Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A contradictory and dishonest letter on the IPMN site

The Israel /Palestine Mission Network have placed a letter on their site by Mary Alice Bivens. It is contradictory and dishonest. At first Bivens derides a Presbyterian church for not participating in the political process of explaining the problems in the Middle East to their members. She was appalled that the pastors left it to [their] members to explore or advocate on this and other issues at an individual level.”

On the other hand she is upset that a group of Presbyterians were so motivated to help bring peace to the Middle East that they formed a group, Presbyterians for Middle East Peace. And the dishonest part is that she states:

“I was greatly dismayed, however, to read the list of Presbyterians who are members of churches in my home state who differed with the conduct of the study [The Middle East Study Committee’s Breaking Down the Walls] and the conclusions reached. I have since learned that many who signed the opposing report produced by Presbyterians for Middle East Peace never read the report and only did so based upon incorrect information; and, have since changed their minds.”[1]

Why is this dishonest? Placing such a statement on an official Presbyterian site without the numbers of who did not read the report and were sorry they had signed and without the names to confirm its truth is dishonest. And what was the incorrect information? I am unaware of any incorrect information.

This is particularly heinous coming from a person who disagrees with the Presbyterians for Middle East Peace position which is to be concerned with the issues troubling both sides.
Bivens goes on in her letter to write about the way activist were treated while helping to plant olive trees for Palestinian farmers. But she uses someone else’s letter rather than telling her own story. And once again there is no name.

The list of people who signed can be found here. Petition Either those on the list or Bivens can say which ones are sorry they signed and what was untrue about what they signed.

This is a letter offered by a group who is supposed to be representing me and all other Presbyterians. That is truly too bad.

[1] I signed the petition and read the whole, long, awful report. And wrote on it too.


Anonymous said...

She wants all Presbyterians to be participants in the Middle East peace process, but only if they agree with her that Israel is an apartheid state and the Palestinians pure as the driven snow.

David Fischler
Woodbridge, VA

Viola Larson said...

Yes, I got that feeling David.

Pastor Bob said...

The pastor left it to the church members to make their own decisions? What a radical thought! As if we pastors speak and congregational members automatically react. If that is what her congregation is like I have to wonder how the pastor got them all in lock step. Being Presbyterian is actually rather messy.