November 30, 2004
Friend of FLAME:
I urge you to help overturn the Presbyterian Churchs harmful
resolutions on Israel. Please read on:
As you may recall from previous FLAME Hotlines, the Presbyterian Church
(USA) at its General Assembly in early July, passed several resolutions
called overtures which have been cause for
great alarm in the Jewish and Christian Zionist communities. We are
appalled in particular by two of these overtures:
that endorses selected divestment from companies doing
business in Israel; and
that condemns the construction of the security barrier in Israel
These actions mark a potentially disastrous trend, since some members
of the Episcopal Church have indicated a desire to pass similar resolutions.
Now is clearly the time to act to stop this movement!
The most troubling resolution regarding Israel is the one on divestment.
It calls for the church to initiate a process of phased selective
divestment in multinational corporations operating in Israel.
You should know also that in October a delegation from the Presbyterian
Church (USA) met with leaders of Hizbullah in Lebanon, openly praising
this terrorist organization. The furor over this meeting, both externally
and from within the Presbyterian Church, resulted in severe disciplinary
actions taken against the two staff members who organized the meeting
We do indeed have friends in the Presbyterian Church, many more than
we would initially have thought. Nationally, a group called Presbyterians
Concerned for Jewish Christian Relations has taken a strong stand
against this overture, and is working to prevent its implementation.
You Can Help: Take Five Minutes Right Now!
Please take the time to write a brief letter of indignation over the
divestment issue, coupled with a strong statement expressing alarm
at the injustice of criticizing Israel's security fence a step
taken solely (and successfully!) to protect Israel from Palestinian
terrorism. Three crisp sentences will do it, and we recommend that
you end your letter with a request for a response.
your friends, family, associates, and membership to write letters.
your rabbi or minister and synagogue or church board to write a
letter to the Stated Clerk of your local Presbytery.
Letters to the Stated Clerk must officially be read into the record,
according the Presbyterian Church rules.
your religious leader to become involved in this effort. Most needed
are meetings of rabbis with local Presbyterian ministers and lay
leaders (elders), to open dialogue, to urge them to take a position
of opposition to their denominations resolution on divestment
All communications should go to the Stated Clerk (i.e.
executive director) whether nationally or at local Presbyteries, since
this would then require the Stated Clerk to read the letters into
the denominations official record. Who to write to:
Clifton Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk
General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202-1396
Email: You can use a form on the Presbyterian Churchs
website. Go to the following web address to fill out the form:
Thanks for your action now . . . and your continued support of FLAME
P.S. As a sample, please read my most recent letter to the Stated
To the Stated Clerk: Israel Overtures
As a Jew, I am deeply troubled and offended by recent resolutions
by the Presbyterian Church against Israel. The divestment overture
is wrong because it presumes that certain land belongs to the Palestinians
before a negotiated peace agreement on this issue. Israel is not occupying
Palestinian land it controls land previously controlled by
Jordan and Egypt and never by the Palestinians. Second, your criticism
of Israel's security fence is wrong because it is hypocritical
Israel has only done what any country would do in the face of terrorist
attacks, and certainly the US would do the same in a heartbeat. Thank
God, the fence is working to save innocent Israeli lives. I would
appreciate a reply to this letter apprising me of the church's current
posture on the issues I've addressed here. Thank you.