Christian groups seek to reconcile with Jews over anti-Israel letter

Click photo to download. Caption: Although several Christian groups have supported an investigation into the aid money the U.S. sends to Israel, many now want to reconcile with Jewish groups over the issue. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Christian and human rights leaders met Nov. 29 in Washington, DC, to support a Christian initiative in October asking Congress to investigate U.S. aid to Israel. However, some in the group expressed a desire to reconcile with Jewish groups outraged by the letter. 

Groups such as the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace came to the meeting to showcase tens of thousands of petition signatures they had gathered in support of the investigation request. Many cited the higher number of casualties among Palestinians than among Israelis in the conflict between the two as an example of how Israel misuses U.S. aid money.

But Rabbi Noam Marans, the interfaith director at the American Jewish Committee, said that many don’t "differentiate between Palestinian terrorists who target civilians and the Israeli military that employs extraordinary restrictions to avoid inadvertent damage to civilians while targeting terrorists,” according to the Religion News Service.

Some church leaders who signed the October letter have nevertheless accepted an invitation from Jewish members to a summit on the issue, though no date has been set. “We regret any distancing it put between us and our Jewish partners and we hope we can close that gap,” said The Rev. Gradye Parsons, the top official of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S., who did not attend the Nov. 29 meeting.

Posted on November 30, 2012 .