A Palestinian human-rights activist who attended a recent Presbyterian Church USA meeting says the denomination is more extreme than Middle East extremists, and its tolerance apparently now extends to death threats against those whose opinion differs.
Eid attended the PCUSA General Assembly in St. Louis, Missouri, to argue on behalf of a resolution “that sought to condemn Hamas for militarizing the Palestinian children in the Gaza strip.”
The resolution was rejected.
“These Presbyterians were more extremist than many extremists of the Middle East – they are completely disconnected from reality,” Eid said.
But worse, the report explained, was a death threat that came when another Palestinian man at the conference yelled: “I know who you are. I’m going to kill you.”
Eid said in the report he ignored the threat, but the man followed him and “again said in Arabic that he will kill me and that I am a traitor and a Zionist collaborator.”
That term, he noted, “is an accusations that Hamas has used to justify executing people.”
A WND call to the PCUSA requesting comment did not generate a response.
Eid said even though he reported the threat to police, the suspect was allowed to return to the conference.
“While the PCUSA said they would apprehend the aggressor and ban him from the facility, no such action was taken,” the report said.
StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein called PCUSA’s inaction “disturbing.”
Michael Gizzi, an elder in the church and official for Presbyterians for Middle East Peace said: “Death threats, intimidation, and harassment are usually taken pretty seriously. Unless, apparently you happen to be a speaker at an event advocating for a group that is slow to criticize Israel.”
Gizzi told Breaking Israel News, “Each trip to Israel further convinces me of how misguided the PCUSA activists are in their approaches and biases.”
Eid said the American denomination actually is “becoming a part of the conflict rather than part of the solution.
“Before you make statements on the conflict, you must learn and study the conflict deeper and look to the realities and facts on the ground,” he said.
Eid was jailed by Yasser Arafat 20 years ago and has been attacked for exposing Palestinian human rights violations.
He serves as a Jerusalem-based political analyst, human-rights activist and expert on Arab and Palestinian Affairs.
He established the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group and now is chairman of the Center for Near East Policy Research.
The PCUSA, at its meetings, considered 13 anti-Israel resolutions, including measures to end economic and military aid to Israel.
The denomination has been steadily losing members as it has moved to the left theologically.
In 2015 the National Black Church Initiative, a coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans, ended its fellowship with PCUSA because it voted to approve same-sex marriage.
That move prompted Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, to say: “In His Word, the Bible, God has already defined marriage, as well as sin, and we should obey that rather than looking for ways to redefine it according to the desires of our culture. Marriage is defined as between a man and a woman – end of discussion. Anything else is a sin against God, and He will judge all sin one day.”