Saturday, March 25, 2006

Anti-Semitic? Anti-Israel? Both?

Writing for the American Thinker, Diana Appelbaum gives the Presbyterian Church (USA) a justified whack for it's 2004 "divestment" decision:
[S]upporters and detractors of divestment are discussing whether the Church’s decision was anti-Semitic, or - somehow - anti-Israel without being anti-Semitic. Curiously, despite the storm caused by the divestment vote, most Presbyterians remain unaware of the extent to which the PCUSA leadership has involved itself in old-fashioned theological anti-Semitism.
I was dismayed when the PCUSA took it's decision against Israel because I concluded, based on the way in which the issue was introduced at the last-minute, with lopsideded advocacy, that my denomination had succumbed to a position that could be associated with anti-Semitism. But I didn't realize the extent to which the church has officially associated itself with a blantantly anti-Semiticic organization that bases its theological worldview on a coupling of liberation and replacement theology (also known as supersessionism):
One of the resolutions passed at the 2004 General Assembly included a list of recommended theological "resources.” The most troubling “resource” on the list is the Sabeel Center for Liberation Theology.
Despite the official rejection of supersessionism in 1987, the church has nonetheless seen fit to formally align itself with the Sabeel Center:
The overtly anti-Semitic Sabeel Center is an official partner of the PCUSA, and receives PCUSA financial support.
Not long after the 2004 GA decision, I remember hearing an chapel address by Cantor Neil Blumofe who called the PCUSA decision "cynical." He was being kind. Make no mistake, the "divestment" decision has caused grave hurt in Jewish communities. I strongly urge those concerned about the church's contradictory and unjust positions regarding Israel to read all of Appelbaum's article, which contains some facinating and rather depressing links.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:53 AM

    Chistopher at For Zion's Sake expanded upon Appelbaum's commentary.

    Also, the Faiths for Fairness project of the American Interfaith Institute has done a lot of work to uncover the bias inherent in the many fact finding trips by the PCUSA leadership to the Mid East. Their work can be seen at: