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Facts and Logic About
the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
San Francisco, CA 94159
(415) 356-7801


November 30, 2004

Dear Friend of FLAME:

I urge you to help overturn the Presbyterian Church’s 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.

  • Urge 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 denomination’s resolution on divestment in particular.

IMPORTANT! 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 denomination’s 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 Church’s website. Go to the following web address to fill out the form:

Thanks for your action now . . . and your continued support of FLAME and Israel.

Best regards,
Jim Sinkinson
Director, FLAME

P.S. As a sample, please read my most recent letter to the Stated Clerk below:

Subject: To the Stated Clerk: Israel Overtures


Dear Sirs:
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.
Jim Sinkinson

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