A conservative gadfly group has released a report asserting that mainline U.S. Protestant organizations criticize Israel for human rights practices more than they criticize any other foreign country. In response, mainline groups contested the methodology and conclusions of the report, issued by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
The IRD report said it examined official statements by mainline groups and found that 37 percent of all criticisms of human rights violations were directed against Israel, 32 percent against the U.S. and the remaining 31 percent against 20 other nations.
“Israel is certainly responsible for some human rights abuses, as are all nations,” said IRD President Diane Knippers in a statement. “But an extreme focus on Israel, while ignoring major human rights violators, seriously distorts the churches’ message on universal human rights.”