Each issue of our Temple Emanu-El Bulletin features a commentary written by a member of our clergy or senior staff based on important themes in our lives. We invite you to become a part of the dialogue by posting your thoughts on the issues being discussed. Check back each month for a new entry.
Repairing a Relationship (Vol. 87, No. 1)
By Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson
As many of you know, in late June when the three innocent Israeli teenagers kidnapped by Hamas had not yet been found murdered and the Jewish world still only feared the worst, the Presbyterian Church’s General Assembly voted to “selectively divest” from three companies it claimed “furthered the Israeli occupation in Palestine.” In doing so, the denomination’s governing body cast its lot with the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that seeks to delegitimize the State of Israel and blame it for the conflict. The decision, while stunning in bias, was really not all that surprising.
With the denomination’s promotion of Zionism Unsettled (a congregational study guide on the conflict that is both anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic) and with its continual debate over divestment at each of its general assemblies dating back 10 years, the momentum seemed to be building toward this decision, close though it was. Maddeningly, even with all the resentment generated by the vote, on July 16, the stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA) issued another prejudiced statement blaming the abduction of those three Israeli teens on the “illegal Israeli occupation” — as if Hamas were not even involved — and asserted that Hamas rockets started firing only after Israel’s military began its pursuit of the kidnappers and Israeli terrorists brutally murdered a Palestinian teenager. The latter was an atrocious act of vengeance, but the claim is untrue. Hamas has been firing rockets for years. They’ve never stopped.
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