For those who don’t know, the Presbyterian Church (USA) took the highly disturbing unprecedented step this summer of divesting itself from Israel. This is no small matter. According to an August report in Haaretz:
The Presbyterian Church has three million American members and is one of the strongest denominations in the country. This time it did more than issue declarations condemning Israel’s occupation of the territories. In a precedent setting decision, it took practical steps to halt investments in Israel, and to discourage contacts with companies that do business in Israel.
Now LA Congressman Howard Berman (along with thirteen other Members of the House, including Linda Sanchez and Barney Frank)has taken the iniative in writing a letter of protest to the leader of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. I am sorry not have a link on line at this moment but I will quote from the letter:
Dear Reverend Kirkpatrick,
As Members of Congress from various faiths, we are terribly distressed about the resolution adopted at the 216th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which calls on the Church to divest from certain companies doing business in Israel. In our view, this resolution and other associated resolutions and statements reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, contradict the Church’s stated commitment to Athe secure existence of Israel and the Israeli people, and undermine the prospect of peace by emboldening those who seek to de-legitimize the State of Israel.
We wholeheartedly concur with the Church’s call for a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with two states living side by side in peace and security. The Israeli people have repeatedly shown their willingness to make painful compromises to achieve this vision. At the Camp David Summit in 2000, Prime Minister Barak made an historic offer that was rejected by Chairman Arafat. Most recently, Prime Minister Sharon, the Father of the settlement movement, has advocated a groundbreaking plan that will lead to a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the evacuation of some settlements in the West Bank.
Since the beginning of the so-called second intifada in September 2000, Palestinian terrorists have murdered more than nine hundred innocent Israeli civilians. Many Palestinian civilians have also been killed in Israeli military operations. The loss of any human life is tragic, but in the context of this conflict there is a critical moral distinction: Palestinian terrorists deliberately target Israeli noncombatants, including women and children, through suicide bombings and other barbaric acts that leading human rights organizations have defined as Acrimes against humanity. By contrast, Israel uses military force only as a response to terrorism, and never intentionally targets innocent civilians. If the Palestinians stopped all terrorist attacks and dismantled terrorist organizations, the violence would end, and meaningful efforts to reach a peaceful solution could resume.
It goes on. Link to follow, if I can get it.
UPDATE: Got it.