>>> The News: JAY KAY!
By staff writer Amir Blumenfeld
September 29, 2004

The real news (for boring people)
The breakdown (for college people)

Presbyterians, Jews Try to Heal Rift

By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

NEW YORK – Calling their discussion difficult, American Jewish leaders and Presbyterian officials met privately for three hours Tuesday but failed to reach agreement about a vote by the Protestant denomination to pursue divesting from some companies working with Israel.

You see, Jews want people to invest in Israel, and Protestants are divesting, or taking money OUT of Israel. Oh, I'm sorry, did you come here to laugh?! Well take a seat mother effer, you're about to get smarter.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, which organized the gathering, told the Presbyterians that their church's vote last summer reflected a “fundamental unfairness” toward Israel and would hurt the Palestinians by hardening Israelis against a negotiated solution to the Mideast conflict.

Memo to Eric Yoffie: Use SMALLER WORDS.

“We did not expect the Presbyterian Church to come in and renounce this,” Yoffie said. “It is nonetheless our hope that there will be a reconsideration.”

“Especially because Churches can't walk. AH AHA HAH ha.”

The Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, the stated clerk, or executive officer, of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), said he would continue discussing the issue with Jewish groups, but planned no immediate changes in how church officials will carry out the vote by their legislative body, called the General Assembly.

Cut to: Rev. Kirkpatrick doodling down notes, nodding, and fake listening to the Jewish Community.

Cut to: Close up of Kirkpatrick's notebook. It's a picture of a rabbi being lynched.

“I do not leave this meeting feeling that the decision by the General Assembly should be reversed,” Kirkpatrick said.

“But then again, I can't leave this meeting at all! My belt is stuck to this darn table!”

Kirkpatrick said his denomination's goal was to pressure companies to end their involvement in practices that harm Palestinians. He said divestment would be used only as a last resort, if discussions with company officials and presentations to shareholders fail.

Shareholders?!?! I didn't know that the Protestant Church was a publicly traded company. What's their symbol?! AHAHA! Oh I see, it's PTC. In that case I'll by 20 shares.

The conflict is occurring during a dismal period in relations between mainline Protestants and U.S. Jews over Israel and the Palestinians.

What do Protestants and Palestinians have in common? Except for the fact that if you just gloss over their names really quickly they look like they're spelled the same. PROTESTINIANS.

As the Palestinian uprising enters its fifth year, the more liberal Protestant denominations are becoming bolder in their criticism of Israeli actions in the occupied territories, even as they condemn violence against Israeli citizens.

Aww…it's fifth year…. It's starting kindergarten! Which would explain why I saw a kid throwing a rock finger painting.

Last week, some Anglican leaders visiting the Mideast said they will recommend that their global Communion of 77 million members withdraw investments from Israel because of what they called mistreatment of Palestinians.

“We'd rather them stand idly by while their busses explode and their faces get hit with boulders,” said the strongly satirical columnist.

Kirkpatrick acknowledged in his presentation to Jewish leaders that the divestment push “invited comparisons” to the divestment campaign against South African apartheid two decades ago. Yet, he insisted the General Assembly did not see the two policies as morally equivalent.

And THAT turned out all right!! For me at least. I mean, I don't live in South Africa or anything…but I'm still cool with it.

“The two situations are distinct,” Kirkpatrick said, according to a copy of his remarks distributed to reporters. “The focus of this action is to explore use of a proven tool of economic pressure to motivate real change in Israeli policies and movement toward peace.”

“Did I say peace? I meant pizza,” Kirkpatrick said. “That's right, I'm just a huge bad stand up comedian. Pretty disappointing huh?”

The 2.5 million-member denomination has about $7 billion in investments, with only a small portion in industries related to Israel, he said. One company the denomination will target is Caterpillar Inc., because its bulldozers have been used to demolish Palestinian homes, he said.

I wouldn't really call them “homes.” I mean, they're so unstable, you can knock their homes down with REAL caterpillars. And a couple butterflies. And a moth. And like…a whacking stick thingy…what's it called? Right, a hammer.

Benjamin Cordani, a spokesman for Caterpillar, said the company “shares the world's concern” over Mideast unrest, but he said Caterpillar had neither the “legal right nor the means to police an individual's use of that equipment.”

So THAT explains Cordani's “Bulldozers don't bulldoze houses, People do” bumper sticker on his bulldozer. Wouldn't you think a bulldozer is just something that puts cows to sleep? I sure would, and my IQ is a hundred and one.

Among the organizations represented at the three-hour meeting Tuesday were the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Leaders of both faiths plan to meet again and explore other means of reconciliation, such as joint trips to Israel and the territories, and more interfaith dialogue among local congregations and seminary students.

I understand why the Anti-Defamation league was there, but why was the League of Woman Voters and the Negro League's present? Sorry, I honestly stopped paying attention.


And now a quick joke...

You know how magpies will seek out, treasure, and hoard shiny yet useless little things? That is how I act around the seasonal items at Trader Joe’s.