The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a significantly modified version of a Middle East report on Friday that, for the most part, placated both Jews and Palestinians.
Avoiding what could have been devastating to Presbyterian-Jewish relations, the church’s General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a report by its Middle East study committee that removed more objectionable language.
Gone was the recommendation to divest from the Caterpillar company, whose bulldozers are used by Israel to demolish Palestinian homes. Instead, the church “strongly” denounced the Caterpillar company for allowing its products to be used in non-peaceful ways by Israel. more >>
The oldest Jewish human rights organization urged the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) this week to not approve a report focused on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
B’Nai B’Rith, a Jewish humanitarian, human rights and advocacy organization with a 166-year history, opposes a controversial report by the PC(USA)’s Middle East Study Committee, which will be presented at the denomination’s General Assembly that begins Saturday.
The report, according to the Jewish group, “dramatically emphasizes” Israel’s responsibility for the Israel-Palestinian conflict, while “belittling” Arab wrongdoings. It also fails to recognize the historic Jewish roots to the land and Israel’s peace efforts while confronted with terrorism. more >>
The son of one of Hamas’ founders and ex-Israeli spy Mosab Hassan Yousef was granted political asylum in the United States.
After fears that he would be deported, an attorney with the Department of Homeland Security stated Wednesday in a San Diego courtroom that the DHS no longer opposes Yousef’s asylum petition.
“Honestly, I am still in shock,” wrote Yousef on his personal blog. “We were prepared for several hours of testimony and defense. But 15 minutes after we walked into the courtroom, it was over.” more >>
A Jewish human rights organization denounced an upcoming World Council of Churches’ peace event as “blatantly anti-Israel.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center was referring to the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, which begins Saturday and will run until June 4. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the center, accused the WCC of never standing up for Israel in the 62 years of its existence but being “fixated” on the plight of Palestinians.
“It (WCC) never issued a single response to Arab attempts to annihilate it (Israel), to drive the Jews into the sea, to mass murder Jews at prayer through suicide bombings,” said Cooper. “It is remarkably fixated on the single democracy in the Middle East, while it cannot find its voice in countries that criminalize the practice of Christianity and tolerate the murder of Christians.” more >>
A former agent with the Shin Bet, Israel’s version of the FBI, confirmed the accuracy of the events told in the bestselling thriller Son of Hamas.
“Captain Loai,” now publicly known only as “G,” defended the account of events provided by Mosab Hassan Yousef in his book about his years working as a secret agent for Israel. Yousef is the eldest son of one of the founders of the terrorist group Hamas.
“I read Mosab’s book and also the Haaretz Magazine article, and I tell you: He did exaggerate,” said G, who supervised Yousef when he worked with Shin Bet, in an interview with Haaretz last week. “He exaggerated in being sparing in his descriptions of how many things he prevented and how many people he saved.” more >>
Though overshadowed by flying accusations between Iran and the U.S. on Monday, the opening day of the U.N.’s conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty offered some hopeful signs, said a global church body.
The United States, for the second time in its history, disclosed on Monday the number of nuclear warheads in its stockpile, pointed out the World Council of Churches, which has a long history of advocating for a nuclear-free world.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would pursue more “transparency” in its nuclear stockpile. Afterward, the Pentagon revealed that it has 5,113 nuclear warheads – active and inactive – in its stockpile, and thousands of more retired nukes awaiting dismantling. more >>