‘Insult to Jews and Christians’: Presbyterian Church USA Passes Resolution Classifying Israel as an ‘Apartheid’ State

The governing body of the Presbyterian Church in the United States acknowledged on Friday that the laws, policies and practices of the government of Israel regarding the Palestinian people “meet the international legal definition of apartheid.”

The resolution passed in a vote of 266 to 116 at the church’s Semi-Annual General Assembly (GA), which was held in Louisville, Kentucky and online.

The decision was criticized by many Christian groups.

Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, Director of United Nations Relations and Strategic Partnerships for the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), called the measure an “insult to Jews and Christians that damages inter-religious relations”.

“The CPUSA leadership violated G‑d’s command not to bear false witness, rendered themselves useless in the world of peacemaking, and made a mockery of honest dialogue and interfaith relations,” said Greenberg after the vote.

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Wiesental Center officials argued that PCUSA leaders “rigged” the resolution, also known as the overture, by giving church members false and misleading information.

“We denounce this rigged process and false resolution that defames the Jewish nation and Judaism,” remarked Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of global social action for SWC and Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein, director of interfaith affairs. “It takes place under the administration of a declared anti-Semitic clerk, the Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, and is the culmination of a decade-long anti-Israel and anti-Jewish agenda by leaders of the church in Louisville.”

Prior to the vote, the American Jewish Congress (AJC) called the resolution “unfair” and “just plain wrong” and then encouraged the GA to reject the resolution.

“We urge the PCUSA assembly as a whole to swiftly reject this clear example of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli denigration,” AJC said.

The Presbyterian militant group for peace in the Middle East (PfMEP) pointed out that the resolution violates PCUSA’s own policies.

“The opening violates CPUSA policy, effectively demanding that Israel end its own existence and deny Jews the right to self-determination. It is important to note that seventy percent of the CPUSA commissioners voted to endorse this,” said PfMEP pastor John Wimberly. “But 70% of Presbyterians would disagree.”

CBN Israel previously reported that membership in the PCUSA is slowly declining and that its congregations have declined for decades in part due to the adoption of liberal views.

Since its founding in 1983, this branch of the Presbyterian Church has grown from 3,121,238 members to 1,193,770, a loss of 62%.

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Jerry B. Hatch