Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Saturday,
Apr 25th
Home News Local Denver Presbyterian clergy defend national moves but say they’re not BDS

Denver Presbyterian clergy defend national moves but say they’re not BDS

E-mail Print PDF

Anne Wainsten Bond and Rev. John BellTHERE was a time, not that long ago, when Jews and Presbyterians — in Denver and across the country — happily broke bread together.

There were shared trips to the Holy Land, plentiful opportunities for interfaith services and activities as well as joint action on human rights and social justice issues, particularly among Reform and Conservative Jews whose progressive agenda often coincided with that of Presbyterians.

Those days — at least for the moment — are over.

A resolution narrowly passed in June at the biennial General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has become a painful wedge between the communities.

Although the resolution is actually quite narrow in focus, directing the national church to divest from three US corporations that sell military equipment which ultimately ends up in the hands of the Israel Defense Forces, Jews have taken serious umbrage to its passage.

In the wake of the 310-303 Presbyterian vote in favor of the resolution, American Jewish organizations and media have characterized the action as comparable to the activism of the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement, as anti-Zionist, even — in a few cases — as anti-Semitic.

All of which, two Denver Presbyterian leaders told the Intermountain Jewish News last week, is dead wrong.

HAD Presbyterians actually taken all the anti-Israel actions many Jews apparently believe they did, said Anne Wainstein Bond, stated clerk of the Denver Presbytery, their anger might be justifiable.

“But I think it’s based on a misunderstanding of what the action actually was,” she says.

Rev. John Bell, pastor of Wellshire Presbyterian Church, the largest congregation in the Denver Presbytery, takes it a step further.

“This is a free country with a free press and Jews are certainly entitled to have whatever reaction they want,” he says. “In this case, I believe that most of the criticism against the action that was taken is unjust, unfair and unwarranted.”

The rest of this article is available in the August 1, 2014 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or subscribe to our online e-Edition.

 

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Three injured in car attack in Jerusalem

Ron Kampeas (JTA) — A car drove into three police officers after a day of rioting in an Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem. The three police were standing by a road near A-Tur, the neighborhood near the Mount o... [Link]

Israel flies disaster relief team to Nepal

Ron Kampeas Nepal is a popular destination for young Israelis taking a break after completing their army service, and Israelis are believed to have been trapped by the massive earthquake subsequent avalanche that... [Link]

Op-Ed: A century after mass murder of Armenians, threat of genocide remains

Ben Harris Despite the moral outrage that accompanied the killing of Armenians 100 years ago, it wasn’t until the Holocaust that genocide was codified as a crime in international law, philanthropist Tad Ta... [Link]

Senior Russian rabbi: Putin ouster would endanger Jews

Cnaan Liphshiz Alexander Boroda’s defense of the Russian strongman dismissed by Jewish pro-democracy activist seeking ‘honest government.’ ... [Link]

U.S. court tosses Palestinian complaint against charities that support West Bank settlers

Gabe Friedman The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York threw out an appeal from a group of 13 Palestinians who sought damages for alleged “terrorist attacks” by Israeli West Bank settlers. ... [Link]

Key congressional committees approve anti-BDS amendments

Ron Kampeas Key congressional committees approved amendments to a major trade act that would require U.S. negotiators to discourage trading partners from boycotting Israel or settlements in the West Bank. ... [Link]

U.S. drone strike killed al-Qaida member with Jewish lineage

Gabe Friedman Adam Yahiya Gadahn, one of the two American al-Qaida members killed in the U.S. drone strikes disclosed Thursday by the White House, was himself of Jewish ancestry. ... [Link]

Orthodox rabbis join the conversation on LGBTQ inclusion

Gabe Friedman For the first time, prominent rabbis and renowned mental health researchers engaged in a public discussion about homosexuality and Orthodoxy. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com