Press Releases

Presbyterian Church-USA Leadership Branded as Institutionally Antisemitic After Israel ‘Apartheid’ Resolution

July 19, 2022

Jewish and Christian groups have branded the Presbyterian Church-USA (PC-USA) leadership as institutionally antisemitic after the PC-USA last month adopted a divisive resolution titled “On Recognition that Israel’s Laws, Policies, and Practices Constitute Apartheid Against the Palestinian People.”

This resolution follows a pattern from PC-USA leaders who have accused the Jewish state of modern slavery and other blood libels against it and the Jewish people.

“The PC-USA leadership’s single-minded obsession with slandering the one Jewish state and the Jewish people leads us to the unfortunate conclusion that its actions today are rooted in historic antisemitism which has now become an institutionalized part of its work,” said Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa. “While many churches and Christians around the world have moved on from a past negative relationship with Jews, the PC-USA leadership has merely repackaged it and continue to wear it proudly and openly.”

CAM has stated that the PC-USA resolution will fuel antisemitism in the United States, which is already at all-time high levels, and inspire individuals who wish to harm Jews and Israel. It will also undermine, rather than enhance, chances for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, and is turning the PC-USA into a pulpit for extremists and a safe space for antisemites to promote ahistorical falsehoods.

“The lies that are used against the State of Israel, the only place in the Middle East where Christianity is growing and flourishing, are merely regurgitations of historic blood libels,” Roytman Dratwa noted. “Every suffering is weaponized against the national homeland of the Jewish people, whether slavery, apartheid or Nazi genocide. This appropriation and trivialization of people’s suffering makes a mockery of an organization which claims to teach compassion, peace, and justice.”

Last month, ahead of the PC-USA’s 225th annual General Assembly in Louisville, Kentucky, CAM worked with several Christian organizations and other groups to protest the antisemitic resolution.

Pastor Todd Stavrakos of Presbyterians for Middle East Peace (PFMEP) said, “When the stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church-USA called Israel a modern day slave state, we at PFMEP were aghast at such a slanderous statement. The response by Presbyterians in local congregations equaled our outrage. Now the General Assembly, which was staffed by followers of the stated clerk, equated the treatment of Palestinians by the Israelis to the Holocaust. PFMEP is outraged by this statement and the continued attempts of the denomination to not only demean the memory of the millions of Jews murdered during the Holocaust, but to slander the people of Israel with lies.”

“This is not the way of Christ,” he added. “The lack of Christian witness by the PC-USA in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has shown how irrelevant the denomination has become. However, even in its irrelevancy, we cannot allow such a slanderous statement to stand. We call upon all Presbyterians who love Christ to denounce this statement.”

The Combat Antisemitism Movement is a global coalition engaging more than 500 partner organizations and 1.7 million people from a diverse array of religious, political, and cultural backgrounds in the common mission of fighting the world’s oldest hatred. CAM acts collaboratively to build a better future, free of bigotry, for Jews and all humanity.