Israel / Palestine
Archive # 4
more recent reports >>
This page contains reports and links
Reports and commentary from 2005
For archives from September
through December, 2004 >>
July and August, 2004 >>
Chris Hedges comments on the attacks on Jimmy Carter’s
"Worse Than Apartheid"
Jimmy Carter’s recent book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, has
been savagely attacked by the Anti-Defamation League and many other Jewish
groups for his view that Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories
amounts to a kind of apartheid. He has been called anti-Semitic – and worse.
Chris Hedges has written two brief essays in response to
the attacks on Carter. In "Worse than Apartheid," he argues that the Israeli
treatment of the Palestinian people is in fact worse than the apartheid
("separation") practiced by the white South African government against the
black people of their land.
He writes, for example:
The word "apartheid," given the wanton violence employed
against the Palestinians, is tepid. This is more than apartheid. The
concerted Israeli attempts to orchestrate a breakdown in law and order, to
foster chaos and rampant deprivation, are on public display in the streets
of Gaza City, where Palestinians walk past the rubble of the Palestinian
Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of
National Economy, the office of the Palestinian prime minister and a
number of educational institutions that have been bombed by Israeli jets.
He goes on to say:
Israel, with no restraints from Washington, despite the
Iraq Study Group report recommendations that the peace process be
resurrected from the dead, has been given the moral license by the Bush
administration to carry out what is euphemistically in Israel called
"transfer" and what in other parts of the world is called ethnic
Read the full article on Hedges’ blog >>
It is also posted
on Common Dreams >>
In a second article, published in The Nation,
Hedges provides more details of the campaign by what he dares to call "the
Israel lobby" to "get Carter."
In fact, he says, "Carter's book exposes little about
Israel. The enforced segregation, abject humiliation and spiraling Israeli
violence against Palestinians have been detailed in the Israeli and European
press and, with remarkable consistency, by all the major human rights
organizations. The assault against Carter, rather, says more about the
failings of the American media--which have largely let Israel hawks heap
calumny on Carter's book. It exposes the indifference of the Bush
Administration and the Democratic leadership to the rule of law and
basic human rights, the timidity of our intellectual class and the moral
bankruptcy of institutions that claim to speak for American Jews and the
Jewish state." [Italics added by your WebWeaver.]
Hedges also puts things in perspective by explaining that
the place of the "Israel lobby" is on the far right of the Israeli political
The Israel lobby in the United States does not serve
Israel or the Jewish community--it serves the interests of the Israeli
extreme right wing. Most Israelis have come to understand that peace will
be possible only when their country complies with international law and
permits Palestinians to build a viable and sustainable state based on the
1967 borders, including, in some configuration, East Jerusalem.
Read "Get Carter,"
in the January 8, 2007 issue of The Nation. >>
Chris Hedges, the former Middle East Bureau Chief of the New York
Times, is the son of a Presbyterian minister and won the 2002 Pulitzer
Prize for reporting on global terrorism.
global -- supporting and learning from mission in Palestine
At our Fall board
meeting, held in September at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, the
Board of the Witherspoon Society voted to take some concrete steps toward
engaging more directly with the big wide world. We adopted as a working
title for this project the "Global Engagement Initiative."
As one step in this project we have committed to provide
partial support for Shannon O’Donnell, who has recently gone as a Mission
Volunteer to serve at the Sabeel Ecumenical and Liberation Theology Center
We are happy to present more information about this new
Witherspoon project, including an
introduction by Board member Peter Barnes-Davies, a
Jerusalem" by Shannon herself, a
Sabeel of its current "points of emphasis," and more.
Click here for a page that will be devoted specifically to
our partnership with the PC(USA) in its global mission, through Shannon
O’Donnell and Sabeel in Jerusalem.
If you have comments or suggestions
about the Global Engagement Initiative,
please let us hear from you.
Just send a
A quick glimpse of Christian life in Palestine:
The Voice of
Christ in the Birthplace of Christ
Matt Middleton, a Presbyterian Mission
Volunteer International serving in Bethlehem, offers a glimpse of hope in
the midst of the conflict in Palestine, through the gathering of a community
choir in Bethlehem.
Criticism of Israel equated with
anti-Semitism ... again
Presbyterians may remember rather clearly
the accusations of anti-Semitism that were leveled against the PC(USA) after
the action of the 2004 General Assembly calling for a study of possible
divestment from certain US corporations involved in the Israeli occupation
of Palestine and supporters of Arab terrorist groups.
