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Response to Moriel by Presbyterian ChurchWritten by Jacob Prasch
Note: The following was received in response to Moriel's public posting of an article titled "Presbyterian Church USA Ready to Declare War Against Israel: Take Action Now". This was transmitted to us by Linda Valentine and Rev. Grady Parsons of the Presbyterian Church of the USA. Please continue reading for our response to this message found at the end of this post.
February 23, 2010
A statement from the Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) regarding the work of the General Assembly Middle East Study Team.
A human rights organization within the Jewish community has issued a statement about the report to the 219th General Assembly (2010) from the General Assembly committee to prepare a comprehensive study focused on Israel/Palestine. The statement says, ""¦we are deeply troubled that current moves underway in the Church radically depart from its 2008 commitment that its review of Middle East policies would be balanced and fair."
The Middle East Study Team’s report, which will be released by Friday, March 5, 2010, contains a letter to the American Jewish community. The study team begins the letter by saying:
We want to be sure to say to you in no uncertain terms: We support the existence of Israel as a sovereign nation within secure and recognized borders. No "but," no "let’s get this out of the way so we can say what we really want to say." We support Israel’s existence as granted by the U.N. General Assembly. We support Israel’s existence as a home for the Jewish people. We have said this before, and we say this again. We say it because we believe it; we say it because we want it to continue to be true.
The team, which engaged in intensive study, meetings, and travel to the Middle East since their appointment following the 218th General Assembly (2008), continues:
And, at the same time, we are distressed by the continued policies that surround the Occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights, in particular. Many of us come to this work out of a love for Israel. And it is because of this love that we continue to say the things we say about the excesses of Occupation, the settlement infrastructure, and the absolute death knell it is sounding for the hopes of a two-state solution, a solution that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has supported for more than sixty years.
Several previous General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have adopted statements about Israel/Palestine. Two excerpts:
In 2004: The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has approved numerous resolutions on Israel and Palestine, repeatedly affirming, clearly and unequivocally, Israel’s right to exist within permanent, recognized, and "secure" borders (for example: 1969, 1974, 1977, 1983, 1989, etc.). It has deplored the cycle of escalating violence"”carried out by both Palestinians and Israelis"”which is rooted in Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories (cf. statements of successive assemblies since 1967). Presbyterians have continued to be concerned about the loss of so many innocent lives of Israelis and Palestinians (see "Resolution on the Middle East," approved in 1997, and "Resolution on Israel and Palestine: End the Occupation Now," approved in 2003)." GA Minutes, 2004, p. 66.
In 2006: We call upon the church"¦"To work through peaceful means with American and Israeli Jewish, American and Palestinian Muslim, and Palestinian Christian communities and their affiliated organizations towards the creation of a socially, economically, geographically, and politically viable and secure Palestinian state, alongside an equally viable and secure Israeli state, both of which have a right to exist." GA Minutes, 2006, p. 945.
I join the Middle East Study Team that will be reporting to this summer’s General Assembly in asking all people to continue to pray, and work, for the peace of Jerusalem.
Dear Rev. Parsons & Mrs. Valentine
I direct a Christian ministry operating orphanages for AIDS orphan babies in Africa and active in the human rights of Christians persecuted in various countries.
Your not so cordial response is frankly the usual kind of nonsense of a declining denomination with declining numbers reflecting its spiritual, doctrinal, and moral decline. As PCA declines it tries to remain relevant by means of a biased political activism.
1: If PCA supports Israel's right to exist why did it endorse an Islamic-oriented document affirming the right to work for Israel's destruction?
2: How can an archaeologically verified indigenous people be called an "occupier"; can Apaches occupy Arizona? Neither can Jews "occupy" biblical Israel.
3: The notion that the presence of the indigenous people is responsible for Islamic terror is a hideous lie. Prior to Israel's 1967 war of self defense, Islamic belligerents were already applying the instruments of terror.
If there was no Israel we would still have 80,000 Christians murdered by Islam in the southern Philippines, 300,000 murdered Christians in East Timor, 3.3 million Christians murdered in Sudan by Islam, 1 million murdered Christians in Nigeria, the martyrdom of 98% of Iranian pastors, the capital execution of converts to Christianity in Saudi Arabia, the terror attacks in New York and Washington, Spain, London, Mumbai, Beslan, Moscow and elsewhere. We would still have the Islamic riots in Paris, Sydney, and Bradford, England if Israel did not exist as well as the Hamas persecution of Christians in Gaza.
If there was no Israel you would still have over 1,000 instances of Islamic honor killings of women in Jordan alone. As a Christian I thank God that Israel absorbed the Christian refugees from Lebanon who were driven out of their land and homes by Hizbollah. I also thank God that at least one Middle Eastern country protects the human rights of women, secularists, homosexuals and lesbians, and women and that country is IsraelÃ‚Â "” the one PCA hypocritically singles out.
Prior to the intifadas the UN World Health Organization admitted that the standard of living in everything from longevity, employment, and reduced infant mortality improved 370% in Gaza and 320% in the West Bank after 1967 under the Israelis compared to what it had been.
From May 1948 until June 1967 the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan, and Gaza were all in Arab Muslim hands. If they wanted a second Palestinian Arab state in addition to the demographic and geographic one already existing in Jordan (according to Yassir Arafat in 1970 and King Hussein of Jordan in 1967) why didn't the Muslims create one when they had nearly 20 years to do so? These are the facts.
It is little wonder church attendance and membership of the PCA is rapidly heading towards a free fall. I pray to God that your hypocritical excuse for Christianity falls so far and so fast that it can never get up and recover if you continue on your present path oblivious to the true abuses of human rights in the Middle EastÃ‚Â "” the persecuted church. And it is not Israel persecuting the Arab, Asian. African, and Iranian Christians
JJ Prasch (Rev.)
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