Relations Break Down Between Jewish & Protestant Groups
Major Jewish groups have indignantly cancelled a scheduled interfaith dialogue after Mainline Protestant officials urged Congress to reconsider U.S. military aid to Israel. The October 5 Protestant letter complained of “widespread Israeli human rights violations against the Palestinians, including killing of civilians, home demolitions and forced displacement, and restrictions on Palestinian movement.” The National Council of Churches, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist and United Church of Christ officials (Episcopalians were notably absent) asked Congress to investigate Israeli abuses before granting further aid. They faulted U.S. military help for “sustaining the conflict and undermining the long-term security interests of both Israelis and Palestinians.” The Protestant letter did not mention U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority or to Arab regimes.
“The participation of these leaders in yet another one-sided anti-Israel campaign cannot be viewed apart from the vicious anti-Zionism that has gone virtually unchecked in several of these denominations,” pointedly explained Jewish Council of Public Affairs President Rabbi Steve Gutow. Having “squandered our trust,” he said these churches’ officials have shown a “stony silence to the use of anti-Judaism and relentless attacks on the Jewish state, often from within their own ranks,” which “speaks loudly to their failure to stand up and speak the whole truth about what is occurring in the Middle East.”Continue reading at frontpagemag.com