February 25, 2008
-In the years following Nostra Aetate, the Mainline Protestant churches took great strides to reframe in a positive manner the theological relationship between Christians and Jews. Strong statements or study guides have been developed by the Episcopal Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ (UCC), and other denominations belonging to the National Council of Churches (NCC). These churches remain important allies on a range of domestic issues, including, among others, immigration, health care and combating poverty. However, we find ourselves in sometimes bitter and often painful opposition on an issue we hold most dear; Israel and how to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians, including that, at times, Mainline Protestant denominations have failed to recognize clearly Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state; advanced imbalanced approaches to the conflict that dismiss the need for Palestinians to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, placing undue blame on the State of Israel for the conflict, the difficult humanitarian situation of many Palestinians, and the diminishing Christian presence in the Holy Land; attacked pro-Israel Christian voices such as disparaging Christians Zionists as “Armageddon Theorists” when, in reality only 10-15% of Evangelical Christians are “pre-millenial dispensationalist (viewing Israel as a signals of an imminent Second Coming and a cataclysmic end to history); used unconstructive methods of peacemaking such as boycotts, sanctions, and divestment; singling out companies that operate in Israel or in defense of Israelis.