Jewish groups split with Christians over Israel

by Institute on Religion and Democracy


“These denominations have a history of being anti-Israel in their pronouncements over the past three decades.”
-Mark Tooley, IRD President

Washington, DC—Several major Jewish organizations have cancelled participation in the next meeting of a Christian-Jewish Roundtable after the Christian groups sent a letter to the U.S. Congress. The letter asks Congress to re-evaluate U.S. military aid to Israel.

The withdrawing groups include the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and Conservative and Reform Jewish movements.

Jewish groups feel the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Methodist Council of Bishops and the National Council of Churches are blaming Israel exclusively for the absence of peace in the Middle East. Notably, the U.S.-based Episcopal Church, also a member of the interfaith roundtable, declined to sign the letter to Congress.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

“In effect these Mainline Protestant groups are questioning U.S. military aid to Israel and urging investigation of ostensible Israeli human rights violations. The Jewish groups understandably believe this as a very biased and unjust stance and are calling into question whether or not they can continue to be interfaith partners with these churches.

“These denominations have a history of being anti-Israel in their pronouncements over the past three decades.

“It is unlikely that the elites of these denominations are going to shift course in terms of their anti-Israel stance. Fortunately, these church officials do not speak for most of their members.”

The Institute on Religion & Democracy works to reaffirm the church’s biblical and historical teachings, strengthen and reform its role in public life, protect religious freedom, and renew democracy at home and abroad.

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