New York – In response to the release of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church USA’s publication Zionism Unsettled, the Rabbinical Assembly issued the following statement:
We fully contest the erroneous historical and ideological claims put forth by Zionism Unsettled and call on the leadership of the Presbyterian Church to reject its harmful and misleading content.
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly stated:
The vision of peace put forth by Zionism Unsettled diverges from a widely shared hope of peace based in mutual respect between Israelis and Palestinians. The broad support for a two state solution, which the Rabbinical Assembly shares, is undermined by the false and one-sided rhetoric of this document. By denying the Jewish right to a homeland, describing the founding of the State of Israel and the Holocaust as similar and analogous historical events, and failing to acknowledge the many complex layers of Middle Eastern history that underlie this conflict, Zionism Unsettled and its publishers, the IPMN, have abandoned their mission as people of faith to act with honesty and goodwill in order to advance the cause of peace.
Rabbi Gerry Skolnik, president of the Rabbinical Assembly added the following:
American Jews and Christians have built many fruitful relationships in the past, including in the Presbyterian Church. We call on the leadership of the Presbyterian Church now to reject the conclusions of this study, which has not been directly endorsed by the church. The right of the Jewish people to a secure homeland is essential to the Jewish faith, and the acknowledgement of that right is therefore a sine qua non of Jewish-Christian relations. We call on the Presbyterian Church and its members to continue to support the Jewish right to self-determination in the land of Israel as they have done in the past, and not to amplify false anti-Zionist narratives or their advocates in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.