The accusations continue, though the apologies tendered by
the 2006 General Assembly seem to have had some effect in easing them. But
the church is in good company, at least.
Rosa Brooks writes in the L. A. Times about the
fierce criticisms of Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.
That highly respected group sent observers to Lebanon during the Israeli
invasion, as it does during most such conflicts.
They issued a report condemning Hezbollah’s rocket strikes
on civilian areas within Israel, calling the strikes "serious violations of
international humanitarian law and probable war crimes." But they also
criticized Israel for its indiscriminate attacks on Lebanese civilians.
Roth – who is Jewish, and whose father fled Nazi Germany –
and Human Rights Watch were soon condemned by neoconservative commentators
such as David Horowitz, by Alan Dershowitz and others, charged again with
Brooks asks, "How did adopting a reflexively pro-Israel
stance come to be a mandatory aspect of American Jewish identity? Skepticism
— a willingness to ask tough questions, a refusal to embrace dogma — has
always been central to the Jewish intellectual tradition. Ironically, this
tradition remains alive in Israel, where respected public figures routinely
criticize the government in far harsher terms than those used by Human
She continues: "With resentment of Israeli policies
fueling terrorism and instability both in the Middle East and around the
globe, it's past time for Americans to have a serious national debate about
how to bring a just peace to the Middle East. But if criticism of Israel is
out of bounds, that debate can't occur — and we'll all pay the price."
The full essay >>
Jerusalem church leaders speak out against Christian Zionism
The Patriarch of
Jerusalem, along with leaders of the Syrian Orthodox, Episcopal and Lutheran
churches, have declared that they "reject Christian Zionist doctrines as
false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and
Further they state:
We call upon Christians in Churches on every continent
to pray for the Palestinian and Israeli people, both of whom are suffering
as victims of occupation and militarism. These discriminative actions are
turning Palestine into impoverished ghettos surrounded by exclusive
Israeli settlements. The establishment of the illegal settlements and the
construction of the Separation Wall on confiscated Palestinian land
undermines the viability of a Palestinian state as well as peace and
security in the entire region.
The full statement >>
Assembly apologizes for divestment action
This afternoon (Wednesday, June 21) the
Assembly received the report from the Committee on Peacemaking and
International Issues, with the issue of divestment as the star attraction.
Jewish organizations respond to the divestment action
Clearly a variety of Jewish groups have been
watching the Assembly with great interest. You may be interested to glimpse
their "take" on the action of this afternoon’s session.
For a general report on the debate and the
Presbyterian News Service report >>
Former CIA Director will
urge Presbyterians to oppose divestment
From a press release dated June 10, 2006,
perhaps from the Institute for Religion and Democracy, or from Presbyterian
Action for Faith and Freedom, or from The Committee to End Divestment Now.
The source is not mentioned.
R. James Woolsey will deliver a lecture on "Energy,
Security, and the Long War of the 21st Century" at the Presbyterian
General Assembly. This address by former President Bill Clinton’s Director
of the CIA will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 16th, at the Medical
Forum (third floor), adjacent to the Sheraton Hotel. Woolsey is not only
an attorney and public servant, having held presidential appointments
under four administrations, two Democratic and two Republican. He is also
a member of Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. As such he
is concerned with the implications of a denominational decision two years
ago to institute a process leading toward divestment from corporations
doing business with Israel. His talk will address the issue of Israel,
Palestine, and Presbyterians. It will touch on the multiple items of
business the General Assembly is considering that would end divestment and
move the church toward actions to promote peace in the Middle East.
The Committee to End Divestment Now is sponsoring
Woolsey’s lecture in conjunction with Presbyterian Action for Faith and
Freedom. The Committee to End Divestment Now coalesced in 2005 as a
diverse group of Presbyterians united in the belief that the divestment
decision was a mistake that needs to be corrected. Presbyterian Action is
a committee of the Washington, D.C.–based Institute on Religion and
Democracy, an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform
their churches’ social witness in accord with biblical and historic
The lecture will conclude by 1:25, in order for audience
members to return to the business meetings of the General Assembly
committees at 1:30. No lunch will be served.
