With the Presbyterian Church (USA) already under fire for its one-sided policy calling for divestment of funds in corporations that do business with Israel, another delegation from the PCUSA met recently with the leader of Southern Lebanon's Hezbollah, a reputed terrorist organization.
The meeting had a highly partisan political flavor, with the Hezbollah leader criticizing the policies of President George W. Bush and the spokesman for the Presbyterian delegation assuring his host that the members of the delegation had voted Democratic and did not support the U.S. policies in the Mideast.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a highly respected, nonpartisan organization that monitors and translates Arabic publications and broadcasts, reported the October visit of the Presbyterian delegation with "Shiekh Nabil Qawug," a variant spelling from Nabil Qaouk. The full text of MEMRI's report is posted on the organization's Web site.
The PCUSA delegation was led by the Rev. Nuhad Tomeh, whose work as the associate general secretary of Middle East Conference of Churches in Beirut is profiled on a PCUSA Web page. Tomeh is also the regional liaison for the PCUSA for Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and the Gulf.
The spokesman for the PCUSA delegation was Robert Worley, a retired professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. Worley also taught part-time from 1980 to 1998 at the near East School of Theology in Beirut. He received the first McCormick Seminary Service Award in 2003. The award said Worley "reflected McCormick's commitments to global ecumenical interfaith, multicultural (immigrant) and urban faith in communities, and to the values of love, justice, peace, and disciplined and critical reflection."
After Qawug (Qaouk) delivered a harsh indictment of President Bush, MEMRI said Worley responded: "We do not wish to defend the U.S. administration. We all elected the Democratic Party against the Republican Party
But there is something we can do. The American Interfaith Institute has been around for more than 20 years. Several Presbyterians are working with the American Interfaith Institute on this project.
First please visit the website www.FaithsForFairness.org and participate in the poll and survey. The FFF website has been “alive” since October 19, 2005.
Secondly. on the Faiths for Fairness website go to this page and then go to the letter to Kirkpatrick and Detterick.
Letter to Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick and Mr. John Detterick
Our research at Faiths For Fairness indicates that the leadership of the Presbyterian Church USA has engaged in a seeming bias in their relationships with Mid East entities.
On fact-finding trips to the Middle East, we found that the leadership makes a point of visiting governmental officials in the countries and territories bordering Israel, but have not visited Israeli governmental officials. We have found that the leaders and staff make a point of aligning themselves with pro-Palestinian organizations, but have not been a party to pro-Israel organizations. We have found that the leaders and staff assist pro-Palestinian organizations in making presentations at churches, seminaries, and other Presbyterian venues, but have not solicited pro-Israel organizations to make similar presentations.
While our research points out this seeming bias, we believe Presbyterians are best suited
to ask their leadership about their activities and the activities of staff reporting to them. Accordingly, we have prepared a letter addressed to Stated Clerk Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick and Executive Director John Detterick.
I encourage you to PRINT, COMPLETE, and FAX this letter to your church headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.
Presbyterian Church USA
Office of the General Assembly
Cc: American Interfaith Institute
DO IT NOW
Meanwhile, Iranian military instructors have slipped into Lebanon with new missile to teach Hizballah how better to destroy Israeli tanks
The clandestine arrival of scores of Iranian Revolutionary Guards specialist instructors via Damascus is Tehran's response to the shortcomings displayed by the Hizballah when it bombarded northern Israel on Nov. 21 - DEBKAfile's military sources reveal.
Our exclusive sources disclose they stole into the Hizballah's Lebanese Beqaa
Valley bases complete with two new weapons systems. One is
the new Iranian Motemared (Rebel) anti-tank missile, exposed for the first time
in the Middle East. The IDF is not familiar with this weapon, beyond that
it is the Iranian version of the Russian K and capable of piercing protective
anti-explosive belts 1100-1200 mm thick. It is an all-weather weapon,
day-or-night and wire-guided. Hat tip American Congress for Truth