Resolution Number: 2012-C060
Title: On the Topic of a Resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Legislative Action Taken: Rejected
Final Text:

Resolution died with adjournment. See Legislative History for original text of resolution.

Legislative History

Author: Diocese of Western North Carolina
Originating House: House of Deputies
Originating Committee: National and International Concerns

House of Deputies

The House of Deputies Committee on National and International Concerns presented its Report #29 on Resolution C060 (Peace in Palestinian/Israeli Conflict) and moved adoption with amendment. Deputy Hamilton of Maine presented the Minority Report.

Original Text of Resolution

(C060)

Resolved, the House of Bishops 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 the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance provide a budget allocation of $5,000 to Council and staff in assisting with this work.

Committee Amendment

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 77th General Convention, mindful of the impasse in reaching a just resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, calls on the Presiding Bishop and the Executive Council Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility 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:

  • Encourage a robust use of the Episcopal Public Policy Network in promoting Church policies in our nation’s capital
  • Participateing 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 the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance provide a budget allocation of $5,000 to Council and staff in assisting with this work.

Minority Report

While we do not oppose adoption of C-060a, some members of Committee 09-National and International Concerns wish to express disappointment that the 77th General Convention has not gone far enough in considering measures that would increase awareness and advocacy toward ending the Occupation of Palestine. We are disappointed in the failure to recommend the Episcopal version of Steadfast Hope or the Kairos Palestine statement as resources to aid dioceses and congregations in studying varying narratives regarding Middle East peace issues. These resources are written unapologetically from Palestinian perspectives, to hear their voices, which are rarely heard in our nation’s discourse. Mark Braverman, an American Jew, said at the hearing on Middle East resolutions: “The reluctance to hear these voices and to advocate for even a hearing on the question of boycotts and divestment is not because of any question about the facts of the situation. It arises from fear about the impact on Christian Jewish relations on both institutional and personal levels….This cause has nothing to do with the Christian project to reconcile with the Jewish people. … It is, rather, about being faithful Christians….It is the elephant in the room.” We agree that this is not about Interfaith dialogue. It is about making a faithful witness to end the Occupation.

Kairos Palestine is a cry to be heard from 2,797 Palestinian Christians living under Occupation. We show enormous disrespect by refusing to acknowledge what they have said. It is an opportunity missed for our Church to have affirmed that grassroots Episcopalians in the U.S. are in solidarity with grassroots Episcopalians in the diocese of Jerusalem. Nonetheless, we join with members across the Church who will continue to walk with our sister and brother Christians in the Holy Land. We also stand with all other Palestinians living under Occupation working for peace and justice and an end to their suffering.

We note that the patriarchs and heads of Churches in the Holy Land, including the Episcopal Bishop of Jerusalem, responded to this cry in 2009, when they issued a statement acknowledging the Kairos document in 2009, (copy of which can be found in the Kairos document itself) and have not publicly repudiated it. The witness to justice for Palestinians is not simply the work of prelates and patriarchs, it is the work of all the baptized. We are all part of the Body of Christ. As we did in the Civil Rights era and during Apartheid, our witness for justice for the Palestinian people will continue.

Deputy Newland Smith, Diocese of Chicago

Deputy Brenda Hamilton, Diocese of Maine

Deputy William Stokes, Diocese of Southeast Florida

Deputy Sarah Lawton, Diocese of California

Deputy Gray of California moved to amend the resolution.

Proposed Amendment

Following “Church policies in our nation’s capital” add “; and be it further Resolved That this Convention urges all Episcopalians to study the 2009 Kairos Palestine document and “Steadfast Hope Study Guide”: and be it further Resolved that this Convention directs the Church to divest from all companies that enable the occupation and urges Episcopalians to boycott products manufactured on illegal Israeli settlements.” Delete “Participate in corporate social responsibility by more vigorous and public corporate engagement with companies in the Church’s investment portfolio that contribute to the infrastructure of the Occupation”.

The President announced that time allotted for debate had elapsed.

A vote was taken on the Gray amendment.

Motion defeated

Amendment defeated

House of Deputies

A vote was taken on Resolution C060. A voice vote was inconclusive. A paper vote was taken.

Motion carried

Resolution adopted with amendment

(Communicated to the House of Bishops in HD Message #158)

House of Bishops

The House of Bishops Committee on National and International Concerns presented its Report #20 on HD Message #158 on Resolution C060 (Peace in Palestinian/Israeli Conflict) and moved concurrence.

The Bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania moved to postpone indefinitely.

Motion carried

Consideration postponed

Resolution Died With Adjournment.

Abstract:   The 77th General Convention rejects a resolution modifying existing policies and resources for developing an Episcopal Church strategy to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Notes:  

Resolutions 2012-B010, 2012-C026, 2012-C061, 2012-C062, 2012-C063, 2012-C064, 2012-C065, 2012-C067, 2012-C082, 2012-C092, and 2012-C104 and were discharged because the matter was already acted upon in 2012-C060.