The Institute on Religion and Democracy has released a report that all but accuses mainline churches of being anti-Semitic. The argument is this: Of all the human rights criticisms given by mainline churches and groups such as the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Episcopal Church, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), along with the National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches, only 31 percent of 197 statements were directed at countries other than the United States or Israel. Criticism of Israel amounted to 37 percent while statements leveled at the United States totaled 31 percent.
In addition, only 19 percent of criticisms were directed at nations considered to be "not free" according to Freedom House. IRD says, "Many of the countries rated lowest by Freedom Housesuch as China, North Korea, and Saudi Arabiawere not criticized even once. Of the fifteen worst human rights abusers listed by Freedom House, only five received any criticism during the four years studied."
In a statement about the report, IRD President Diane Knippers said, "An extreme focus on Israel, while ignoring major human rights violators, seriously distorts the churches' message on universal human rights. We cannot find a rational explanation for the imbalance. We are forced to ask: Is there an anti-Jewish animus, conscious or unconscious, that drives this drumbeat of criticism against the world's only Jewish state?"
Most recently, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted "to start a process of a phased and selective divestment" from companies doing business in Israel and the occupied territories, such as Caterpillar. Church leaders are currently meeting with Jewish leaders to discuss the resolution. ...1
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