A Presbyterian Church demonstration against Israel. (Photo: mondoweiss.net) A Presbyterian Church demonstration against Israel. (Photo: mondoweiss.net)
A Presbyterian Church demonstration against Israel. (Photo: mondoweiss.net)

A proposed resolution at this year’s Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly attempted to strike the word “Israel” from their hymnal.

Every two years the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) meets to decide important policies and determine the short-term direction for the Church. This year’s meeting in Detroit, Michigan, marked the 221st General Assembly and the establishment of some truly extreme, anti-Israel measures.

According to the post-Assembly letter to the Church, a major accomplishment of the conference included divestment from three corporations – Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Motorola Solutions, because of their affiliation with Israel. The letter states:

“[These investments] are not in compliance with the church’s policy on socially responsible investing.  The decision is a significant step in the denomination’s policy that says it should not profit from ‘non-peaceful pursuits’.”

Earlier this month, Shurat HaDin (the Israel Law Center) filed a legal complaint against the Presbyterian Church (USA) for its connections with Hezbollah. The complaint alleges violations of the US tax code for “unlawful lobbying and contact with Hezbollah, a US-designated terrorist organization.”

Vision of ‘Peace’ Includes Hezbollah, Not Israel

According to a report in The Algemeiner, the Church’s proposed resolution, which was rejected, stems from a complaint filed by a “Palestinian American Presbyterian” who is an Elder in the church.

Photo: www.presbyterianhymnal.org/

Photo: www.presbyterianhymnal.org/

The new Presbyterian Hymnal, Glory to God, published in 2013, contains a section of hymns under the heading, “God’s Covenant with Israel.” The Elder who filed the complaint stated, Because I am a Palestinian Christian, I am uneasy with the word ‘Israel’ in ‘God’s Covenant with Israel.’” 

In an effort to deal with the situation, the resolution proposed a re-education process regarding the difference between “biblical Israel” and the modern State of Israel. This included printing up stickers to be placed in all the hymnals.

At least for now, the resolution was rejected, but the fact that it was even raised is cause for serious concern. Anti-Semites and Muslim extremists alike have justified violence and hatred of Jews and the Jewish State by saying that “Biblical Israel” has no connection to the Holy Land of today. The Church’s divestment policies as well as the proposal to revise religious Hymnals along political lines demonize the Jewish State and, by extension, the Jewish People.

Israel needs your support to keep it united. We must not stay silent while organizations such as the Presbyterian Church (USA) seek to discredit Jewish claims to the Land of Israel.

Author: Penina Taylor, United with Israel

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