Resolution on the Presbyterian Church (USA) Middle East Study Committee Report


Whereas at its upcoming convention in July of 2010, the Middle East Study Committee of the Presbyterian Church will present a report entitled, “Breaking Down the Walls” presenting its findings and perspectives on the Middle East;

Whereas experience in past dialogue with the Presbyterian Church, both on a national and local level, has shown that there are allies among Church leaders who articulate tremendous support for Israel. The Rabbinical Assembly appreciates and takes note of their support;

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly posits that this report is seriously biased and flawed in that it:

  • Makes numerous derogatory references to “the occupation” without recognizing that the areas in dispute were acquired by Israel after the defensive Six Day War and Israel has agreed to give back 97% of that land in the aftermath of the 1999 Camp David Accords;
  • Places the blame for Palestinian violence on Israel’s “occupation of Arab lands” without adequately recognizing the role played by Arab incitement in the ongoing conflict; and
  • Endorses the Kairos Document, a one-sided perspective that places the full blame for the conflict on Israel and rejects the notion of a two-state solution, while deeming Palestinian violence as “legal resistance”.

Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly call upon the Presbyterian Church to reject this document and to repudiate and disassociate itself from this effort;

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly call upon its members to become familiar with this document and to reach out in dialogue to our Presbyterian colleagues as well as bringing up this issue at meetings of local ministeria and communicate our opposition and concern with this report;

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly reassess its position of continuing common cause with any church body that endorses the Kairos Palestine document; and

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly partner with other Jewish organizations and allies in the Presbyterian Church to advocate for a more balanced approach and to be a visible presence when this issue is considered at the 219th Presbyterian Church General Assembly in July, 2010.

Passed by the Rabbinical Assembly Plenum, May, 2010