Middle East

Christian-Jewish Roundtable Splitting on U.S Aid to Israel

Mainline Protestant leaders' letter to Congress prompts Jewish leaders' boycott.

An established interfaith group is in danger of disintegrating as major American Jewish groups and prominent mainline Protestant churches differ over U.S. aid for Israel–a long-standing argument that the group was established, in part, to diffuse.

Leaders of Reform and Conservative Judaism, the American Jewish Committee, and other Jewish groups sent a letter Wednesday (Oct. 17) to their Christian counterparts on the Christian-Jewish Roundtable saying they would not be attending a long-planned Oct. 22-23 meeting.

At issue is an Oct. 8 letter that many Christian leaders–from the National Council of Churches, the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and other denominations–sent to Congress, asking that U.S. aid to Israel be re-evaluated in light of the Jewish state's alleged human rights violations.

Israel has long been the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance, almost all of which is military aid and contracts, according to the Congressional Research Service. ...

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