Change stance on Israel, mainline Protestant Churches urged

A group of Christian clergymen, intellectuals and activists from Europe, North America and Africa has published the Jerusalem Declaration calling on mainstream Protestant churches to strengthen their relationship with the state of Israel.

The declaration also condemns the persecution of Christian and other minorities in the Middle East.

The Protestant Consultation on Israel and the Middle East (PCIME), which met in Jerusalem in October 2012, said: “We are distressed to see how certain European and North American church officials approach the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.  

“They fall in line with the international campaign that purports to help the Palestinians by delegitimizing Israel. They target Israel alone for boycott, divestment, and sanctions. This approach is unjust, and it is unhelpful to the cause of peace.”

PCIME added that such strategies encouraged the forces that have vowed to destroy Israel. Signatories of the Jerusalem Declaration are from various denominations including Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, United Church of Canada and Evangelical churches.

“We fear that this approach is not motivated by Christian love for anyone, but quite the opposite. We ask the zealous promoters of those strategies to examine their consciences in this matter,” said the declaration.