Presbyterians are speaking up for peace in the Mideast

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Having enjoyed the hospitality of my friends at Temple Sinai in Squirrel Hill, it is with a heavy heart that I respond to the recent letters relating to the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the Presbyterian Church’s response. First, to suggest that the Presbyterian Church is anti-Semitic for its heartfelt criticism of Israel is both myopic and disingenuous. I salute the Presbyterians for speaking out strongly on a subject which too many shy away from for proprietary reasons.

In response to the gentleman who suggests that singling out Israel when many others are guilty of humanitarian abuses as bad or worse than those committed by Israel: We speak out because we expect more than an apartheid state from our friend and ally Israel. We prayed for peace and instead got the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. We prayed for reconciliation and instead got Ariel Sharon. We prayed for a dove and instead got Benjamin Netanyahu. We prayed for a people committed to a peaceful resolution and instead got illegal Israeli settlements.

To be sure, Hamas and others have been an impediment to the peace process, but to accuse the Presbyterian Church of racial bigotry when all it has done is speak out for justice shows just how far the people of Israel have strayed from the Promised Land. As for myself, I will keep praying!


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