Reaction within the Presbyterian Church has been swift and clear to the anti-Israel “Zionism Unsettled” (ZU) document, which was produced by the Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN), promoted by the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship (PPF), and distributed by the on-line PC(USA) bookstore. Presbyterians for Middle East Peace (PFMEP) has seen an upsurge of emails asking how pastors and elders can help stop the actions of IPMN-PPF, which contradicts long-established positions of our denomination regarding the two state solution (two states for two peoples) and the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist.
We urge you to carefully read two new two new statements from Presbyterians on “Zionism Unsettled”:
Statement of the Ecumenical and Interreligious Work Group (EIWG) of Chicago Presbytery on Zionism Unsettled
A Statement on “Zionism Unsettled” from Katharine Henderson, president of Auburn Theological Seminary
In addition, if you have not already read it, we strongly suggest reading An Open Letter to the Presbyterian Church by Rev. Chris Leighton.
The EIWG is a grassroots interfaith dialogue in Chicago that has existed for many years. Their statement denounces ZU in no uncertain terms. The second statement comes from the leadership at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City. It also leaves no doubt about opposition to the inflammatory language and depictions embedded in ZU.
PFMEP commends the executive staff of the Presbyterian Mission Agency for issuing a statement reiterating the long-standing Presbyterian commitment to justice for both Palestinians and Israelis, distancing the PMA and the denomination from ZU, and rejecting its message of intolerance and injustice. The next step to be taken is to cease distribution of the document on the PC(USA) website. We would also note that although numerous reviews of ZU have been submitted online, none have been posted on the PC(USA) website. If the purpose of the document was to generate discussion, such discussion should be visible to all.
Contact for the Chicago Statement: Dirk Ficca firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact for the Auburn Statement: Erin White email@example.com
Contact for PFMEP: Gary Green Gary.Green@pfmep.org