Reacting to the General Assembly vote by Presbyterian Church (USA), Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy says condemning Israel is not a new topic for the liberal denomination.
“Presbyterian Church USA has always been the most outspokenly anti-Israel of all the liberal mainline denominations,” says Tooley, a United Methodist who tracks the mainline denominations, including their far-left activism, at the IRD.
The vote for a resolution condemning Israel was 266-116 at the July 8 meeting of the PC (USA). The resolution stated that Israel’s “laws, policies, and practices constitute apartheid against the Palestinian people.”
The reference to “apartheid,” made most famous by South Africa and its treatment of blacks, is a frequent phrase from the Left when referring to Israel’s treatment of the approximately 5 million inhabitants living in the West Bank and Gaza.
The resolution was condemned by prominent Jewish groups as antisemitic, which Tooley says was a well-deserved reaction, but the group doesn’t deserve the media attention it is getting, he says.
“Fortunately, I think what the PC (USA) has done is not very significant,” he says, “in that they are a fast-declining denomination with almost no political influence.”
By condemning Israel in the name of social justice, Tooley adds, PC (USA) is merely proving why it is a “shadow of a once-great denomination.”