Episcopal Church Votes To Divest From Companies Involved In Israeli Violation Of Palestinian Human Rights

13 Jul
10:05 PM

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church, with more than 3 million members, hasĀ voted to divest from companies involved in Israelā€™s violations of Palestinian human rights.

TheĀ Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel NetworkĀ (EPF PIN) put in amazing work over many years to get to make the Episcopal Church theĀ 10th Christian denominationĀ in the US to take economic action for justice in Palestine. Thanks in large part to their mobilization, the church also passed ground-breaking resolutions:

  • Asserting the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination
  • Condemning Israelā€™s violence against protesters in Gaza
  • Calling on the US government to reinstate funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)
  • Supporting the rights of Palestinian children
  • Demanding equal access to Jerusalem and opposing Trumpā€™s move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

USCPR was proud to have Anna Baltzer, Director of Organizing & Advocacy, on the ground at the General Convention supporting EPF PIN. Many other Palestine solidarity groups were there,Ā as well.

All the groups were working together to organize powerful testimonies (like this one from FOSNAā€™s Tarek Abuata) from Palestinian refugees, students, elders, clergy, and others, strategize outreach, and share why the church taking economic action is so important.

Weā€™ve come a long way. In 2014, the Presbyterian Church (USA) became the first mainline church to divest from companies profiting from the occupation and just last month, they voted inĀ ten pro-Palestine resolutions.

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Now, divesting from Israelā€™s abuses of Palestiniansā€™ rights is the norm ā€“Ā even in institutions like the Episcopal Church, which had previously voted down such measures more than once.

As icing on the cake, USCPR recently learned that the Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation ā€“ which has more than $400 million in holdings and has already divested fromĀ Hewlett Packard, Veolia, andĀ CaterpillarĀ ā€“Ā will now screen outĀ all companiesĀ contributing to the occupation of Palestine and other occupations around the world.

These institutional shifts are a sign of changing times, and confirmation that years of hard work are producing results. The movementā€™s strategy to mainstream the struggle for Palestinian rights is paying off.Ā Folks are understanding that being progressive means standing with Palestine!

USCPR puts a lot into supporting church divestment efforts for justice in Palestine, including sending staff to big annual meetings like this yearā€™s Presbyterian and Episcopalian ones, sharing lessons learned from one annual assembly to another, supporting church groups, and putting together delegations of Palestinians and allies to give powerful testimony at assemblies.

As we celebrate, we are mindful of the reason these milestones matter: Israelā€™s continued violence, oppression, discrimination, and exile of the Palestinian people everywhere, every day. This win reminds us of our power, and the necessity to continue working until the Palestinian people achieve full freedom, justice, and equality.

Source: US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

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