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Arson threats to PCUSA condemned.

The Presbyterian Church USA has come under fire for what some are calling "anti-Israel and anti-Jewish" attitudes. A letter addressed to PCUSA promised violence against Presbyterian churches, saying "they will go up in flames. "The letter set a Nov. 15 deadline for the Church to reverse its Middle East policies. No attacks have been reported.

The letter is in response to a decision made at the Church's General Assembly last summer to selectively divest in businesses contributing to or supporting the conflict in the West Bank and Gaza. Fourteen members of United States Congress have condemned the decision, saying in their own letter that it penalizes Israel "for acting in its own defence", and is "irresponsible, counterproductive and morally bankrupt."

Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of PCUSA, said the fault lies with Congress, as it has failed to negotiate peace in the region. Statements rebuking the conflict have been directed at Palestinians, wrote Dr. Kirkpatrick in his response, with Israel being all but encouraged to violate international law.

Several Jewish groups, although they don't agree with PCUSA's stance on the issue, have expressed their disapproval of the arson threats. "Threats of violence against any houses of worship are intolerable," said Kenneth Bandler of the American Jewish Committee. The Union for Reform Judaism and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have also condemned the terrorist threats.
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Title Annotation:Presbyterian Church USA
Publication:Presbyterian Record
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:223
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