February 6, 2012 – New York -- AJC called on Presbyterian Church leaders to make efforts to further rein in its highly problematic Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN).
“When American church leaders allow extremists in their own community to dictate the direction of church activity on an issue as complex as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they weaken the stature of the church in the eyes of all,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations.
Chartered in 2004, IPMN claims to support both Israelis and Palestinians, yet it has allowed its Facebook page to be a magnet and repository for anti-Israel and anti-Jewish invective since its inception. Blatant hostility to Israel and its right to exist permeates much of IPMN’s work in the Presbyterian Church, including IPMN’s publications, programs and website, as documented by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA). AJC is a member of the JCPA.
“American Jews and Presbyterians have a long history of positive action on behalf of many bedrock causes in American society,” said Marans. “But the ceding by PC(USA) to IPMN of leadership regarding the conflict in the Middle East blinds Presbyterians to the pain they cause their Jewish neighbors and denies the wider Presbyterian desire for fairness.”
AJC hopes that a review of IPMN may be the beginning of an introspective process that will lead PC(USA) to its own self-stated mission to be a true promoter of peace between Palestinians and Israelis and to end a harmful partisanship which has not advanced peace.