By Mark Tooley
The October 4 ecumenical letter to the U.S. Congress from 15 mostly old-line Protestant bureaucrats warning against U.S. military aid for Israel absent “immediate investigation” of Israeli human rights abuses continues to stir controversy. The letter from United Methodist, Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and other clerics of course was uninterested in any potential human rights abuses by the Palestinian recipients of U.S. aid. Seven major U.S. Jewish groups cancelled an October scheduled interfaith dialogue with these denominations in protest. The Jimmy Carter Center has since endorsed the ecumenical anti-Israel appeal, naturally. And anti-Israel Episcopalians are imploring their denomination’s Presiding Bishop, who notably declined to sign the appeal, to reconsider.
Episcopalians for Mideast Peace has organized an online petition whose “target” is Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, who also publicly opposed anti-Israel divestment earlier this year before her General Convention was scheduled to debate it. Divestment was overwhelmingly rejected in July, and doubtless anti-Israel Episcopalians were further peeved when her name or any other senior Episcopal leader failed to appear on the letter against U.S. military aid for Israel. The online petition urges Jefferts Schori to “take a stand for justice for the Palestinians by adding her signature to the letter to Congress.”
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