Editor’s note: What follows is a press release and does not reflect The Episcopal Church’s views on relations between Israel and Palestine. General Convention in 2018 rejected the notion of apartheid.
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship-Palestine Israel Network (EPF-PIN) applauds the delegates to General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) for being the first church body to name as apartheid the framework of Israeli laws and actions toward its Palestinian citizens and those living in the occupied Palestinian Territories of east Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
In January of this year, the Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem issued a report claiming the Israeli government has established “a regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” That report was followed in late April, when Human Rights Watch, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning international human rights organization, issued a similar report accusing Israel of committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution.
With an overwhelming 83% of the delegates concurring, the UCC resolution places these recent reports within an explicitly Christian context. Grounded in Biblical, historical, and theological teachings, the resolution pronounces Israel’s “continued oppression of the Palestinian people as sin, incompatible with the Gospel”.
At the 2018 General Convention of The Episcopal Church, the House of Deputies advanced a resolution which labeled Israel’s actions as a form of apartheid, but the resolution failed when the House of Bishops did not concur. Later that same month the Israeli government passed the a nation state law which identifies “the right to exercise national self-determination” in Israel is “unique to the Jewish people.”
The EPF-PIN urges The Episcopal Church, and especially the Deputies and Bishops, to examine the recently issued human rights reports and the resolution adopted by the UCC with an eye toward renewing that conversation next year in Baltimore.
Follow this link to read the UCC resolution and a summary of their reasoning:
Read the B’Tselem report, “A Realm of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is Apartheid”, using this link:
“A Threshold Crossed”, the Human Rights Watch report documenting apartheid crimes in Israel, is available via this link:
To contact and learn more about the Episcopal Peace Fellowship-Palestine Israel Network, visit us at https://epfnational.org/pin/ .