The following actions relating to Palestine/Israel were adopted by the 42nd meeting of General Council that just concluded. They are shared without comment for your information.
ISRAEL-PALESTINE TWO-STATE SOLUTION
That the 42nd General Council (2015) direct the Executive of the General Council to review the policy on Palestine/Israel in consultation with partners in the region by:
- affirming the right of self-determination for Palestinians and Israelis so that any choice regarding statehood be made by the people living in Palestine/Israel; and
- re-affirming the right of Israelis and Palestinians to live peacefully within internationally recognized borders.
TOWARD A JUST PEACE IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE
That the 42nd General Council (2015) direct the General Secretary, General Council to:
Focus the current strategies and actions approved at the 41st General Council to address the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories by the state of Israel by also:
- initiating and developing a program of education and advocacy, in cooperation with our partners, related to divestment from and economic sanctions against all corporations and institutions complicit in or benefitting from the illegal occupation. This would include education about tourism which bolsters the oppression of Palestinians;
- developing and implementing an ethical divestment strategy from companies that derive substantial financial benefit or that contribute significantly to furthering the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and recommends to the United Church of Canada, its Pension Fund and Foundation and other related bodies including congregations to divest from companies that derive substantial financial benefit from the illegal Israeli occupation; and
- encouraging all courts, bodies and members of The United Church of Canada to apply such divestment strategies and sanctions, until such time as the occupation of the Palestinian territories ends.
RELATIONSHIP-BUILDING TOWARDS PEACE BETWEEN PALESTINIANS AND ISRAELIS
That the 42nd General Council (2015) direct the General Secretary of the General Council to work on developing a resource listing organizations both in Canada and in Israel/Palestine that foster the building of relationships of trust between:
- The United Church of Canada and the Canadian Jewish community,
- The United Church of Canada and Canadian Palestinian groups,
- between Palestinian and Jewish groups in Canada, and
- between Palestinians and Israelis in Israel/Palestine (Identify groups within Israel and Palestine doing this kind of trust-building work, to facilitate possible partnerships between these groups and United Church bodies such as congregations, special interest groups or presbyteries.)
It further proposes that these resources be communicated to congregations, groups of interested United Church people, presbyteries and Conferences with encouragement for them to undertake this work.