Partnering for Peace


Presbyterians for Middle East Peace is dedicated to advancement of the two-state solution: a negotiated agreement that calls for two states, Israel and Palestine, existing side by side in security and peace. While we operate as an independent organization, we also believe in engagement with all parties sympathetic to the two-state solution. Dialogue and partnerships are crucial elements in advancing the cause of peace.

Tragically, some of the initiatives put before past Presbyterian general assemblies have pointed us in the opposite direction. The denomination is petitioned continuously to condemn Israel as the sole party responsible for the conflict. We are asked to declare Israel an apartheid state, and urge church-affiliated investment funds to divest from American companies providing goods and services to Israel. These actions are not only wrong, they hinder our ability as a church to participate in a broad coalition for a just peace.  


The American Jewish community has a deep and well-justified concern for Israel’s security and the physical safety of its people. This should not be interpreted as blind and unquestioning support for policies of the government of Israel, or as opposition to peace. There is a myth that is circulated that “The American Jewish community won’t criticize Israel and condemns anyone else who does.”  If one takes the time to look at the level of debate that goes on among friends of Israel as to policies and courses of action, you will quickly realize the fallacy of this myth.


Prior to 2004, the PCUSA took some highly critical positions regarding Israel’s actions toward the Palestinians. The PCUSA positions did not raise a furor in the U.S. Jewish community. It wasn’t until the idea of economic retribution (boycotts, divestment or sanctions) against Israel was raised that the American Jewish community began to voice opposition to the direction in which the PCUSA was moving. Economic actions by Christians against Jews have a long, tragic history that could not be ignored. The BDS (Boycott/Divest/Sanction) movement, which some within our church espouse, questions the legitimacy of Israel’s security concerns, in spite of overwhelming factual evidence to the contrary, which rightfully strikes a nerve among Israel’s friends and supporters.