Prominently featured at the website of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is an “An Open Letter of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to our American Jewish Interfaith Partners” which is signed by the denomination’s three senior officials and which begins:
We are reaching out to you after our General Assembly’s action, by a 310-303 vote, to recommend to the Presbyterian Foundation and the Board of Pensions to divest from three North American corporations following extensive corporate engagement. The assembly concluded that further engagement would not bring an end to their pursuits that further the Israeli occupation in Palestine.
Read the whole thing at pcusa.org. It is gibberish, nonsense of the worst sort: deeply disingenuous double talk intended to skim over the biased proceedings which produced it. Now the PCUSA, as its members call it, has taken an official position against Israel and so I, as an elder in the PCUSA — no longer a “ruling” elder in my congregation, having wrapped up my second such stint last year — have to take a position for or against the PCUSA based on it.
Many PCUSA congregations across the country are already engaged in the process of “discerning” whether to remain within the splintering denomination, and this new assault on Israel and the virulent language employed — “occupation” — will no doubt make that process much easier for hundreds of thousands of us. If their congregations don’t leave, they will. They will not be part of the American intifada against Israel.