Detroit, MI – More than 1700 rabbis from all 50 states wrote Presbyterian Church (USA) commissioners seeking a “more constructive relationship” as  “peacemakers working for reconciliation, investment, and understanding”

The open letter urges commissioners to reject divestment from companies operating in Israel and other anti-Israel resolutions. It was signed by rabbis, cantors, and rabbinic and cantorial students ahead of the church’s biennial General Assembly, taking place this week in Detroit.  The signers express concern over resolutions that call for divestment, branding Israel an “Apartheid” state, reconsideration of a two-state solution, and distribution of an anti-Zionist study guide.

“Oversimplifying a complex conflict and placing all the blame on one party, when both bear responsibility, increases conflict and division instead of promoting peace, reconciliation and mutual understanding,” says the letter.

Recognizing a shared commitment to peacemaking and human rights, the letter raises concerns about resolutions that support divestment and a single binational state. “The role of peacemaker is irreconcilable with positions that promote economic coercion through boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), and consequently discourage, rather than encourage, constructive engagement,” continues the letter.

Additionally, the signers express serious concern with support for “Zionism Unsettled,” a study guide for sale on the church’s website, that “labels the national movement of the Jewish people, Zionism, and Israel, its expression, as ‘false theology’ ‘heretical doctrine,’ ‘evil’ ‘pathology,’ ‘racism,’ and ‘cultural genocide.’ Those characterizations are not only at wide variance with the facts, but are also extraordinarily hurtful and incendiary. No one truly committed to peace and reconciliation should use that kind of vocabulary to describe either side.”

The entire letter and the names of all the signers can be found at



Benjamin Suarato


The organizations and/or individuals who submit materials for distribution by Religion News Service are solely responsible for the facts in and accuracy of their materials. Religion News Service will correct any errors brought to its attention.