Presbyterian Church and Jewish Community Dialogue on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

JStreet V.P. Rachel Lerner’s remarks to Presbyterian Church video.

JTA article “Facing Confrontation on Israel: Presbyterian Church Manages a Compromise.”

Last week, the Presbyterian Church’s leadership met at their 2010 Assembly.  The Church’s Middle East Study Committee report raised serious concerns in the Jewish community.  The problem with the report was not its opposition to the occupation of the West Bank; many Jews and Jewish organizations share such opposition.  Jewish organizations from both the left and the right assessed the report to be one-sided, holding Israel accountable for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ignoring Palestinian responsibility.

The report drove a serious debate within the General Assembly that included an eloquent Jewish voice.  I think that the left-leaning pro-peace, pro-Israel organization JStreet is often misunderstood and that at times, the Jewish community questions JStreet’s love for Israel.   Here is a voice that articluates that love; click here to hear JStreet V.P. Rachel Lerner’s powerful remarks.

True dialogue, sensitivity and listening at the assembly produced an ammended resolution, as in this article: “Facing Confrontation on Israel: Presbyterian Church Manages a Compromise.”   Perhaps the model of listening, really listening to different perspectives can be a model, not only in multi-faith dialogue, but also in debate within  the Jewish community.