“This publication isn’t an attack on particular Israeli policies, but on the very idea of a Jewish return to Zion,” Cooper explained. He said that in publishing Zionism Unsettled, the PCUSA “has deployed the nuclear option against the vast majority of Jews, calling us inherently racist and abusive.”
The SWC’s public statement denouncing the booklet called on Christian churches and individuals to denounce the “disgusting attack aimed at delegitimizing and demonizing the world’s largest Jewish community and all lovers of Zion.”
The SWC’s director of interfaith affairs, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein chastised the PCUSA for sending interfaith dialogue back to the highly antagonistic literature of the early Church.
“Such attacks describing our core beliefs as ‘rooted’ in ‘intolerable human rights abuses’ reveals there is nothing left to talk about with such religious bigots. Jews will now regard PCUSA as a hostile church,” concluded Adlerstein.
Without even waiting to hear the challenge issued by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Mark Tooley, the president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, went public with his criticism of what he called the “elites” within the PCUSA towards Israel. The IRD is an American Christian think tank.
Tooley derided what he called “the special human rights concern” of PCUSA and its allies.
“Why the focused animosity against the Jewish homeland? Sadly, their professed concern for Palestinian suffering will have the opposite effect, encouraging Palestinian victimhood, discouraging Palestinian and wider Arab acceptance of Israel, and delaying peaceful coexistence,” Tooley write in an email to The Jewish Press. “Presbyterians can do better.”
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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