Camera’s, Dexter Van Zile, reported today that J Street’s Vice President Rachel Lerner couldn’t condemn PCUSA’s Middle East Study Committee Report strongly enough. Lerner spoke at a PCUSA organized meeting in Minneapolis this weekend. According to Camera’s report, Lerner said:
I want to be very clear about this — this is not meant to be a threat. If this is passed we will not be issuing a directive to our locals that they cannot partner with local Presbyterian churches — but with the passage of this study, the Church will alienate us and as a result our activists will not want to work with you and this will damage completely the possibility of a future relationship….
When I read the proposed study document, I felt myself moving into a self-protective position. I was truly so disturbed by what I was reading — unable to find a familiar or even a just a balanced narrative in these pages, I found myself using language I donâ€™t normally use, clinging to defensive positions, which surpised me, to be honest.
I myself participated in a meeting with local leaders of PCUSA and expressed similar sentiments. In essence, those of us who want a two state solution are telling PCUSA that this will not only not achieve peace among Palestinians and Israelis, but will undercut PCUSA’s ability to work with even liberal Jewish communities going forward. Bravo to Lerner. I disagree with much of what J Street says and does, but in this instance, “Bravo!”