the rest of the press release >>
Here are a couple other perspectives on Mr. Woolsey
International Relations Center’s "RightWeb" – an
effort by a clearly progressive organization to trace out the links and
operations of various rightist organizations – says this:
Like many of his cohorts in the hawk/neocon world, James
Woolsey, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, wears
many hats--he is an active member of several hardline policy
organizations, he is well-connected to administration insiders and serves
on an influential Pentagon policy outfit, he has advised a long line of
Pentagon contractors, and he is an influential presence in the nation's
In a March 2003 report about the potential conflicts of
interest of several members of the Defense Policy Board, the Center for
Public Integrity highlighted Woolsey as a case in point: "Former CIA
director James Woolsey is a principal in the Paladin Capital Group, a
venture-capital firm that like Perle's Trireme Partners is soliciting
investment for homeland security firms. Woolsey joined consulting firm
Booz Allen Hamilton as vice president in July 2002. The company had
contracts worth more than $680 million in 2002. Woolsey told the Wall
Street Journal that he does no lobbying and that none of the companies
he has ties to have been discussed during a Defense Policy Board meeting."
From a slightly different point of view, the Zionist Organization
of America announces its agreement with Woolsey’s view that "Israel's
Unilateral Concessions Have ‘Failed Utterly.’"
In a press release, ZOA quotes a recent op-ed piece by Mr.
Woolsey in the Wall Street Journal, in which he says:
It is ... widely assumed that Palestinian hostility to
Israel is fueled by despair that can only be reduced by Israeli
concessions ... [this assumption is] fundamentally flawed. The approach
Israel is preparing to take in the West Bank was tried in Gaza and has
failed utterly. The Israeli withdrawal of last year has produced the worst
set of results imaginable: a heavy presence by al Qaeda, Hezbollah and
even some Iranian Revolutionary Guard units ... Hamas assassination
attempts against ... Jordan’s ambassador; rocket and mortar attacks
against nearby towns inside Israel; and a perceived vindication for Hamas,
which took credit for the withdrawal. This latter almost certainly
contributed substantially to Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian elections.
The ZOA press
Dr. Norman Finkelstein will
visit GA to observe Committee 11 deliberations on divestment
Dr. Norman Finkelstein, professor of political science at
DePaul University and author of Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine
Conflict, The Holocaust Industry, and Beyond Chutzpah: On the
Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, is a strong advocate
of full human rights for Palestinians and a just peace for Israelis and
He is planning to visit the 217th General Assembly (2006),
Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., in Birmingham, AL, and observe meetings of the
Assembly Committee #11, Peacemaking and International Issues, on Friday,
June 16, where various overtures from PCUSA Presbyteries relating to
Israel/Palestine are to be discussed.
Dr. Finkelstein is interested in making contact with any
other GA attendees who are also concerned with justice and peace for the
Palestinians. He can be reached via his e-mail address,
firstname.lastname@example.org . Further
information about him may be seen by visiting his personal web site,
See his earlier
letter to GA commissioners >>
More on Israel and Divestment [6-9-06]
We recently posted the text of
a letter sent by
Norman G. Finkelstein, who teaches political science at DePaul
University in Chicago, to all GA commissioners. In his letter,
speaking as a Jew, he urges them to support the Presbyterian action on to
consider "a phased, selective divestment
from companies profiting from Israel's occupation."
We have received numerous critical notes from people who,
also speaking as Jews, said that Finkelstein most definitely does not speak
for them, or for the vast majority of Jewish people in America. As a
non-expert in this area, your WebWeaver will not pretend to judge between
the very different points of view, but we will present three anti-divestment
Jewish groups cooperating to head off divestment
Here’s a report from The Jewish Week ("Serving
the Jewish Community of Greater New York") giving their view on the
current Presbyterian debate as it comes to the General Assembly.
The article quotes Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor,
inter-religious director for the Anti-Defamation League, as saying that
the real issue should not be divestment, but "how to deal with the
structural anti-Semitism that still exists in segments of the church that
allows for divestment and for this de-legitimization of Israel." We’re not
sure what that means, but it seems to be a pretty serious charge.
Another supporter of Israel directly
criticizes Finkelstein. She begins:
I was frankly surprised to find a letter from Norman
Finkelstein featured with approval on the Witherspoon Society page.
Finkelstein is a sort of crackpot intellectual, the fact that some of his
ideas are congenial is no excuse for mistaking describing him as a
of Ms. Appelbaum's note >>
Letter from 12 Jewish organizations urges
commissioners to oppose divestment
Another letter has also been sent to commissioners, not
by an individual, but by twelve large Jewish organizations. One friend
tells us that this represents what the "real Jewish community" in the
United States feels.
