An Evangelical Presbyterian pastor on ‘Zionism Unsettled’

ipmn1By Viola Larson

David Fischler at Stand Firm has written a comprehensive and excellent critique of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network’s Zionism,PCUSA and the Propagation of Anti-Semitism,” Fischler begins:
“The Presbyterian Church (USA) has a lot of problems, from declining membership and attendance to fleeing congregations to heresy run rampant in its seminaries and pulpits. By and large, those are internal concerns. What the rest of the Christian world should be concerned about is its growing embrace of anti-Semitism, a phenomenon recently highlighted by the publication of a so-called “congregational study resource” called Zionism Unsettled by the Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN).
The IPMN–“mandated,” according to a recent press release, by the PCUSA General Assembly in 2004–has had its share of controversy. It has a disturbing habit of relying on the scribblings of known anti-Semitic writers and web sites, even having to shut down its Facebook page so as to try to scrub away its dirty laundry (it keeps popping up, over and over again, on their Twitter feed, however). Now, however, they decided to do a “greatest hits” collection of sorts, combining all of their various tropes into one handy package.
Let’s just say that reading Zionism Unsettled was right up there with plunging steak knives into my eyeballs as a fun way to spend an afternoon. Here are a few examples of why.”

Fischler spends some time exposing the lack of any true historical detail about the atrocities committed against the Jews in Palestine, the attacks by Arab states at the birth of Israel and the persecution of Jews in Arab lands. He lifts up the idea of a Jewish State of Israel and shows how off the mark Zionism Unsettled is when they refer to a Jewish “ethnocracy”. In total Fischler, who is a Presbyterian pastor in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, exposes the character of Zionism Unsettled with its writers and publishers, and he does this with skill and historical acumen.  You will better understand the many concerns raised by those writing against Zionism Unsettled after reading “PCUSA and the Propagation of Anti-Semitism.”

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Comments 7

  • the jews need Israel more than the arabs need Palestine thanks in large part to Christian hatred of the jews.

  • In a more simplified view to the Presbyterian Church USA compared Evangelical denomination.

    Could it be that the decline of the PC (USA) is related to its anti-Israel posture over the last couple decades?

    Could it be that the commitment of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church to Scripture and the promises of God to bless those who bless Israel could be a factor in the significant growth of membership?
    From a personal standpoint, I would rather cast my lot with the Evangelical view.

    For those with a more practical and worldly view, consider this. The British government could boast that “the sun never sets on the British flag”……up until 1948. Several years prior to the recognition of the State of Israel by the U.N., England forbade arms to the Israelis. Upon U.N. acceptance, England withdrew, leaving Israel vulnerable to highly armed Arab armies around the fledgling nation.

    It was precisely in 1948 that England lost dominance over India and the the sun began to set on their flag. It has never fully shone in England’s world influence since !

    The posture of the present U.S. Administration toward Israel puts the USA in the same precarious position that England was in during the 1948 decision-making.

  • Marty–A Facebook page can have all kinds of things posted on it. It is not evidence of anti-semitism of the PCUSA, IPMN or other things. It means all kinds of people can post inflammatory statements.
    Most Presbyterians are not anti-Semitic. Most Presbyterians have little informed knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I won’t go into the history of the conflict, or try to get around to assigning blame. I do know that Israel does not have clean hands. The treatment of Palestinians is a grave call for concern.
    But I am also appalled that to make any statement critical of Israel, almost always invites the accusation of anti-Semitism.
    Even in Israel there are hard liner and those who think there needs to be big change.

  • Rev Fischler may have written a good and proper critique of the IPMN tract on Zionism, but why is he fighting lies with more lies? There is no need for that. There is absolutely no evidence the PC(USA) is embracing any form of anti-Semitism in any way, and he knows it.

    He also knows there is no evidence at all to support the claim that “the PC(USA) is perfectly comfortable with one of its constituent groups making repeated forays into the swamps of falsehood, bigotry, and hate”. To the contrary, while there is concern for the plight of the generations of innocent women and children whose only crime in life was to be born on the wrong side of the Jordan, the support for Jews and for Israel from both the liberal and the conservative branches of the PC(USA) is nearly unanimous.

    If he wasn’t a Presbyterian pastor and had no knowledge of how the Presbyterian form of government works, he might be forgiven for his mischaracterization as simple ignorance. As it is, however, his opening and closing remarks are nothing but libelous defamation of character.

    Jodie Gallo
    Los Angeles, CA

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