Jerusalem - NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem based research institute, has released evidence that anti-Jewish prejudice was prominent among the internal church advocates for boycott and divestment (BDS) efforts.
The Israel-Palestine Mission Network (IPMN), a church affiliated activist group centrally responsible for lobbying the church to divest from companies that do business with Israel and publisher of the highly controversial booklet, Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study, also promoted antisemitism on its Facebook page.
"The IPMN's Facebook page is in fact a hate site operating under the protective wings of the Presbyterian Church," said Yitzhak Santis, NGO Monitor's Chief Programs Officer. "None of the antisemitic postings were repudiated by the IPMN leadership or other members of this Facebook group. Several Presbyterian Church senior staff members are also members of this group, and they remained silent."
IPMN members have contributed numerous postings in a "closed but not secret" Facebook group expressing overtly antisemitic sentiments, including crude anti-Jewish caricatures and links to antisemitic websites. One statement (Nov 2, 2013), "Israel's Zionist establishment wants constant war. No longer a surprise, but a most serious evil;" links to Press TV (the state-owned English-language TV station of the Islamic Republic of Iran). Other postings promoted racialist theories of Jewish origins, such as, "It seems like the Ashkenazis (sic) have an inferiority complex because they descend from Kaszars (sic) and lack any genetic tie to Palestine... the Ashkenazis are looking more fraudulent than ever in claiming a Jewish Homeland for the Jewish (White Race) only."
"The moral credibility of the Presbyterians is on the line," continued Santis. "The church must repudiate and fully distance itself from IPMN and its bigotry. IPMN has been walking the church down a dark path, and Presbyterians should ask themselves if this is the direction they wish to go," Santis said.
The IPMN closed down its open Facebook page in January 2012 after strong criticism over extremist material appearing on its site. IPMN then reopened their Facebook group as a "closed but not secret" page in July 2012. IPMN's Facebook group page now has 272 members.
Read the full report to view the antisemitic posts from IPMN's Facebook page
Key Points From the NGO Monitor report on the antisemitism of the IPMN
1. The Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA) is a main advocate within the church on behalf of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS), whose goal is to delegitimize the State of Israel leading to that country’s dissolution. The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship is also an advocate for BDS.
2. This report produces clear evidence of a strong undercurrent of overt anti-Jewish bigotry within the IPMN as expressed on the group’s Facebook page.
3. Numerous postings uploaded to this site by IPMN members over a period of two years demonstrate an ongoing pattern of expressions of antisemitism, including:
a. a “Zionist controlled America [has a] desperate lust” for war with Iran
b. “Jewish interests” are “corrupting” the US government, and the media is “owned” and “operated” by these same “Jewish interests.”
c. the “Christian Holy Land” is “occupied” by the “zionist (sic) instigator”
d. Racial theories of Jewish origins claiming Ashkenazi Jews are not racially “Semitic,” are actually “Khazars,” and therefore should not be in the Middle East.
e. Israeli Jews should be ethnically cleansed: “Helen Thomas was right, ‘Go back to Russia, Germany…’ Just leave.”
f. “IRAN! Thank God for them! The only Zionist-free land left on earth.”