The organizations include the American Jewish Committee,
American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith
International, and more.
The text of the letter >>
"SO THEY WHO RUN MAY READ . . ."
"Write the vision; make it plain upon tablets, so he may run who reads it."
What Presbyterians Need To Know About
the 2004 GA Divestment Action
WHAT LIES BEHIND the PCUSA 2004 decision to begin a "process of phased
selective divestment in
multinational corporations operating in Israel, in accordance [with] General
Assembly policy on social investing"?
This decision is paragraph seven of a resolution that also
reiterates and reaffirms a call of previous assemblies to end the occupation
that "has proven to be at the root of evil acts committed against innocent
people on both sides of the conflict" and that condemns "horrific acts of
violence and deadly attacks on innocent people, whether carried out by
Palestinian ‘suicide bombers’ or by the Israeli military."
1. LONG INVOLVEMENT: The Presbyterian Church has been involved in
mission efforts in the Middle East for nearly two centuries. Since 1948
General Assemblies have repeatedly addressed issues involving Israel and
Palestine, consistently affirming Israel’s right to exist within secure,
internationally recognized borders and the right of Palestinians to
self-determination. (The 1917 Balfour Declaration promoted "the
establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people . . .
it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice
the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in
Palestine . . .") More recent General Assembly actions have called for
an end to the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands, which has
continued since the 1967 war.
|2. The conflict in the Middle East
is NOT BETWEEN TWO EQUAL PARTIES. On the one hand are agrarian
people who have quietly lived in the land for generations, almost
continuously under domination by foreign rulers. They have limited
hegemony and virtually no military power. On the other hand are people
who have come to the land in modern times from other countries, who
now constitute the world’s fourth strongest military power, even
possessing nuclear weapons, and who enjoy unwavering support, both
financial and diplomatic, from the world’s only superpower.
3. The ‘ORIGINAL SIN’ of the Palestinian people was that they
happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, living in the land at
the time of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. For
generations they owned the property, lived in villages, tilled orchards, and
reared their families. More than 750,000 Palestinians were driven into
refugee camps, their homes confiscated and occupied by Israelis, or their
4. UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION 242 in 1967 called for Israeli
withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, effectively awarding Israel 78% of
the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and anticipating
the establishment of a Palestinian state in only 22% of the land across a
border that became known as the Green Line.
5. In the 1970s and continuing today Israel has constructed
SETTLEMENTS in the occupied territories in violation of international
law (specifically in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention) and has
ignored numerous United Nations resolutions condemning their expansion.
|6. PALESTINIAN SUFFERING
continues. Homes are demolished, orchards uprooted, private
lands confiscated. A separation barrier (built
largely on Palestinian lands and in some places a wall more than 25
feet high) prevents Palestinians from cultivating their fields and
olive groves. Mobility is restricted by countless checkpoints,
arbitrary detentions and searches, roadblocks, and
curfews. Israel controls all international borders,
dominates airspace, and unfairly controls scarce water supplies.
Discriminatory legislation keeps families apart and restricts
the rights of Palestinians who do manage to travel from returning to
their homes. The situation is currently exacerbated by U.S. Government
action that blocks humanitarian aid from reaching those who
desperately need it.
|7. Historically, as recently as
1920,CHRISTIANS accounted for 20% of the Palestinian
population, continuing the first century witness in Orthodox, Roman
Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, and other churches. The Christian
population has declined sharply, however, to about2% in Israel
proper and 1.5% in the West Bank. This Christian presence has
provided significant influence in Palestinian affairs through
leadership personnel and a wide range of educational institutions and
other social ministries. The PCUSA maintains ecumenical partnerships
with these Christian churches in the region, either directly or
through the Middle East Council of Churches.
8. The PCUSA DIVESTMENT ACTION has been welcomed by these partner
churches as evidence of support in their continuing suffering under
occupation. The action is aimed at ending the occupation by challenging the
policies of corporations that contribute to the oppression. The
"process of phased selective divestment" involves four stages:
(1) Identifying target companies (Five have been identified, including
one with investments in Palestine.);
(2) Engaging corporate management in discussions in an effort to get them
to change their policies;
(3) Failing that, initiating shareholder action to change those policies;
(4) Recommending divestment.
