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Facts and Logic About
the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
San Francisco, CA 94159
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:
- One that endorses selected divestment from companies doing business in Israel; and
- One 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 with Hizbullah.
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.
- Urge 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.
- Encourage 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 Clerk
Subject: 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.
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