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Jewish Groups Resume Dialogue With Churches After 2012 Israel Aid Letter Spat

Leaders of national Jewish groups resumed a dialogue with mainline Christian churches ruptured by a call in 2012 by some Christian leaders to consider cutting U.S. assistance to Israel.

“We affirm a strong commitment to continue working together on domestic and international issues of common concern,” said the joint statement issued by the groups Thursday after the groups met in New York.

“We will aspire to genuine and ongoing dialogue related to Israeli-Palestinian issues, seeking to identify and discuss, in respect and humility, areas of real or potential disagreement and of real and potential cooperation,” said the statement released through the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups. “As people of faith we enter the holy season of Easter and Passover to celebrate the gift of our renewed relationship and look to the future to enhance our closeness and our commitment to serve the common good.”

Jewish groups suspended the dialogue with the churches in October 2012 after church leaders wrote Congress members asking them to investigate alleged Israeli human rights abuses and to cut assistance to Israel accordingly.

Jewish leaders at Thursday’s meeting represented groups including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the JCPA, B’nai B’rith International and the Reform and Conservative movements.

Mainline Protestant churches represented included the Lutherans, the United Church of Christ, Presbyterians, Methodists, Disciples of Christ and the National Council of Churches.

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