Episcopal Church Votes to Stand in Solidarity with Palestinians

July 14, 2018
Episcopal Church delegation
Body

(WASHINGTON, D.C. 7/14/2018)— AMP is thrilled to share the good news that the Episcopal Church, which has more than three million members, voted yesterday to divest from Israeli companies complicit in violating the human rights of Palestinians.

During its General Convention in Austin, Texas, the Episcopal Church notably adopted a human rights investment screen to prevent any profiting from the Israeli occupation. AMP is proud to have worked with dedicated allies to support the efforts of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship/Palestine-Israel Network (EPF PIN). 

Following a week of discussion, debate, and powerful testimony by Palestine solidarity activists, including AMP staff, Resolution B016 was passed by the House of Deputies earlier this week before being approved by the House of Bishops on Friday. The resolution “calls for the Executive Council’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility to develop criteria for Israel and Palestine based on a human rights’ investment screen” similar to ones previously passed by other Christian denominations such as the Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church, United Church of Christ, and the United Methodists. 

Through the resolutions approved, the Episcopal Church has decided to:

•    End the Church’s complicity in the occupation by conducting a human rights investment screen and divesting accordingly 
•    Reaffirm Palestinian self-determination and a commitment to a just solution to achieve peace
•    Condemn the use of live fire on protesters in Gaza and call for the U.S. to cooperate with U.N.-led investigations 
•    Call on the U.S. to restore funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees.
•    Safeguard the rights of Palestinian children under international law and ensure due process in military courts.
•    Condemn the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem 
•    Advocate for equal rights and access for all Jerusalem residents to holy sites 

As American Muslims advocating for Palestinian rights and freedom, we welcome these interfaith efforts that are rooted in the principles of equality and justice for all. These important victories and powerful displays of solidarity with Palestinians reflect a growing global support—across all faiths, creeds, and nationalities—for the movement for freedom and justice in Palestine. AMP is proud to stand alongside allies as we work toward achieving more milestones—until Palestine is free.   

Read the press release by the Episcopal Church
Episcopal Church Adopts Human Rights Investment Screen to Avoid Profiting from Human Rights Abuses in Palestine/Israel (7/13/18)

Watch Video of AMP Staffer Kareem El-Hosseiny's passionate testimony

Kareem El-Hosseiny: Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you directly. Please forgive me for my nervousness, but I was raised on the principle to always speak the truth even if your voice shakes. I'm here to ask you to reject B019. For Palestinians, There is no free movement of labor. Israel controls the external economic relations for the west bank and Gaza. Gaza, which has been under a brutal and inhumane blockade by land, air, and sea since 2007. Yet Viewing Gaza as a heart-wrenching humanitarian catastrophe worthy of charity neglects the reality that this undeniably cruel collective punishment of 2 million Palestinians has been carefully engineered by Israel. The Israeli administration responsible for overseeing the blockade of Gaza even considered using caloric measures to weigh how many truck-loads of food should be allowed in. The explicit goal was to regulate the import of food down to the exact number of calories needed to avoid starvation and no more. Palestinians don't need pity, they need solidarity. It does not matter how much money you throw at the Palestinians if you do not take a hard and clear stance against their oppression at the hands of their occupier. Financially supporting the companies that benefit from the occupation of Palestine is a perfect example of toxic charity. Without a deliberate moral compass to guide the church's financial decisions, how can the church claim to definitely stand for justice?

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