Churches are making history
Anna Baltzer, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, June 23rd, 2016
I just arrived in Columbus, Ohio, where Unitarian Universalists from around the country will have the chance to affirm the recent decision by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to divest from companies involved in the Israeli occupation. The UUA’s historic decision to divest came amidst a long-time, powerful divestment effort led by member group Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East. This is only one of so many ground-breaking developments in faith-based advocacy just this year!
2016 began with a bang when the United Methodist Church divested from 5 Israeli banks due to their involvement in illegal settlements.
Then in March, the national Catholic organization Conference of Major Superiors of Men, which represents the leaders of the Catholic men’s religious orders in the U.S., issued a Call for Boycott of Illegal Settlements in Palestine, calling on Catholics to join the boycott, especially in hearing the prayerful and urgent calls of Catholic Palestinian leaders living under an unjust and inhumane occupation.
Less than two weeks later, the Alliance of Baptists passed this inspiring, comprehensive resolution for divestment, boycott, and more!
Then, just weeks ago, 5 separate Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America passed resolutions to divest from, or implement investment screens related to, companies involved in the Israeli occupation.
One week from today marks one year since the United Church of Christ voted to divest from corporations involved in the Israeli occupation, while this past Monday marked two years since the Presbyterian Church (USA) passed a similar resolution.
The most amazing part is this: None of these developments were coordinated with one another. Each church has its own amazing leaders who have decided they can no longer pay for a military occupation while simultaneously praying for it to end. Based on their own principles and policies, churches across denominations and across the country are simultaneously taking courageous, moral stands for justice in the Holy Land. It’s clear which way the wind is blowing.
And as I type this, the Presbyterian Church (USA) is convening once again to deliberate on significant resolutions related to the rights of Palestinian children, corporate complicity, and beyond.
Join us in witnessing developments unfold during this powerful moment in history:
- Watch the Presbyterians livestream here tomorrow and follow the Twitter hashtags #GA222 and #justpeace.
- Watch the Unitarian vote livestreamed here or follow @UUJME, #UUAGA2016, and #UUDivest4Peace on Twitter. The final vote is expected Saturday morning.
- As always, we’ll be posting big news on the US Campaign’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.