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June 25, 2014 0

PCUSA Affiliated Group Demonizes Israel With Anti-Jewish Themes

Lurk­ing not too far in the back­ground of last week’s dis­ap­point­ing vote by the Gen­eral Assem­bly of the Pres­by­ter­ian Church USA (PCUSA) to divest from US com­pa­nies doing busi­ness with Israel in the West Bank, is the ongo­ing cam­paign by ele­ments within PCUSA to dele­git­imize Israel by using bla­tantly anti-Jewish ideas and themes. A dri­ving force of this cam­paign is the PCUSA-affiliated activist group Israel-Palestine Mis­sion Net­work (IPMN), an anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tion work­ing with orga­ni­za­tions com­mit­ted to dele­git­imiz­ing Israel, includ­ing the Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) move­ment and Jew­ish Voice for Peace.

IPMN is most infa­mously respon­si­ble for pub­lish­ing the so-called study guide “Zion­ism Unset­tled,” which prop­a­gates egre­gious anti-Israel themes long-peddled by Israel’s ene­mies, and is, at its core, an anti-Semitic doc­u­ment. Despite the obvi­ous offen­sive nature of this pub­li­ca­tion, as well as the Gen­eral Assembly’s approval of an over­ture stat­ing that Zion­ism Unset­tled does not “rep­re­sent the views of PCUSA,” it remains avail­able for pur­chase on the PUCSA web­site where it is absurdly mar­keted as a help­ful guide on how to “pro­mote more truth­ful rela­tion­ships among fol­low­ers of the three Abra­hamic religions.”

Presbyterian_Church_(U.S.A.)Equally trou­bling is the anti-Semitism which per­me­ates IPMN’s Face­book pages, as high­lighted in a new report by the Israel-based watch­dog orga­ni­za­tion NGO-Monitor. Accord­ing to the report, the IPMN Face­book page (which was shut down in Jan­u­ary 2012 after crit­i­cism over the post­ing of extrem­ist mate­ri­als and then reopened in July 2012 as a “closed but not secret” page) con­tains numer­ous post­ings and com­ments express­ing age-old anti-Semitic themes, as well as links to anti-Semitic arti­cles and web­sites. Exam­ples include:

  • Youtube video titled: “Zion­ist con­trolled America’s des­per­ate lust for Iran War”
  • Arti­cle in “Ugly Truth”, a blog run by the anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist Mark Glenn
  • Poster mock­ing “The genetic ances­try of Jews” and their his­toric con­nec­tion to the land of Israel
  • Car­toon depict­ing a stereo­typ­i­cal “ultra-Orthodox” Jew ruth­lessly killing an inno­cent Palestinian

While IPMN’s Face­book page only has about 300 mem­bers, the con­tent is con­sis­tent with and ampli­fies some of the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic themes con­tained in Zion­ism Unset­tled.

It is greatly trou­bling that despite IPMN’s evi­dent hos­til­ity towards Jews and anti-Israel ani­mus, PCUSA has not only failed to repu­di­ate their egre­gious views but still remains affil­i­ated with IPMN. There is no doubt that false­hoods pro­moted by IPMN in Zion­ism Unset­tled have neg­a­tively influ­enced the atti­tudes of some PCUSA mem­bers towards Israel, and per­haps even Jews, and pro­vided an offen­sive back­drop to the Gen­eral Assembly’s pas­sage of the Israel divest­ment resolution.

It is time for PCUSA to denounce IPMN for their abhor­rent views and fully dis­as­so­ci­ate itself from the organization.

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