In a move Jewish organizations are condemning as antisemitic, the Presbyterian Church USA voted to declare that the actions of the Israeli government against the people of Palestine meets the legal definition of apartheid.
Commissioners of 225th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted 266 to 116 in their annual meeting to make public the church’s stance that both affirms the right of Israel to provide security to its borders and criticizes human rights offenses perpetrated against Palestinians.
“In 2018, Israel passed a nation-state law, which declares the distinction between Jews and non-Jews fundamental and legitimate, and permits institutional discrimination in land management and development, housing, citizenship, language and culture. This decision among many other practices have confirmed that the policies and practices of Israel constitute apartheid,” read a letter by Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, stated clerk of the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church.
The clerk’s letter added the Presbyterian Church, which consists of over 1.7 million members, recognizes the legitimacy of the Israeli state but it opposes continuing occupation of Palestine, which it declared to be “illegitimate, illegal under international law, and an enduring threat to peace in the region.”
Nelson has previously described Israeli policies toward Palestinians as “enslavement,” angering some Jewish organizations. The latest letter has garnered similar reactions, with some accusing the clerk and the Presbyterian Church itself of being antisemitic.
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SOURCE: Business Insider, Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert