouble, see article below.
THE ROLE OF ANTISEMITISM IN THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (USA´S) DECISION TO SUPPORT DIVESTMENT
NGO Monitor- BDS in the Pews June 25, 2014
1. The Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA) is a main advocate within the church on behalf of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS), whose goal is to delegitimize the State of Israel leading to that country’s dissolution. The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship is also an advocate for BDS.
2. This report produces clear evidence of a strong undercurrent of overt anti-Jewish bigotry within the IPMN as expressed on the group’s Facebook page.
3. Numerous postings uploaded to this site by IPMN members over a period of two years demonstrate an ongoing pattern of expressions of anti-Semitism, including:
a. a “Zionist controlled America [has a] desperate lust” for war with Iran
b. “Jewish interests” are “corrupting” the US government, and the media is “owned” and “operated” by these same “Jewish interests.”
c. the “Christian Holy Land” is “occupied” by the “zionist (sic) instigator”
d. Racial theories of Jewish origins claiming Ashkenazi Jews are not racially “Semitic,” are actually “Khazars,” and therefore should not be in the Middle East.
e. Israeli Jews should be ethnically cleansed: “Helen Thomas was right, ‘Go back to Russia, Germany…’ Just leave.”
f. “IRAN! Thank God for them! The only Zionist-free land left on earth.”
4. The site is administered by five IPMN leaders. Members include senior staff of the PCUSA, theologians, clergy, laity, and non-Presbyterian anti-Israel non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
5. At no point did any of these site administrators or any of the PCUSA staff take any overt action such as speaking out against the blatant anti-Semitism, rebuking members for their intolerant statements, or removing them from the site’s membership.
6. At no point did any of the members from non-Presbyterian NGOs speak out against this antisemitism, including members of the fringe group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).
7. This overt anti-Semitism is the backdrop to the IPMN’s advocacy campaign within the PCUSA for divestment and boycotts against Israel, culminating in votes at the June 2014 PCUSA’s General Assembly in support of divestment and other anti-Israel resolutions.
8. In 2013 both IPMN and JVP were recipients of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship’s “top award” the “Peace seeker Award.”
9. The bigotry expressed by IPMN members and tolerated by IPMN leaders and PCUSA staff is a moral failing of the church. Serious steps must be taken by the church to remedy this situation, including an apology to the Jewish community, for the church to be able to claim any moral standing on the Middle East.