As a resource to commissioners at the last several Presbyterian general assemblies, Presbyterians for Middle East Peace invited a number of distinguished speakers to address commissioners on Middle East Peacemaking issues. In 2008, Dennis Ross, who is presently President Barack Obama’s special advisor on the Middle East, provided the assembly his insights on the Middle East via videoconference. While almost three years have past, his observations remain relevant and insightful.

Prior to the 219th GA in 2010, Presbyterian Outlook hosted a debate in Webinar format on Middle East issues, with. Rev. Dr. John Wimberly and Rev. Ron Shive presenting their viewpoints on Middle East peacemaking. The webinar is available in this video archive.

Also for the 219th GA, Jim Woolsey, a Presbyterian with a distinguished record of public service, addressed the assembly via videotape. He has a deep understanding of the challenges to peace in the Middle East, and provides guidance on furthering, not hindering, the peace process. His comments also remain timely and relevant.

Finally, Presbyterians for Middle East Peace hosted a breakfast at the 219th GA with three distinguished speakers: Rev. Dr. Byron Schaefer, Rev. Dr. Katherine Henderson, and Rachel Lerner, Vice President of J Street, a Jewish American organization advocating a peaceful two-state solution. All three speakers provided valuable perspective to the commissioners attending the breakfast, and their comment. remain quite relevant today.

All of the speakers addressed both broad issues and a report presented to the 219th General Assembly, the Middle East Study Committee (MESC) report. The MESC report was presented to the Assembly by it’s authors with a formal request for endorsement by the Assembly. PFMEP and all of our guest speakers opposed the endorsement of this document. The Assembly rejected the request for endorsement, instead choosing to “receive” the MESC report as the views of it’s authors, not of the Presbyterian Church. We hope you enjoy the videos.

PFMEP GA Breakfast, Rev. John Wimberly
PFMEP GA Breakfast, Dr. Cynthia Campbell
On Monday, June 23, 2008, former US Ambassador Dennis Ross spoke by video recording to a gathering of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) commissioners attending the 218th General Assembly meeting in San Jose, CA. His speech was directed specifically to these Presbyterian commissioners because there were overtures that called for the 218th…
The following video was specifically made to provide the commissioners to the PCUSA's 219th General Assembly with the views of a fellow Presbyterian and former Director of the CIA, James Woolsey regarding the current situation in the Middle East as it relates to the policy decisions to be made by…
On June 1, 2010 the Presbyterian Outlook sponsored a webinar on the subject of Middle East peacemaking policy issues within the PCUSA. Most of the 219th General Assembly commissioners were not able to participate. The video below is provided for all to benefit from that webinar discussion.
The Rev. Dr. Byron Shafer, a member of the PCUSA Middle East Study Committee (MESC) describes the role that he played as a member of the MESC and explains why he could not recommend that the PCUSA 219th General Assembly accept the report and its recommendations as currently written.
The Rev. Dr. Katherine Henderson, the President of PCUSA affiliated Auburn Seminary, discusses her vision for the role that the PCUSA can play in facilitating peace and reconciliation between Israel and Palestine and discusses Auburn Seminary's current program to achieve that vision.
Rachel Lerner, the Vice President of J Street, a Jewish organization dedicated to facilitating a peaceful resolution of Israel/Palestine issues eloquently describes what her vision for peace is and how J Street is working to achieve their vision.