As noted in an article in the New York Jewish Week, Christians have been split on the issue--often passionately--creating further discussion in the religious community.
B'nai B'rith International is quoted heavily in the article, condemning the letter drafted by several Christian denominations intended to sway the United States' support for Israel.
Read the highlights from the article below:
A total of 32 Christian clergy attended the press conference, along with several rabbis, including Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis.
The press conference came after several other Christian denominations sent a letter to the White House and members of Congress calling for an “investigation” into the security assistance Israel receives from the United States.
Among the groups signing the letter were the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Pax Christi and the United Methodist Church. These same groups made a similar request in 2012 that was rebuffed.
B’nai B’rith International issued a statement decrying the letters and saying the letters make plain the fundamental misapprehensions of its signatories, who see the “underlying causes” of the conflict as Israeli “occupation” and the “siege” of Gaza, as well as the failure to reach a two-state solution.
“Are the denominations who signed this letter aware that Israel completely withdrew from Gaza nine years ago?” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “It even uprooted every single Jewish settlement community there, yet was rewarded with relentless terrorist attacks.”
B’nai B’rith also rejected the letters’ calls for Israel to lift “the Gaza siege.”
“This, however, is clearly not the solution to ending recurring bloodshed because unconditionally ending blockade measures would allow the further, unfettered mobility of armaments and Palestinian terrorists,” the statement said.
“Why would these denominations pin the cause of the conflict on Israel, America’s key democratic ally, yet ignore those complicit in the atrocities carried out by Palestinian terrorists?” asked B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel Mariaschin in the statement. “Repeatedly over the past week, rockets have been uncovered at UN schools in Gaza and cross-border infiltration tunnels were revealed to have been constructed with imported materials, not to mention the indiscriminate firing of rockets putting innocent civilians constantly at risk. Those civilians also include a Christian community that, unlike elsewhere in the region, is free and continuously growing.”