Resolution Number: 2009-B027
Title: On the Topic of Peace and Statehood in Historic Palestine
Legislative Action Taken: Rejected
Final Text:

Resolution Rejected by Non-concurrence. See Legislative History for original text of resolution.

Legislative History

Author: The Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw III, SSJE
Originating House: House of Deputies
Originating Committee: Committee on National and International Concerns

House of Deputies

Point of Order

Deputy Snow of Alaska moved to suspend the Rules to take up Resolution B027 (Peace between Israel and Palestine).

Motion carried

Rules suspended

The House of Deputies Committee on National and International Concerns presented its Report #42 on Resolution B027 (Peace between Israel and Palestine) and moved adoption of a substitute.

Original Text of Resolution:

(B027)

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 76th General Convention, considering the Church’s mission to promote peace for all God’s people, warmly applauds the initiative of President Barack Obama and his Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, to bring stronger and more resolute American diplomatic leadership to the cause of peace between Israel and Palestine and to the Middle East; and be it further

Resolved, That the Convention acknowledge the tragic histories of the Jewish and Palestinian people as victims of injustice, wars, dispersion and exile, the existential fear and insecurity this has created for both peoples, and the distress their conflict has caused throughout the Middle East; and be it further

Resolved, That the Convention respect the profound commitment of Israelis and Palestinians to the land they regard as their homeland and their national aspirations, and call upon the U.S. Government, in keeping with American ideals of equality, justice and human rights, to pursue a fair and balanced approach to making peace that fulfills the fundamental needs of both peoples; and be it further

Resolved, That the Convention acknowledge that peace between Israel and Palestine can be achieved only by a division of historic Palestine into two sovereign states, and that this division should be defined, more or less, by the 1949 Armistice line, with mutually agreed border adjustments; and be it further

Resolved, That the humanitarian situation in Gaza calls for the unrestricted opening of borders for both humanitarian and reconstruction resources; and be it further

Resolved, That the Convention understand and respect the religious and historic claims of both Israelis and Palestinians, as well as of Jews, Christians and Muslims, worldwide, toward the Holy City of Jerusalem and its sacred holy sites, and that a just and lasting territorial division must include a shared Jerusalem in which the State of Israel and a future State of Palestine will maintain their respective capitals; and be it further

Resolved, That the Convention recognize that the use of force, violence or arbitrary power by Israelis or Palestinians to determine the outcome of this conflict must be condemned absolutely, and that peace can be achieved only through peaceful negotiations that would lead to the emergence of a Palestinian state living side by side and at peace with Israel; and be it further

Resolved, That the Convention urge all Episcopalians to work and pray for the liberating of Israelis and Palestinians from generations of conflict, freeing the Middle East and the world from tensions wrought by this struggle, restoring harmony among Jews, Muslims and Christians worldwide for whom the Holy Land is sacred, and for creating peace based on the universal value of justice, as a compelling priority for the Church and for the United States of America.

Committee Substitute:

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 76th General Convention, considering the Church’s mission to promote peace for all God’s people, warmly applaud the initiative of President Barack Obama and his Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, to bring stronger and more resolute American diplomatic leadership to the cause of peace between Israel and Palestine and to the Middle East; and be it further

Resolved, That we express our appreciation to Bishop Suheil Dawani and the Diocese of Jerusalem for their ongoing witness and dedication to reconciliation and peace; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention acknowledge the tragic histories of the Jewish and Palestinian peoples as victims of injustice, wars, dispersion and exile, the existential fear and insecurity this has created for both peoples, and the distress their conflict has caused throughout the Middle East; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention respect the profound commitment of Israelis and Palestinians to the land they regard as their homeland; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention call upon Israelis and Palestinians to recognize one another’s right to statehood, economic viability and security, and that all other nations do likewise; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention call for the cessation of violence by all Palestinians and Israelis; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention call on the Government of the United States of America to practice financial transparency in all of its aid to Palestinians and to Israel; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention call for the end of the air, water and land blockade of the Gaza Strip thereby permitting free and uninhibited access for all humanitarian assistance, for educational, reconstruction and development materials and for ordinary trade; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention call for the wall in whatever its form around and through Palestinian land to be brought down; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention call for an end to the on-going confiscation of Palestinian land, demolition of housing and the displacement of people; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention call for a just resolution for Palestinian refugees; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention call for the creation of a single, viable, sovereign Palestinian state, independent of the State of Israel, comprising all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with each state controlling its own water rights, and with Jerusalem serving as capital of both Israel and Palestine, in order to encourage a comprehensive and enduring peace.

Deputy Lewis of Southwest Florida moved to divide the first seven resolve clauses and from the last five resolve clauses.

Motion defeated

Division defeated

Deputy Moss of Western Massachusetts moved the previous question.

Motion carried

Debate terminated

A vote was taken on substitute Resolution B027.

Motion carried

Substitute resolution adopted

(Communicated to the House of Bishops in HD Message #193)

House of Bishops

The House of Bishops Committee on National and International Concerns presented its Report #55 on HD Message #193 on Resolution B027 (Peace between Israel and Palestine) and moved concurrence.

The Bishop of New York moved an amendment.

Proposed Amendment:

Delete the seventh and eight resolve clauses.

Motion defeated

Amendment defeated

The question was called.

Motion carried

Debate terminated

A vote was taken on Resolution B027.

Motion defeated

Resolution rejected

(Communicated to the House of Deputies in HB Message #290)

Resolution Rejected: Adopted by One House Only

Abstract:   The 76th General Convention rejects a resolution encouraging The Episcopal Church to promote peace between Israel and Palestine, acknowledging two sovereign states, and calling for the unrestricted opening of borders.
Notes:  

Resolutions 2009-A038, 2009-A039, 2009-A040, 2009-D030 and 2009-D059 were discharged because the matter was already acted on in 2009-B027.