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See here for NGO Monitor’s Report, “The Role of Antisemitism in the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Decision to Support Divestment” (published June 25, 2014)


To David Esterline, incoming president of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary: First, congratulations on your appointment, as reported in The Jewish Chronicle.

I take a special interest in your support for the divestment resolution at last year’s General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), as highlighted in the Chronicle story. On that subject, allow me to bring to your attention our report, “The Role of Anti-Semitism in the Presbyterian Church’s Decision to Support Divestment.”

The accusation of anti-Semitism is a highly charged one, and is something I generally avoid unless there is well documented evidence to support it. I am hoping you will read the report, as it fully documents clear instances of a strong undercurrent of overt anti-Jewish bigotry within the Presbyterian Church’s Israel Palestine Mission Network, as expressed on the group’s Facebook page. The IPMN is a primary advocate within the church on behalf of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS), whose goal is to delegitimize the State of Israel and lead to that country’s dissolution.

The bigotry expressed by IPMN members and tolerated by IPMN leaders and church staff is a moral failing of the church. Serious steps must be taken by the church to remedy this situation, including an apology to the Jewish community, for the church to be able to claim any moral standing on the Middle East.

I am hoping that as the incoming president of a theological seminary that trains people to be both spiritual and moral leaders, you will be more receptive to the issues raised by our report.