DRAFT PIN RESOLUTION – Resolutions similar to this draft have been passed in the Dioceses of Chicago, North Carolina, Washington, Oregon, Western N. C., Rochester, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, Hawaii and Maryland.
Resolved, the House of ____________concurring, that the 77th General Convention, mindful of the impasse in reaching a just resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, calls on the Executive Council (using appropriate staff) to develop and implement a strategy of advocacy and education in the Church during the next triennium to further a just resolution of the conflict utilizing existing policies and resources, including but not limited to the following:
- A robust use of the Episcopal Public Policy Network in promoting Church policies in our nation’s capital
- Participating in corporate social responsibility by more vigorous and public corporate engagement with companies in the Church’s investment portfolio that do business in illegal Israeli settlements or contribute to the infrastructure of the Occupation
Identifying a project of economic engagement through a loan of at least $200,000 from the Church’s economic justice loan fund that strengthens the economic infrastructure of the Territories
- Assist individual Episcopalians by providing information on products made and distributed from illegal Israeli settlements so that they can make informed consumer choices
An examination of actions the U.S. might take to support international law and human rights and be it further Resolved that Council include in its planning a study in the next triennium in every Diocese of “KAIROS PALESTINE 2009” released in December 2009 by Palestinian Christian leaders to address the plight of Palestinian Christians living under military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza as well as those Christians living within the state of Israel who do not enjoy the full rights and privileges of Jewish-Israeli citizens, and be it further Resolved that the Council further consider using as a resource for this study plan an Episcopal version of Steadfast Hope (adapted from the Presbyterian original) as developed by the Palestine Israel Network of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, and be it further Resolved that the Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice Concerns give high priority to peace with justice in the Holy Land and report to the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church with recommendations on how best to support our Anglican brothers and sisters in the Holy Land, and be it further Resolved that all bishops, clergy and lay people of the Episcopal Church in the United States be encouraged to travel to the region as pilgrims and witnesses, and to provide various forms of support for the Church in the Holy Land, including the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, its parishes, and its Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani, including through the sterling work of the Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Good Friday Offering, and be it further
Resolved that Convention provide a budget of $5,000 to Council and staff in assisting with this work.
The Episcopal Church has long supported a just peace in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It has rejected anti-Semitism while affirming the right to be critical of Israeli policies, and has taken clear positions opposing suicide bombings, development of illegal settlements, the building of a separation barrier that violates Palestinian land and the demolition of Palestinian homes, among other policy positions.
This resolution asks Executive Council to give greater attention to these policies and to develop a high profile and multi-pronged effort throughout the Church to promote a just peace for the two peoples of the Holy Land.
The Christian Church in the Holy Land is struggling to survive as its numbers decline steadily under Israel’s ongoing military occupation of Palestine and its ensuing negative impacts on the Palestinian people in the form of economic hardships, loss of basic freedoms, and violence. Today Christians number less than 2% of the population, down from an estimated 15% to 20% in 1968. Their voices, as found in “Kairos Palestine”, reflect the oppression not only of Christian Palestinians, but also of all Palestinians living under the Occupation and within the State of Israel, which they decry as a “sin against God and humanity.” (See the full text of “Kairos Palestine at www.kairospalestine.ps/)
The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem shares in that decline as its members face increasing difficulties such as the 2010 cancellation of Bishop Suheil Dawani’s ‘Residency Permit’ and the accompanying order for him to leave the country. That is simply a newsworthy example of things regularly confronted by less titled Palestinians.
Most Episcopalians and most Americans are unaware of the extent of the hardships facing Palestinians and need education on the situation to enable our support. In addition to its teaching series on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, entitled Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace, the Presbyterian Church has published a three-part study guide for the Kairos Palestine Document issued by a broad representation of Palestinian Christians in November 2009. In addition, an Episcopal version of Steadfast Hope, published in 2011 and based on an updated Presbyterian original, is now available and could be used by Council to develop a study plan for the Church.
Funds of $5,000 to carry out the purposes of this resolution would be for basic materials and resources. Other line items in the budget could be used to assist in this resolution to be determined by Council and staff. Some of the work would be in the office of Communications, the Corporate Social Responsibility committee of Council, and the Economic Justice Loan Committee of Council in addition to work done in Mission Program, both in New York and Washington.