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221st General Assembly (2014)

GA221 on Israel-Palestine

 

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We pray no one else, not a single Israeli or Palestinian, will die in this struggle.

Resources:

  • george abueid, at a podium

    Twelve international peacemakers from around the world are visiting congregations, presbyteries and colleges of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Sept. 19-Oct.12.

    They are sharing their stories and church-based ministries in their countries that seek peace, justice and pursue peace in the name of Jesus Christ. This year’s international peacemakers come from Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Palestine, the Philippines, Russia, South Sudan and Syria.
    Read more.

  • The Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns (ACREC) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has issued an open letter to General Assembly Moderator Heath Rada, Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons and Presbyterian Mission Agency Executive Director Linda Valentine “applauding” the recent General Assembly’s decision to divest from three U.S. companies it determined “is profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
    ACREC ‘applauds’ General Assembly divestment vote

  • The practice of divestment and proscription of equities or other investments by individual Christians and by church bodies for ethical reasons has been around a long time. In its
    earliest stages it was focused largely on the refusal to invest in companies whose profits were derived from such things as tobacco, alcohol, or gambling. Presbyterian investors have often been among those who refused to invest in these so called “sin stocks.” Those decisions were taken with the full awareness that many Presbyterians were users of tobacco and of alcohol and some were participants in gambling, as well as the awareness that in some cases, Presbyterians were owners or operators of some of these businesses and that Presbyterians also worked in those enterprises.
    When Stewardship Is an Act of Public Witness

  • Although the Rev. Kate Taber was commissioned as a mission co-worker serving the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Israel/Palestine earlier this year, she has several other experiences living and working in the region. Presbyterian News Service reached out to Taber to learn more about her work, especially in light of the current conflict, Operation Protective Edge.

  • Report from a mission co-worker in Israel/Palestine

  • As a body of 1.7-million members and more than 10,000 congregations, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) calls on the president of the United States to press for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel.

    stated clerk, gradye parsons, at a podium

    “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Christians, Jews, and Muslims are all commanded by God to love God and our neighbor with our whole lives. Yet in the cradle of all three of these faiths, The death toll continues to rise.  Palestinian and Israeli fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and children weep for those dear to them.

    A statement on the crisis by the Stated Clerk
  • commissioners prayingToo much death. Too much violence. One more young life taken. We grieve the news that a Palestinian teenager has been abducted and found dead in Jerusalem. The church condemns the actions of those responsible for this death and for all acts of violence.

    We grieve with all families in Israel and Palestine who suffer the loss of children and the hope for the future that dies with them. We join the National Council of Churches in the United States of America, "We pray no one else, not a single Israeli or Palestinian, will die in this struggle.”

    Join us as we pray for all those who weep this day…
    A prayer to end the violence

  • The 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a measure recommending that the Board of Pensions, the Foundation, and its members divest from three corporations whose products it believes contribute to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The companies—Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions—are used by the Israeli government in the occupied territories and are not in compliance with the General Assembly’s policy on socially responsible investing. The PC(USA) has a decades-long history of socially responsible investing. The General Assembly measure also says that this action does not indicate an alignment with the overall global Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. It affirms the importance of economic measures and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians that support and advance a negotiated two-state solution, and encourages Presbyterians to travel to the Holy Land to give broad support to the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities throughout the Middle East. The General Assembly also called for a study to determine whether a two-state solution continues to be viable. Regarding Zionism Unsettled, the assembly declared that the publication does not represent the views of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
    Frequently Asked Questions

  • commissioners gathered in plenaryWe are reaching out to you after our General Assembly’s action, by a 310-303 vote, to recommend to the Presbyterian Foundation and the Board of Pensions to divest from three North American corporations following extensive corporate engagement. The assembly concluded that further engagement would not bring an end to their pursuits that further the Israeli occupation in Palestine. Many of you were with us in Detroit, and your presence and voices were significant. From your presence with us, it was clear that if the assembly acted on divestment, it would deeply affect your communities as well as impact some of our most longstanding interfaith relationships. The assembly’s action came about through much prayer and discernment. 
    An open letter to our American Jewish partners from PC(USA) leadership


Dedicated PC(USA) websites:

Positive Investment Overview - Long from Presbyterian Foundation.


Business and history


Reflections outside the PC(USA):

  • "Our hearts are heavy. Too many people, both Israeli and Palestinian, have died already in this latest eruption of violence. In recent weeks, the level of tension and violence in Israel and Palestine has again reached frightening proportions. We bear witness to the senseless deaths of young people and the suffering visited on Israeli and Palestinian families. On the 1 July 2014, the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary expressed deep sorrow over the suffering and loss of life in the region. He affirmed that “collective retribution is not justice, nor will it lead to peace”. Unfortunately and sadly, we are still witnessing demolition of Palestinian homes, acts of revenge and collective punishment measures by the Israeli army against Palestinians, dangerous threats of increased Israeli military attacks against Palestinians in Gaza, and rocket attacks from Gaza. The current violence comes with the failure of the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the loss of prospects for a political solution."
    The World Council of Churches (WCC) "Statement on Economic Measures and Christian Responsibility toward Israel Palestine" ->

  • "The regional committee of the WSCF-ME was held in Cairo-Egypt on Friday 11th of July, 2014. Participants from Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, and Palestine were present to pray for peace in the region and to those who couldn't join using our Godlike reunion, our brothers and sisters from Iraq and Syria."
    A prayer for peace in the region from the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF)

More information:
oga.communications@pcusa.org

 

 

(3) Comments

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  1. YES, kudos and thank you General Assembly and Middle East Committee members for your historic, courageous and socially responsible decision for divestment!! When I heard the news I felt inspired and joyful, with renewed hope for eventual peace with justice in Palestine, and renewed trust in the GA to do the right thing, how ever difficult the road. Standing firm in the face of controversy is more than I expected from an establishment church with many corporate ties. Congratulations! I am with you all the way at this important turning point. Stay strong; you are not alone.

    by Tina Buettell

    August 11, 2014

     

  2. And Jesus answering said. Christ might have stated simply, that the word neighbor extends indiscriminately to every man, because the whole human race is united by a sacred bond of fellowship. And, indeed, the Lord employed this word in the Law, for no other reason than to draw us sweetly to mutual kindness. The commandment would have run more clearly thus: Love every man as thyself. But as men are blinded by their pride, so that every man is satisfied with himself, scarcely deigns to admit others to an equal rank, and withholds from them the duties he owes them, the Lord purposely declares that all are neighbors that the very relationship may produce mutual love. To make any person our neighbor, therefore, it is enough that he be, a man; for it is not in our power to blot out our common nature.

    by W S WEBB

    July 25, 2014

     

  3. The act of divestiture that came about as a result of a 310 to 303 vote in the GA indicates a larger problem within the governance of PC-USA. Taking an official stance on such an important an controversial issue on the basis of an almost evenly divided vote is not wise. By so doing you have seriously damaged many relationships inside and outside our denomination. I do not believe that we need to take a formal stance on any issue unless a significant percentage of commissioners are in favor of it (say at least two thirds or more). If this requires a change in our bylaws then let's get on with it.

    by Frank M. Lusk, Jr.

    July 23, 2014

     

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