An Open Letter to Presbyterian Church Spokeswoman Ms. Kathy Francis (and to Presbyterians Everywhere)
Dear Ms. Francis,
I read your comments on CNN regarding the recent unfortunate divestment vote by the Presbyterian Church. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read that the divestment vote was, in your words, “about morality and not politics”.
Morality? Really? HP computer technology helps prevent Gaza’s Hamas army from getting more missiles and explosives via sea and air routes; Motorola Solutions surveillance equipment prevents Palestinian terrorists from infiltrating Jewish communities to brutally murder Jewish families; and Caterpillar D9 bulldozers clear land mines as well as abandoned buildings used to snipe from at Jewish drivers.
If the decision were about morality, the vote would have been to double down, not to divest.
And as for the claim that no politics were involved, this is merely self-delusion. When you take the position that Jews do not have the right to live in all their ancestral land, and that military occupation is not justified despite all the wars and terrorist operations launched from the disputed territories, then at least have the intellectual honesty to admit that you’ve taken a particular political position – however justified you may feel it is. These kinds of decisions are all about politics, make no mistake about it.
And lest any reader consider unwarranted my accusation that politics dominated the recent Presbyterian Church’s vote, permit me to draw everyone’s attention to a webpage currently on the Church’s official website, PCUSA.org. This is a boycott page that accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” (put this term in the website’s search engine to find the page). This alone makes the point just how much the pro-Palestinian lobby within the Church has hijacked its policy-making.
The same page also spits out pro-Palestinian political positions, such as the supposed illegality of Israeli settlements (despite the split opinion of international law experts), the labeling of settlements as “impediments to peace” (as pure a political stance as there is), and the call to work towards a two-state solution, which may sound semi-apolitical until one realizes that this means empowering two organizations whose official charters both call for the elimination of Israel: Fatah and Hamas.
But the Presbyterian Church Israel Boycott page goes even beyond the above accusations, claiming that “those [Palestinians] living inside Israel are second-class citizens.” Not even the ardently pro-Palestinian Jimmy Carter agrees to such a description.
Perhaps most odious and poignant of the canards included on this page is the claim that Israel abducts Palestinian children! To have that particular blood libel on one if its webpages at this particular point in time when Israel is desperately searching for three Jewish children who were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists who enjoy widespread support for their actions, and even from Palestinian members of Israel’s Knesset, is simply horrific. I have no doubt that there are many Presbyterians only learning of this now who are equally horrified.
And yet, there’s more. The kicker comes at the bottom of this page, where it unequivocally states:
There is now a global effort to boycott and divest from Israel in order to pressure the Israeli government to end its illegal occupation and apartheid and to respect international law. Like the effort which helped end apartheid in South Africa, this movement is working. (See www.bdsmovement.net)
Need I even comment? This statement belies everything that the current leadership has said in denying any connection to the international BDS movement. Period.
More examples of the politicization of the Presbyterian Church by certain pro-Palestinian members can be found by searching for the term “Palestine” and following the links. But I believe what I have presented above suffices to make the point.
I urge all sincere Presbyterians who understand the immorality of what is happening to their church to make a stand and effect the appropriate changes. Or, if in fact the majority of Presbyterians wish to adopt a pro-Palestinian political stand, let the Church state so clearly, and then those with a pro-Israeli political view will respond in kind. For now, I am withholding judgment of what the Presbyterian Church stands for, and await the actions of its constituents.
Be’er Sheva, Israel
About the Author: Robert Klein lives in Be'ersheva, Israel.
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