No divestment can take place without further specific action to do so.
And none is being recommended by MRTI to the 217th General
This statement was drafted to provide
information "on the run" for commissioners to the 217th General
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) by the Middle East Focus Group
and approved by the Peacemaking Committee of the Presbytery of
>>This statement is also
available in easy-to-print PDF format<<
World Council of
Churches issues statement on Israel/Palestine:
"The time is ripe to do what is right"
The World Council of
Churches Executive Committee, meeting in Geneva, 16-19 May, 2006,
issued a sober call to the nations and the churches for
actions to bring some kind of peace to Israel and Palestine before the
situation becomes far worse.
The statement begins:
With the responsible powers and authorities providing little prospect
of a viable future for both Israelis and Palestinians, with concern rising
around the world at the recent course of events in the conflict, and with
various peace plans and numerous UN resolutions languishing unimplemented,
the World Council of Churches Executive Committee, meeting in Geneva,
16-19 May, 2006, comes to a sober conclusion: Peace must come soon or
it may not come to either people for a long time.
Among the concluding recommendations, the WCC
the international community to establish contact
and engage with all the legitimately elected leaders of the Palestinian
people for the resolution of differences, and not to isolate them or cause
additional suffering among their people;
Strongly supports ... two-way and equitable negotiations as the
path to mutual recognition between Israel and Palestine and to the
resolution of other contentious and substantive obstacles to peace as
noted in the succession of United Nations Security Council and General
Further, they call on member churches "to
share solidarity with people on both sides of the conflict as a witness for
peace," and so (among other things) to:
for the measures indicated above ...
Find constructive ways to address threats experienced among the
Jewish people, including the nature, prevalence and impact of racism in
local, national and international contexts.
Heed calls for help from the churches of Jerusalem at this time of
trial, assist them in their service to society and support church aid work
with people in need ...
Send church members to Israel and Palestine as part of the
Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel until the
The full text
of the statement >>
"Mainstream" Jewish website comments on PCUSA
divestment debate [5-16-06]
Eric Geller, who has frequently sent comments to us about the
divestment issue, has sent an article posted recently. He describes the
article as "an interesting piece from a well-read ‘mainstream"’ website that
deals with zillions of issues of interest to Jews. Today's feature story is
sort of a summary of Jewish reaction to the whole divestment discussion ...
[which] presents a decent summary from the mainstream Jewish perspective. In
fact, someone raises an issue in the article about that panel discussion
with Mark Pelavan which is being held at the GA."
Read the article >>
This article has also been a matter of
discussion in a Presbyterian online network that deals with Israel/Palestine
One participant there comments, "I'm not
understanding why those of us that are for "divestment" are considered
Another says "It's really quite sad – the
same tired old stuff they've been saying for the past 2 years . . . over and
over again . . . quoting the same old spokesfolk like Mr. Bretton Granatoor
ad nauseum. In fact, we have encountered not a few in our area who, through
these years, have come to change their perspective, as they have become
aware of the full story."
We invite your comments.
Just send a
note, to be shared here.
Peacemaking Educational Event begins in Israel/Palestine
On Wednesday, April 26, Sara
Lisherness, associate director of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program,
greeted the Presbyterians gathered for dinner at the Strand Hotel in
Jerusalem with the words, "Christ be with you. We are here."
"And there are one hundred of us," observed Barbara Battin,
conference coordinator. After three years of planning and multiple hours of
travel, the travel/study conference in Israel/Palestine has begun.
Over the next few days participants from thirty-three
presbyteries will pray and worship together, visit a number of sites, and
listen to a variety of speakers. They will join in presbytery teams to
process what they see, hear, and experience and to plan for ministry
Find periodically updated reports from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program
In Israel/Palestine, violence cuts both ways
We recently carried
a report of the stoning
by Israelis of Palestinian children and along with five foreign
activists, including members of two church-sponsored monitoring teams, who
were escorting Palestinian girls from a school in the divided West Bank city
of Hebron. A few days before that, a Palestinian suicide bomber had blown
himself up in Tel Aviv, killing and injuring many.
Stated Clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick responded to that
incident with a statement in which he asserted that "It is our unwavering
belief that the use of terror and the killing and maiming of innocent people
are never justifiable."
And addressing Hamas, he wrote: "We (condemn) all forms of
terror and violence that have led to such unspeakable human tragedy in the
region…. All forms of violence, whatever their purported justification, have
only hardened the resolve of the victims on every side and rendered lasting
solutions ever more remote."
