Friday, May 28, 2010

The Israel/Palestine Mission Network lied: should we care? UP-Date

I am so bothered by this …

In an attempt to get the Presbyterian General Assembly to not receive the paper
Christians and Jews: People of God the Israel/Palestine Mission Network lied about the Jewish organizations in the United States suggesting that they sent a bomb to our Presbyterian headquarters and burnt down a church. They also lied about the Jewish people in their synagogues. The Israel/Palestine Mission Network lied.[1]

Why won’t more Presbyterians speak up? Surely even those Presbyterians who believe that everything Israel is doing is wrong can’t believe that lying about Jewish organizations in the United States is the right thing to do? Why isn’t there an outcry from fellow Christians about this?

The IPMN insists that the rising anti-semitism, the caricatures of Jewish people, in all countries, is caused by the Jews themselves. That is an old story. Less than eighty years ago such lies led to the death of six million Jews.

The book I am deeply engrossed in led me to think deeper about the issues. In Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, there is a chapter on the German Christians, that side of the Church who followed Hitler. As I was reading it I began making some comparisons.

The two groups, the German Christians and the Israel/Palestine Mission Network, were and are willing to cut out parts of the biblical text in order to hold on to their views of God, Israel and the Jews.

For instance the authors of the paper “Christians and Jews: People of God: An Example of Occupation Theology” insist that the original paper “Christian and Jews: People of God” offered by the Office of Theology and Worship, the Office of Interfaith Relations, and the Office of Evangelism misuses New Testament metaphors such as the root of the olive tree and the way the work of Christ has broken down “the dividing wall of hostility” between Christian and Jew.

They also write that the use of historical criticism is helpful because it calls into account those Old Testament texts that are used against the Palestinians. The German Christians rejected all of the Old Testament and used only those parts of the New Testament that seemed anti-Semitic. The German Christians went the whole way in their rejection of scripture, but IPMN is traveling on the same road.

The German Christians continuously lied about the Jewish people blaming Germany’s financial mess and moral decadence on the Jews. Their goal was to rid Germany of all Jews.

IPMN has now reached the stage of lying about the Jews with the supposed goal of not allowing anything to be said about the Jewish people that they disagree with. If they can convince the rest of us that the Jewish organizations in the United States sent a bomb to Louisville and burned down a church perhaps they can accomplish their goal but then we will all be involved in their lie. We will all be guilty.

[1]The Paper I am writing about with the lies in it is attached to this overture
On Referring “Christians and Jews: People of God” and “Understanding Christian-Muslim Relations”

Because someone asked how they could speak up, and I suggested e-mailing and calling the Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons, I stated that I would link to my other postings on this problem.
An overture filled with fury: anti-Semitism again
Slandering the Jewish people-more on overture 08-09
Equpping the saints, telling lies, and other thoughts


Sherry Kirton said...

You said, "Why won’t more Presbyterians speak up?"
What suggestions do you have for regular presbyterians like me regarding how we can speak up. I'd like to, yet have no idea how to tell presbytery anything that concerns me.
Thanks for speaking for us.

Viola Larson said...

I am thinking that one way might be to write a letter or e-mail sent to
Office of the General Assembly
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202-1396
(888) 728-7228
(502) 569-5000
Fax: (502) 569-8005

Or maybe better yet this is the stated Clerk's e-mail and extension number

Parsons, Gradye OGA gradye.parsons 5375
just add to the e-mail.

Here is the web site for all of the different staff’s numbers and e-mails
Just scroll to the end and click on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Alphabetical Staff Directory

You could go to your session with a copy of the papers I have linked to in the text of this post and ask them to send a statement to the Presbytery with the hope that they and other Presbyteries forward them to Louisville.

I will link the three other postings I have written on this at the end of the post and that will give you more information.
By the way thanks for asking.

Viola Larson said...

oops, I forgot to put the web site for the addresses

Reformed Catholic said...


something tells me that emails to anyone in Louisville may not be heeded or passed on.

What would be more persuasive would be contacting the commissioners who will be on the committee to let them know.

I also have a partial answer to why more Presbyterian's won't speak up: they have no idea about what is going on.

The people in the pews are often the last to know.

Viola Larson said...

Reformed Catholic,
I am hoping there will be several people to testify at the beginning of the ecumenical committee meeting where this overture, 08-09 is coming and state that the paper has such lies in it.

I do know that some letters helped when the video “I Am Israel” was on the IPMN site.

"The Israel/Palestine Mission Network posts a film put together by those espousing radical Islamic views of Israel. UP-date at"

I do believe that many do not know about the lies- but now it is posted on Presbyweb for the holiday weekend so more should know.

will spotts said...

Viola's suggestion of contacting the OGA is valid. But it has only limited effectiveness. (If enough people did so, it is possible, but unlikely to get a reaction.)

Writing letters to Presbyweb , the Layman , the Outlook help to a degree.

Speaking with your session - or contacting your presbytery is also a good idea.

And, while it would probably be criticized by some, contacting your presbytery's commissioners to the GA and sharing your concerns couldn't hurt - especially if you know them.

will spotts said...

Viola - I wonder if anyone has started a petition on this issue - I mean specifically for verified PC(USA) members to be presented in committee at the GA - either when testimony is opened or by a commissioner - perhaps in support of a commissioners' resolution?

Will Spotts
North East, MD

Viola Larson said...

I am not sure what that would mean-starting a petition to be presented at GA. Can you explain?

will spotts said...

It wouldn't have any effect in terms of a business item. But I know that people speaking to an issue in committee (either as overture advocates or when they were taking open testimonies) have sometimes presented petitions to show public support or opposition. In this case it would probably have to be when the San Francisco presbytery presented its overture to refer that had the IPMN document appended to it.

I'm just thinking of ways ordinary Presbyterians can communicate with a GA. I've seen this done before, but, of course, it has no official weight.

will spotts said...

Presbyterian Panel results usually are given more credence, but that won't happen in this case. A combination of too little time and the fact that the Research Services would be ordered not to release findings (at least prior to the GA) on Presbyterian opinions of this document unless it supported the IPMN.

As a sidenote - Did you happen to see the rather mendacious use of Presbyterian Panel statistics in the MESC Report? On questions related to corporate engagement or divestment they netted together the categories "strongly support" and "support". (It makes for a difference of about 25%)

But when asked to rate the importance of maintaining relations between Presbyterians and the American Jewish community, they only reported the "very important" respondents. It makes for a difference between a 40% and 76% result.

Choosing one or the other would be fine. But presenting the one with both categories and the other with only the strongest is very misleading and dishonest. It implies broader Presbyterian support for the outcome desired by the MESC than is shown by the data.

Will Spotts
North East, MD