Reeling from stinging criticism by Jewish leaders, officials of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) said that comments made by members of a church delegation meeting last month with Hezbollah leaders were “reprehensible” and the controversial visit was “misguided at best.”
If mainline Protestant church groups divest from businesses operating in Israel, as some say they might, it could actually harden rather than soften Israel’s stance toward Palestinians, warn prominent pro-Palestinian groups in Israel.
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.
A high-level summit between Jewish and Presbyterian leaders covered little new ground in a sharp, ongoing dispute over Middle East policy, but both sides promised to stay in close contact as the church considers selectively divesting from Israel.
The Israel office of the Anti-Defamation League has taken issue with a letter from rabbis calling on the Israeli army to increase military force against the Palestinians even when this force could endanger innocent Palestinian civilians.
Divestment plans, support of messianic Jews caused tension
Aug 10, 2004
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), under fire from Jewish groups for its funding of messianic Jewish congregations and a move to divest from Israel, is appealing to members of both faiths to respect whatever “fragility of trust” still exists between them.
On July 28, delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Boston will nominate John Kerry as their candidate for president. They will also approve the party’s national platform. Gay marriage will be finessed to satisfy Kerry’s cautious approach. Iraq? Bush’s efforts will be condemned; patriotism will be celebrated. God will reemerge as a Democrat. Health care? Democrats can do it better.
Released Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu said on April 21 he had been persecuted by the authorities in Israel because of his conversion to Christianity. “I want to tell those who say I am a traitor, I suffered here 18 years because I am a Christian,” Vanunu said after his release from 18 years in jail.
The Israeli government’s refusal to renew visas to Christian clergy in the Holy Land has precipitated a crisis with the Vatican and the entire Christian world, say Catholic representatives. All told, it is estimated that hundreds of priests, nuns and Christian volunteers have not been granted permission to remain in Israel.