Jerry L. Van Marter

Criticism from Jewish groups prompts ‘clarification’ of Presbyterian Church

Responding to widespread public criticism from a number of Jewish groups, the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA), has issued a statement to “clarify the actions of (the recent 216th) General Assembly” on Israel and on the PC(USA)’s commitment to dialogue with people of other faiths. Most of the criticism has concerned the Assembly’s condemnation of the “security wall” being constructed between occupied Palestinian territoriesand Israel; its call for selective divestment of stock in companies doing military and security business with Israel; and its decision not to suspend funding of a controversial “Messianic” Jewish congregation in Philadelphia Presbytery.