Wednesday, August 6, 2014

E-mails, Facebook, opinion pieces-the world of Presbyterian anti-Semitism

It seems that a Presbyterian pastor is straining under the weight of his own putrid anti-Semitism. He was clearly and properly admonished by Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein in a Denver Post opinion piece. The two rabbis quoted first from a snarky Facebook comment made by Rev. Larry Grimm:

 "America is the Promised Land. We all know this. Come to the land of opportunity. Quit feeling guilt about what you are doing in Palestine, Jewish friends. Stop it. Come home to America!"
And then they quoted from an e-mail sent to Presbyterians For Middle East Peace:

"I favor the dismantling of the Jewish nation. By definition this nation is racist. It is as racist as our American roots were which sought to convert the indigenous population ... . Before long, the land of the Holy One will not have any indigenous Christians. Yes, I favor the elimination of the Jewish State."
And Grimm, unrepentant, and still snarky, his anti-Semitism intact, responded here: Israel must stop the slaughter in Gaza.
But the interesting exchange in all of this was the concerned Executive Presbyter of Denver, Anne Bond, who seemingly tried to put out some fire in her opinion piece “Presbytery of Denver's position on Israel, Palestine.” The problem is that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) doesn’t have any solid ground to stand on concerning their relationship with Israel or the Jewish people.
The answers Bond gives are half-truths. If one adds just another line of truth to each the whole and real truth will be shown. I have a friend who has done just that. I am leaving Bonds quotes in quotes. My friend’s additions will not be in quotes. With her permission are Bonds statements completed by my friend:
·         "This vote is one of many actions regarding Israel and Palestine over the past decade”

... because we hold Israel accountable above all other nations. Even when a resolution is on the table that criticizes another nation, we find a way to stick Israel in there.
·         "The church has a confirmed history of supporting the right of Israel to exist as a nation and the need to protect that right. It consistently affirms our commitment to peacemaking and a two-state solution”

... although we have begun the process of eroding that two-state solution with passage of 04-01.

 ·         "We continue to invest in peaceful initiatives in both Israel and Palestine”

... while never acknowledging that it was the anti-BDS contingent that steered us onto the right track there. Presbyterians for Middle East Peace's assistance in that regard will still not earn them a place at the table when it comes to naming official resource experts for future General Assembly Middle East committees. No, we will continue to rely on the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation for experts.

 ·         "The General Assembly did not vote, in any way, to boycott or sanction Israel”

... because the B and the S of BDS were already enacted with passage of 15-02 at the 220th General Assembly.

 ·         "The assembly was explicit: The selective divestment from American companies contributing to non-peaceful actions by Israel within Palestinian territory does not constitute divestment from Israel itself.”

... Yes, let there be no confusion. When we point to Israel more than all other nations combined and culminate with divestment from three companies doing business with Israel, we have no choice but to make the extra effort to keep our membership from thinking we’re going after Israel yet again with divestment.

 ·         "The 221st General Assembly (2014) recommends the following:  ... Declare the commitment to a two-state solution in which a secure and universally recognized State of Israel lives alongside a free, viable and secure state for the Palestinian people.”

Even though we struck out the call for a negotiated two states for two peoples solution (see Sec 2 of 04-04), which allows us to abide by the Palestinian Authorities’ version of the two-state solution, we still technically affirmed the two-state solution. As for the next GA? Meh, not so much.
I return to my posting. The inability of Presbyterian officials to say what this person or that person said is heinous is part of the problem. That is why the PC (U.S.A.) is peppered with anti-Semites such as Grimm. Instead the party line is always given without further comment and the party line, as I have stated, is full of half-truths. 


Anonymous said...

Some of the stuff posted on the "Happy to be a Presbyterian" facebook page is pretty questionable as well ... one reason I never joined.

John Erthein
DeFuniak Springs, FL

Viola Larson said...

Yes, they are part of the problem of anti-Semitism.