Mennonite Church approves divestment in protest of Israeli policies

Mennonite Church approves divestment in protest of Israeli policies

The Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network (Menno-PIN) welcomes the successful passage of the “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine” resolution by the Mennonite Church USA at its biennial convention in Orlando, FL, today. The resolution was approved overwhelmingly, with approximately 98 per cent of the 548 voters supporting it.

The resolution declares the denomination’s opposition to Israel’s 50-year-old military rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories and commits to “withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.” The resolution also urges church members to avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law and longstanding official US policy, and to advocate for an end to U.S. military aid and arms sales in the Middle East.

The Mennonite Church USA joins with the Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, Quakers, Unitarian Universalists, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and others who have taken economic action in support of Palestinian human rights.

“This resolution is a long overdue response to the Palestinian Christian call to the global church,” said Joy Lapp, Professor of Religion at Iowa Wesleyan University and one of the founders of Menno-PIN. “Today we stand in solidarity with their courageous and nonviolent efforts for justice and equality.”

Reverend Alex Awad a retired Palestinian Christian activists now living in the US said that the resolution was the result of hard work by many. “We succeeded in countering the various myths and distortions that were spread by the other side and made the delegates understand the reality of Palestinian life.”

The resolution focuses on ways Mennonites have been involved in harms against both Palestinians and Jews, and names concrete steps to address those harms. It addresses the ongoing reality of anti-Semitism around the world, and the extent to which Mennonites in the U.S. are complicit in Jewish suffering historically, currently, and theologically. Church members are encouraged to build relationships with Palestinian-American, Muslim and Jewish communities in the United States.

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 19:34
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