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July 09, 2012

Jewish Self-Criticism A Weapon in the Hands of Israel Hater, Noushin Framke

Noushim Framke.jpg
Noushin Framke, above, encouraged Hamas to keep Gilad Shalit as a bargaining chip. (Screenshot from PC(USA) video feed of General Assembly.)

By a two-vote margin (333-331), the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) denied anti-Israel activists a trophy – the passage of an overture that calls upon the denomination to sell its stock in companies that manufacture products used by the Israeli military.

The passage of a divestment overture by the PC(USA) might have reinvigorated anti-Israel activism in liberal Protestant churches in the U.S., which in the past few years, have been somewhat quiescent in their attacks on Israel.

The defeat of the overture in question, which called for the denomination to sell its stock in Motorola, Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard, is a good thing.

Still, there are reasons to be concerned about what is going on inside the PC(USA) because anti-Israel activists did win a consolation prize – the passage of another overture, this one calling on the denomination to boycott Israeli products produced in the West Bank.

This overture, which passed with a vote of 457 to 180, was approved after Noushin Framke, a prominent anti-Israel activist in the PC(USA) was asked to speak to the assembly by the people moderating the event. Framke told the assembly that Peter Beinart, an American Zionist Jew who is offended by Israeli policies in the West Bank, supports such boycotts.

Framke’s invocation of Beinart’s support for a boycott of products is emblematic of a process by which anti-Zionists use Jewish self-criticism to isolate the Jewish state in the arena of public opinion. Framke (pictured above) thinks the Jewish state should not exist.

Framke expressed her anti-Zionism through her involvement with the Israel Palestine Mission Network of the PC(USA), (also known as IPMN), which has trafficked in anti-Zionist and in some instances, anti-Semitic imagery. This imagery is detailed in an article published on CAMERA’s website in February 2012.

This article reveals that when the IPMN displayed a picture of President Obama with Jewish stars hanging from his ears, Framke clicked “like�? on this image. She also clicked “like�? on a comment on Facebook that said Hamas should keep Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit hostage until the Palestinians achieve right of return. In another comment, Framke wrote that “the only *just* solution is ONE binational states, with equal rights for all the citizens.�? She continued:

YES, this means NOT a Jewish state, whose idea is an anachronism, anyway. The world has gone to pluralistic societies that are inclusive, and Israel going in the other direction, getting more an more exclusionary, which results in extreme racist nationalism.

And in another comment, Framke wrote that Israeli soldiers in the West Bank "are not human beings."

Once the Jewish Council for Public Affairs went public with its concerns about these and other postings on the IPMN’s Facebook page, it was deleted.

Why is Noushin Framke speaking to the PC(USA)’s General Assembly, from the podium no less? Do the leaders of the PC(USA) honestly think the presence of someone who demonizes Israel on the dais adds to the credibility of the GA’s proceedings?

Posted by dvz at July 9, 2012 01:29 PM


I'm a Presbyterian Teaching Elder and involved in PMFEP. The vote against divestment was so close, a group of us sitting in the bleachers of the assembly just stared at it in awe. Two votes?

For me, however, divestment/investment is a side show, a deflection. The goal is to turn people's eyes away from regional power plays and focus on delegitimating Israel and the Jews, a key objective of IPMN and Noushin Framke. My question: How is it that the OGA and GAMC of our denomination remain all to willing to give Framke and IPMN center stage, while outside voices and opinions have to struggle for even a minute of public time? I remain to be convinced that the staff and elected officials at the General Assembly level of my denomination are playing fair, or have any intention of achieving balance on this issue.

Posted by: Anonymous at July 10, 2012 12:03 PM

Thank you for this report. And to the Presbyterian Teaching Elder who posted before me - thank you so much as well for being so honorable.
What are we to do with Jews who are ok with the reality of 56 Muslim majority states but squeamishly against 1 Jewish majority state the size of New Jersey? We won't and don't harm our traitors as the Arabs do theirs, so those of us who do support the Jewish state must continue to speak out as loudly and frequently as we can.

Posted by: Sheree Roth at July 12, 2012 12:12 PM

Another self proclaimed hater of Zionism, what else is new? Small minds like Ms Framke must have forgot the history of Pogroms and Nasser fascism etcetera, along with simple hatred of Israel.

Posted by: Robert LOVELL at July 12, 2012 02:28 PM

I respect the comments of the Presbyterian Teaching Elder involved in PMFEP. I have no reason to question what he has said. But, I am very sorry to say that his comment troubles me deeply.

He has posted his comment as coming from "Anonymous." If he were a journalist posting from Mexico, I could understand him wishing to keep his anonymity. If he were a secular Sunni posting from Iran, I could also understand it. But, are we, whether Catholic, Jewish, or Protestant, so fearful of our bretheran here in America that we post reasonable observations under the signature "anonymous"? As the saying goes,"for evil to triumph, it is enough for good people to do (or say) nothing."

Posted by: Harry Mahn at July 12, 2012 04:43 PM

Harry Mahn, I understand your feelings about our "anonymous" commenter. However, I think each person should make that decision for themselves. We don't know what retributions or social confrontations might be in store for this person from their congregation members or larger church organization. It's possible that this person might gain better access in the future to the inner workings of his church by remaining anonymous - activities that he may be excluded from otherwise. And he would then be in a better position to report his experiences to us. I appreciate hearing these reports that I would otherwise have no knowledge of. Thanks "anonymous".

Posted by: Ray in Seattle at July 18, 2012 04:03 PM

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