NEW YORK – World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer condemned a divestment resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA on Friday, saying that it sent "a terrible signal about the church and its priorities."
“The fact that the church assembly voted to approve this injurious resolution even as Israel is searching frantically for the three abducted Jewish teenagers, including one American citizen, sends a terrible signal to the American and international public. Clearly, the church is on the wrong side of the Middle East conflict,” Singer said. “This vote will only serve to embolden those who want to see Israel destroyed.”
Singer added: “The distorted picture of a monstrous, uncaring Israel advanced by some at the parley in Detroit seems to show that elements of Presbyterian Church (USA) are barreling backward into old-style Jew hatred. I’m sure that the overwhelming majority of grassroots Presbyterians would be appalled to understand what is being wrought here in their name.”
The Presbyterian Church USA Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution by 310: 303 votes endorsing divestment from three American companies that allegedly “profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.”
At the 2012 assembly, church delegates narrowly rejected a divestment initiative. Jewish-Presbyterian relations already were strained following the publication in January of a study guide created by the church’s Israel/Palestine Mission Network. The document entitled 'Zionism Unsettled' depicted Zionism as a false theology. Delegates in Detroit rejected this document.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination and the largest Presbyterian denomination in America. It was established by the 1983 merger of the Presbyterian Church in the United States with the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, and today has around 1.7 million members.