One particular item for the General Assembly, 15-06, “On Responding to the Call from Palestinian Christians for Economic Solidarity—From the Presbytery of Scioto Valley,” uses the Palestine Kairos document, “A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith and Hope from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering,” as the foundation for their recommendations.
The first request presupposes that the entire Kairos document is acceptable, when in truth, (pun intended), it is full of misleading information. That is it fails to give complete information but only holds up one side of the complex struggles and debates within the Israeli and Palestinian debacle. Not only that, it pushes the West to reconsider the right of Israel to be a Jewish State and blames all the problems in that region on Israel. Even Iran’s attempts to build nuclear weapons is blamed on Israel. I have written about the problems contained in this document here, Presbyterian Middle East Study Team & "The Kairos Palestine Document" no longer a Jewish Nation?
The second request is simply a pointer to the primary goal of item 15-06. That is, in number 3, to have the 220th GA vote for the boycotting of Israel products. However, one of the reasons the 219th General Assembly did not approve but received for study the Kairos document was its call for boycott and divestment. There are several reasons why the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) should not vote to boycott Israeli products. Boycotting entails punishment rather than peacemaking. It is the easy way out-because it fails to deal with all problems.
But there are other important reasons for not boycotting Israel. David Torrance gives a clue in his chapter in the book, A Passion for Christ. He reminds his readers that “The Holocaust is now regarded as the third most significant event in the Jewish Calendar, not simply because six million Jews (one third of their entire number) perished violently, but because it was an attempt to obliterate everything Jewish, once for all.” This leads to thoughts about the history of Boycotts and their effect on the Jewish people.
The Jewish community has told us that economic leverages push a certain button with the Jewish community, especially when used by Christians. There is a long memory of Christian boycotts of Jews-dating from medieval times and continuing through the Shoah (Holocaust). There is the memory of the Arab boycott, which continues in some forms today and which – some- including the Kairos authors and the Sabeel center, seek to revive.
In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, boycotts and divestment just drive everyone further apart. The 2009 Presbyterian panel found that almost 80% of Presbyterians feel that a strong relationship between Presbyterians and Jews is important for PCUSA’s work in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.
It is important that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) keep working with the problems of the Middle East, but neither boycotting nor divestment is the right way. We must stay friends with the Palestine people and the Jewish people.
 I asked a Jewish friend to help me make this posting more acceptable to those working for peace in the Middle East- as well as upholding the Jewish State of Israel