By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – The Presbyterian Church of the United States of America has declared Israel “an apartheid state” and compares its treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazi’s genocidal treatment of the Jews.
The denomination, which claims to have more than 1.7 million members, made the declaration in controversial Israel resolutions seen by Worthy News Friday. They also designated May 15 as the annual Palestinian Nakba Remembrance day, commemorating “the tragedy” when over 750,000 Palestinians “were expelled for the creation of Israel” in 1948.
Additionally, the Presbyterian Church USA demanded that Israel prohibits Jews from worshipping at the Temple Mount. The church rejected “the doctrines of Christian Zionism that tend toward idolatry and heresy.”
Of the 31 voting members, 28 agreed with the apartheid resolution, which claimed that Israel was “establishing two sets of laws, one for Israelis and one for Palestinians, which give preferential treatment to Israeli Jews and oppressive treatment to Palestinians”.
The resolution compared Israel to Nazi Germany. “After World War II, when the horror of the Nazi Holocaust was revealed, Jews worldwide said, ‘never again.’ Many Christians around the world were shamed by their silence during the 1930s as Jews in Germany were given special cards identifying their religion, had their businesses shut down, had their land expropriated, and were forced to live in ghettos” the resolution recalled.
However, “Christians too vowed that never again would they be silent if a government passed laws establishing and maintaining the domination by one ethnic group over another ethnic group through systematic separation, oppression, and denial of basic human rights. Silence in the face of evil was wrong then, and it is wrong now,” the statement added, referring to Israel.
The other resolution designating the May 15 Palestinian Nakba Remembrance day was adopted unanimously. Despite criticism, the Church’s Committee on International Engagement said it went ahead with the Isreal resolutions to be “lifting prayer for peace” and “giving solidarity for those suffering under occupation.”
But the Philos Action League, a Christian group combatting antisemitism, urged Presbyterian Church group members to reject the resolutions as they “will contribute” to the “rising” tide of antisemitism in the United States. Arsen Ostrovsky, the CEO of The International Legal Forum advocacy group, shared those concerns.
He singled out the resolution declaring Israel an apartheid state. “This resolution by the Presbyterian Church, with its plethora of antisemitic tropes, crosses all acceptable boundaries,” he said. Ostrovsky warned that the statement “descends into full-blown Jew-hatred, that will only incite and fuel further violence against Jews.”
He added that “by making such mendacities accusations and deplorably invoking the Holocaust to compare to contemporary Israeli policy, places the Presbyterian Church in direct and flagrant violation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism.”
He said it undermines “the most widely adopted global definition of modern antisemitism, including in the United States.”
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