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UCCtruths

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Wiesenthal Center confident that UCC "process to correct the imbalance will continue unabated"

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

From the Simon Wiesenthal Center:
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST HEAD ACCUSES “OUTSIDE GROUPS” OF DISTORTING CHURCH POLICY ON MIDEAST CONFLICT

Wiesenthal officials who view UCC policy as “one-sided” say Thomas remarks shows “a disconnect between Church leadership and the people in the pews”

The Reverend John Thomas, head of the United Church of Christ (UCC), expressed outrage at watchdog groups who he says are misleading the public about a change in the Church’s policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is seen as focusing criticism solely on Israel. At the UCC General Synod held this week, a resolution seeking to change that policy by calling for “balanced study, commentary and critique related to the conflict” was voted to the Church’s Executive Council for implementation, a move publicly praised by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and other groups. But according to the Reverend Thomas, that move does not signal a rejection of the current policy and statements from these outside groups only distort the truth. “General Synod policy related to Israel and Palestine remains today what it was before our Synod convened,” he said in a statement.

“Reverend Thomas’ remarks only shows that there’s a disconnect between the Church’s leadership and the people in the pews,” said Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, Director of Interfaith Affairs for the Wiesenthal Center. “There’s a significant number of UCC members who agree that the Church’s policy is one-sided and the fact that their resolution was passed is evidence of that,” he continued.

Adlerstein noted that the laity have now spoken and that this issue can only move forward. “We’re confident that the process to correct the imbalance will continue unabated,” he concluded.

When the UCC proposed the two measures against Israel in advance of its 2005 National Synod, the Wiesenthal Center launched an online petition campaign that called on the Church’s leader, Reverend John Thomas, to defeat the measures. The campaigned generated over 20,000 signatures. At the 2005 Synod, a number of UCC members stood side by side with Wiesenthal Center officials and other interfaith leaders as they protested the adoption of the resolutions.
posted by UCCtruths, Tuesday, July 03, 2007

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