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WCC urges Christian responsibility in economic measures related to Israel-Palestine conflict

July 17, 2014

GENEVA

Continuing with a long-time commitment of the World Council of Churches (WCC), a recent statement issued by Council’s chief governing body reaffirms churches’ “solidarity with those working for peace with justice in Palestine and Israel.” The statement encourages churches to make responsible decisions regarding their investments which have an impact on the current situation in the region.

The statement titled Economic Measures and Christian Responsibility toward Israel and Palestine was adopted at the WCC Central Committee meeting on July 8 here.

The document calls “targeted economic measures” an important “non-violent strategy for promoting peace and abating violence.” Efforts from the WCC member churches in implementing responsible economic measures with related impact on Israel and Palestine situation were acknowledged in the statement.

The document mentions the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) which at its recent General Assembly made a decision to divest from three U.S.-based corporations that profit from Israel’s illegal military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The statement encourages the global ecumenical community to accompany individuals and churches faced with criticism for demanding an end to the occupation of Palestine.

The document also notes other efforts from the churches working with governments to ensure labeling of goods produced in Israeli settlements categorized as manufactured in occupied Palestinian territories. These “efforts are bearing fruit especially within the European Union.”

The statement highlights efforts of those churches that have voted to boycott goods produced in the Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian lands.

“We are called to take action in support of peaceful solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Economic pressure, appropriately and openly applied, is one such means of action,” reads the statement. The document encourages the WCC member churches to make investments that can help “maintain a vibrant Palestinian Christian presence and witness in Israel and Palestine.”

Amidst growing tensions in the West Bank, the statement underlines deep concern over the recent eruption of violence costing many lives. “The level of tension and violence in Israel and Palestine has again reached frightening proportions. We bear witness to the senseless deaths of young people and the suffering,” acknowledges the statement.

In this situation, the document encourages the WCC member churches to “engage in dialogue with Palestinian churches, civil society actors, and Jewish partners.” Instead of “reacting to the political controversies around economic measures, churches should thoughtfully and prayerfully consider how they might respond from the foundation of their faith,” reads the statement.

  1. I agree with both previous comments. The Scriptures say that we are to bless Israel and we will be blessed. They also say that through Israel the rest of the world will be blessed. This small embattled country does bless the rest of the world, including her enemies (and the PCUSA seems to be one) so the least we should do is bless her. Leave any punishments up to their God. The scriptures show that those nations and people that God uses to punish Israel always get their just desserts. Pray for all people who are suffering and pray that their hearts are changed by faith in Jesus. That's what will bring real peace anywhere.

    by Nichola

    July 28, 2014

  2. It is increasingly sad the loss of life that is continuing to take place among Palestinian innocents. However, the terrorist organization, Hamas, must be stopped and the only force capable of accomplishing that is the Israeli Defense Force. It should be abundantly clear that Hamas cannot lead and cannot create the necessary conditions that would allow peace loving Palestinians to live in a society free of continuing violence. It is my personal view that now is the time for the IDF to bring Hamas to its knees once and for all and put these cowards who attack Israel and then run and hide behind innocents permanently out of business. Hamas is hell bent on destroying Israel and we all know it. At this point I see no reason for Israel to give any further thought to try and negotiate anything with Hamas but their surrender. We in the church should pray that God give Israel the strength to subdue, remove and replace Hamas with legitimate leadership who will recognize Israel, renounce violence against the Jewish state and commit themselves to living peacefully along side their Jewish neighbors. Only then will all of this end. Hamas are evil leaders whose reign of terror must be brought to an end. Sincerely, Steve Langford, a Presbyterian in Indianapolis, In

    by Stephen Langford

    July 17, 2014

  3. I don't think PCUSA has any business dealing in political matters. Israel has every right to protect itself. Stick to preaching the Gospel

    by Rick

    July 17, 2014

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