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August 3, 2004
Friend of FLAME:
You may or may not be aware that, very recently, the US Presbyterian
Church, in its yearly conclave, has decided to divest its substantial
investments in Israel and to make no further investment, in punishment
of what they perceive as Israels human rights violations. It is
a most perturbing and hateful act, and one must hope not a harbinger
of similar such acts to be followed by other such religious organizations.
We have become used to such divestment decisions from leftist-leaning
universities. Inexcusable and deplorable though this may be, it certainly
does not have the moral power of such a hateful decision by one of the
major denominations in America.
This almost unforgivable declaration and decision by the US Presbyterian
Church are counterbalanced to some substantial degree by the Catholic
Church, which has recently officially recognized the obvious, namely
that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.
Dennis Prager, whom we have previously featured on our website, is a
Jewish philosopher and columnist who is almost always right on
in his opinion. Mr. Prager has written a most insightful essay on this outrageous and
shameful act by the Presbyterian Church, and here it is.
P.S. Mr. Prager observes the Orthodox Jewish custom of not spelling
out God's name.
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH DEFAMES CHRISTIANITY
By Dennis Prager
July 20, 2004, Jewish World Review
I have argued in this column that the greatest sin is committing evil
in G-d's name. As bad as the evil committed by secularists, such as
communists and Nazis, has ever been, the most grievous evil is that
which is committed in the name of G-d. For not only do religious evils
harm their victims, they also do lasting damage to G-d-based morality,
which those of us who believe in G-d and religion consider the only
viable antidote to evil.
That is why Islamic terror is so evil. Not only because it targets the
most innocent of people for death and torture, but because it does so
in the name of Allah and Islam.
Incredibly, The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) joins
the list of religious groups committing evil. In the name of Jesus,
it has called for the economic strangulation of Israel. They have equated
the Jewish state with South Africa during apartheid and called for a
universal divestment from it.
The Presbyterians are the first Christian church to do this, and, ironically,
the divestment campaign came the very week that the Roman Catholic Church
signed a document equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.
It takes a particularly virulent strain of moral idiocy and meanness
to single out Israel, not Arafat's Palestinian Authority, or terror-supporting,
death-fatwa-issuing Iran, or women-subjugating Saudi Arabia, for condemnation
and economic ruin. One of the most decent societies, one of the most
liberal democracies in the world, is fighting for its life against Islamic
fascists who praise the Holocaust and publicly call for the annihilation
of Israel and the Presbyterian Church calls for strangling Israel!
Apartheid state? This Goebbels-like Big Lie, concocted by the world's
anti-Israel and anti-American Left and by those who want Israel destroyed,
is now an official doctrine of the Presbyterian Church. Israel is a
nation whose population is one-quarter non-Jewish Arab, with the same
rights, including voting and its own political parties, as Jewish citizens;
a nation whose second official language is Arabic, the language of those
who wish to annihilate the Jewish country; a nation that occupies a
tiny sliver of land known as the West Bank only because Jordan, overwhelmingly
composed of Palestinians, invaded Israel in 1967 in order to destroy
it and thereby lost its ownership of the West Bank.
As an American who fights to preserve Judeo-Christian values as America's
primary value system and preserve Christianity as the specific American
faith that embodies those values, I can only say this: the G-d that
the 431 leaders of the Presbyterian Church worship is not my G-d, any
more than the Allah of the Islamic fascists that Israel and America
fight is my G-d.
The Bible that these Presbyterians read is not my Bible.
The religious values that these Presbyterians hold are not my religious
This is not a difference about immigration policy, affirmative action,
taxation, bigger or smaller government, welfare policies, gun control,
or a myriad of other moral issues over which decent, G-d-fearing people
This is one of the morality-clarifying issues of our time. To single
out Israel for economic strangulation while that good nation fights
for its life is an act of such immorality that holding that view precludes
one from the title "good" or "G-d-fearing," for
if they are true to G-d, I am false to Him. If they are good, I who
support Israel am bad. If their Bible teaches them to strangle Israel
and support Yasser Arafat, I am guided by a different Bible.
They have drawn a line. It is now time for good people, Presbyterians
specifically, Christians generally, to distance themselves vigorously
and publicly from this morally sick church. And it is time, once again,
for Jews to realize that the enemies of the Jews in our day are to be
found on the Christian Left while their friends are far more often on
the Christian Right.
Many serious Christians ask, "What Would Jesus Do?" If Jesus
were here, he would probably be at Israeli hospitals comforting fellow
Jews who were deliberately blinded, paralyzed and brain-damaged by Jew-
and Christian-hating Palestinian terrorists. He would surely not be
with the Jews' enemies, among whom are now the leaders of the Presbyterian