Messianic Jewish Leaders Oppose Presbyterian Divestment from Israel
PHILADELPHIA, June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the Presbyterian Church (USA) prepares to discuss divestment proposals designed to influence Israeli policy at its General Assembly in Detroit, June 14-21, leaders of the international organizations speaking for the Messianic Jewish community respond with a strong statement of support for Israel.
Amid continuing efforts to pressure and marginalize the state of Israel through boycotts and economic sanctions, the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly, meeting in Detroit, June 14-21, will consider proposals to pressure Israel through financial divestment. Amid reports of growing worldwide anti-Semitism, the church's Israel/Palestine Mission Network offers "Zionism Unsettled," a study guide that explicitly delegitimizes Israel as a Jewish state. In the face of such actions, the international Messianic Jewish community expresses its unwavering support for the Jewish homeland in Israel.
The international Messianic Jewish community supports the right of the state of Israel to exist within safe and secure borders, and the right of all Israelis to freely live and travel without the threat of terrorism.
We affirm the historic connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel, as well as God's promise to give the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the land of Israel as an eternal inheritance. As Scripture states:
"I will establish My covenant with you as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and to your descendants after you; and I will be their God." (Genesis 17:7-8)
We further recognize that the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel in modern times was foretold by the prophets:
"Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land." (Ezekiel 36:23-24).
In addition, the historical sufferings and persecutions of the Jewish people, culminating in the Holocaust of World War II, demonstrated to the community of nations that the Jewish people have an inherent need for their own homeland. The establishment of the Jewish State justly protects Jewish continuity and safety.
We also affirm the current and future aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel) as a fulfillment of Scripture, as it is written:
"The days are coming, declares the Lord, when men will no longer say, 'As surely as the Lord lives, who brought Israel up out of Egypt', but they will say, 'As surely as the Lord lives, who brought Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where He had banished them'. For I will restore them to the land I gave their fathers." (Jeremiah 16:14-15).
We, therefore, support the right of Jewish people to immigrate to their historic homeland.
In light of the vision of peace conveyed by the Jewish prophets, and as followers of Messiah, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:5-6), we look toward a future in which the current suffering of both Jews and Arabs in the Middle East will be replaced by true peace. This vision of the future compels us to work and hope for peace today. Therefore we applaud all genuine efforts toward peacemaking between Israel and Arab parties in the Middle East.
Throughout the Scriptures, Israel as a people is called to be a light and example to the other nations of the world (Ex. 19:5-6, Deut. 4:5-8, Is. 2:2-4; 60:2-3). We believe the modern state of Israel is an heir to this calling, which is reflected in her thriving democracy, where civil rights are enshrined in law. Therefore, we encourage the equal application of Israel's laws to all of her citizens, and the preservation, continuation and growth of human rights for all of Israel's minority groups.
We also encourage our congregations outside of Israel to work for the welfare of the state of Israel, to pray for the land and its safety, and to visit the land, thereby expressing support for the nation and its inhabitants. In addition, we express our particular solidarity with the Messianic Jewish community in Israel.
Finally, we remind all believers in Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah from every nation of these words of blessing found in the book of Psalms, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May they prosper who love you'" (Ps. 122:6).
John Fischer, President
Paul Wilbur, Executive Director
International Messianic Jewish Alliance
Kirk Gliebe, President
Russell Resnik, Executive Director
Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations
Paul Liberman, President
Joel Chernoff, General Secretary
Messianic Jewish Alliance of America
Frank Lowinger, Chairman
International Association of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues
SOURCE International Messianic Jewish Alliance