Re: INT-02 titled “On Recognition That Israel’s Laws, Policies, and Practices Constitute Apartheid
Against the Palestinian People”

To our friends and colleagues of the North Texas Jewish Community,

You have by now likely heard news that the denomination of which we are a part, the Presbyterian Church (USA), at its recent General Assembly, passed an overture recognizing Israel’s practices as consistent with the international legal definition of apartheid.

The vote occurred online Friday, July 8, 2022, with Presbyterian commissioners from across the country approving the overture by a 70% to 30% margin.

We are writing to you today, as respected interfaith colleagues and partners, to reaffirm our strong support of Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation, with the right to also provide security for its citizens as consistent with international law.

We seek not to condemn Jews nor Judaism. We steadfastly affirm our shared existence and siblinghood as descendants of Abraham. We recognize the awful legacy of anti-Semitism and violence responsible for the harm and death of millions of our Jewish siblings. We seek not to attack but to advocate partnership and accountability.

In the words of our national church, “We are aware that this decision will affect some of our interfaith relations, especially with a portion of the American Jewish community. We want to say this loud and clear: We are committed to continuing dialogue with our interfaith partners and to combating antisemitism and all forms of violence, discrimination, and human rights violations.”

We affirm and champion the continued good work of the Jewish Community Relations Council and Jewish Federations of Greater Dallas and Tarrant County in their care and commitment to the Jewish people of Texas, the United States, and the world.

We are grateful for the opportunities we have had to partner with your organizations and its leaders over the past several years. We look forward to continuing this partnership – one of support and admiration – in the years to come.

In Grace,

Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Shive
Interim General Presbyter, Grace Presbytery
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Additional Resources:

Official Response from the Stated Clerk, Office of the General Assembly, Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II

Assembly Action: Statement Denouncing Antisemitism and Islamophobia