Kirkpatrick’s full statement >>
Schoolgirls stoned by Israeli settlers
Crowd of young men attacks attacks group of students, accompaniers in Hebron
A group of
Jewish settlers attacked five foreign activists, including members of two
church-sponsored monitoring teams, who were escorting Palestinian girls from
a school in the divided West Bank city of Hebron, team members said.
story from Presbyterian News Service >>
"Visions of Peace and Justice in Israel and Palestine"
educational event slated for June 15th in Birmingham
This pre-assembly event will share visions and
perspectives regarding justice and peace in Israel and Palestine. It is not
a forum for or against proposed items of GA business. The program will
include a current assessment of human rights; a panel of Jewish, Muslim, and
Christian leaders sharing their visions for a just peace; a description of
Presbyterian ministry and mission; and time for general discussion.
Confirmed speakers include Mr. Mark Pelavin, Associate
Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; Mr. Salam Al-Marayati,
Director of Muslim Public Affairs Council Bishop; Dr. Munib Younan,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.
The ticket price of $25.00 includes a boxed lunch. To
register for this or other events at GA, go to
Israel/Palestine issues will loom large at GA
Numerous measures would rescind, refine controversial 2004 divestment action
Presbyterian News Service offers a survey of the nearly 20
overtures going to the coming General Assembly, about how the Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.) should deal with the conflict in Israel and Palestine,
actions on divestment and more.
Read the report >>
PresbyAction Middle East Bulletin:
EYE OF THE STORM
Corinne Whitlatch, of Churches for Middle East Peace, provides a
clear survey of the situation in Israel/Palestine in the wake of the Hamas
victory in the Palestinian election. She looks at the complexities and
ambiguities in both Palestine and Israel, and concludes with these bits of
policy advice for Presbyterian advocates for peace and justice to share with
Toward the goal of peace, we ask you to 1) reject unilateral actions by
Israel that would prejudge final status negotiations on borders and the
status of Jerusalem, 2) urge the Palestinian government to commit to
nonviolence, to recognize Israel and to accept previous agreements, 3)
continue to engage the moderate Palestinian leadership and help the
Palestinian people, 4) provide assurances that Jerusalem will be shared,
and 5) promote religious freedom in the Holy Land and recognize the
important role of the Christian community.
Three observations on the Hamas victory in the Palestinian election --
A Palestinian priest
in Zababdeh, in the Northern West
Bank, who is also the principal of the Latin Patriarchate School there,
offers a realistic view of the Hamas victory, some of the reasons for it and
some of the possible consequences. And he concludes, "We should not be
Former Pres. Jimmy Carter urges the U.S. not to punish the
Palestinians, but to maintain humanitarian aid, and to urge moderation on
a new kind of
"revolutionary" in Palestine -- people getting training in non-violence
as a better way of resisting the Israeli occupation.
This page contains reports and links
For more recent
Reports and commentary from 2005
For archives from September
through December, 2004 >>
July and August, 2004 >>
ratified (or not) by the presbyteries
A number of the most important actions of the 219th
General Assembly have now been acted upon by the presbyteries,
confirming most of them as amendments to the PC(USA) Book of Order.
We provided resources to help inform the
reflection and debate, along with updates on the voting.
Our three areas of primary interest have been:
which removes the current ban on
lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender persons being considered as
possible candidates for ordination as elder or ministers.
which would add the Belhar Confession to our Book of
Confessions. Disapproved, because as an amendment
to the Book of Confessions it needed a 2/3 vote, and did not
10-1, which adopts the new Form of Government
that was approved by the Assembly. Approved.|
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Mitch Trigger, PVJ's
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Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and
views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both
personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!
You can post your own news and views,
or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.
Voices of Sophia blog
Heather Reichgott, who has created
this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:
After fifteen years of scholarship
and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the
voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy,
students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers
and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God
in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God
through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through
articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and
John Harris’ Summit to
Theological and philosophical
reflections on everything between summit to shore, including
kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology,
politics, culture, travel, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New
York City and the Queens neighborhood of Ridgewood by a progressive
New York City Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the
Witherspoon board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian
Church in Flushing, NY.
John Shuck’s Shuck and Jive
A Presbyterian minister, currently
serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,
Tenn., blogs about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized
and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and
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