I want to once again recommend some excellent sources for help and information on the coming Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly. These are sites I have recommended before but they have moved on with excellent material, help and suggestions.
The First is Presbyterians for Middle East Peace. This site now has articles on overtures and the Middle East Study recommendation as well as a video and information about a Breakfast event at GA.
One of the committee members, Dr. Byron Shafer, of the Middle East Study team will be speaking at the Presbyterians for Middle East Peace’s Breakfast. And the details for two Webinars can be found here.
The other site is Will Spotts’ “The PC(USA) on Israel and Palestine.” This site is now loaded with excellent postings. One of the more provocative issues that I had not noticed before is his pointing out that among the Middle East Study Team’s recommendations is their appeal to the Declaration of Human Rights which includes what is called THE PRINCIPLE OF UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION.
This is how Spotts describes this issue:
“This last phrase “universal jurisdiction”, sounds innocuous enough, but I seriously doubt that most Presbyterians are that familiar with the concept. The principle of universal jurisdiction allows nations to prosecute alleged crimes that were committed outside the boundaries of that nation. A person might easily wonder why this is included in recommendations focused almost exclusively on Israel and Palestine. What is not said is that this concept is currently being strategically used among fashionable anti-Israel activists to to justify attempts to try alleged Israeli war criminals in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Norway, and Spain. Its potential for prosecutions that are motivated more from a desire for political theater than from any idea of the rule of law or actual justice is being widely realized. The goal of this strategy is to reinforce the status of Israel as a pariah state whose government officials cannot travel to a variety of countries without risk of imprisonment and/or trial.”
Go here to read it all. The PC(USA)’s Middle East Study Committee Recommendations.