Jewish groups drop out of Christian dialogue over 'one-sided' letter on Israel aid

( Seven Jewish groups on Wednesday pulled out of an annual interfaith dialogue meeting due to the recent letter from 15 Protestant leaders asking Congress to investigate U.S. military aid to Israel without making the same request for Palestinian aid.

Joining the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)—which had been the first Jewish group to remove itself from the annual Christian-Jewish Roundtable, scheduled for Oct. 22-23—the American Jewish Committee (AJC), 
B’nai B’rith International (BBI),
 Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA),
 Rabbinical Assembly (RA),
 Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), and 
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) left the roundtable and asked instead “for a meeting with the senior leadership of our agencies and the senior leadership of the Christian institutions that joined the letter to Congress and have participated in the Roundtable in the past.”

“While we remain committed to continuing our dialogue and our collaboration on the many issues of common concern, the [Protestant leaders’] letter [to Congress] represents an escalation in activity that the Jewish participants feel precludes a business-as-usual approach,” the Jewish groups wrote in a letter to Christian roundtable participants.

Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the JCPA, said in a statement Wednesday that the Oct. 5 Protestant letter to Congress went “a step too far.”

“The participation of these leaders in yet another one-sided anti-Israel campaign cannot be viewed apart from the vicious anti-Zionism that has gone virtually unchecked in several of these [Protestant] denominations,” Gutow said.

Posted on October 17, 2012 .