Statements   
Major written statements and reports published
by churches, governments, organizations
and the United Nations. 
  
Presbyterian Church (USA)
From the Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the PC (USA)

To see accompanying maps for this information, download IPMN's original document

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Summary of PC(USA) actions on Israel/Palestine Issues

219th General Assembly
2010


The PC (USA) 219th General Assembly (2010) deliberations regarding Israel-
Palestine issues took place in Committee 14, the Middle East Peacemaking
Committee. This committee spent about three-quarters of its two day meeting
on the Middle East Study Report and the rest of its time on nine different
overtures regarding Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands in the West Bank
and Gaza.

The Middle East Study Report was produced by the Middle East Study
Committee (MESC), an ad hoc committee of nine members appointed by the
three moderators of the most recent General Assemblies. Its mandate was to
issue a report to the 219th GA and recommend appropriate steps to be taken
by our church, our nation, and the parties involved in the conflict to bring peace
to this area. The 172 page report of the committee was entitled “Breaking
Down the Walls” and the lengthiest segment was Part 3, “Study Materials.”
Even before the GA met, there was a spirited debate about this report, mostly
focused on Part 3, with some critics saying it was unbalanced in its treatment of
Israeli and Palestinian narratives, and supporters defending its impartiality and
integrity.

Before Committee 14 met at GA, most people predicted a very contentious
discussion. However, in an elegant parliamentary maneuver, the committee
voted to ask that Part 3 be re-drafted to include additional viewpoints, and then
spent most of its time discussing and sometimes fine-tuning the
recommendations in Part 2. Committee 14’s final action to approve the
amended Parts 1 and 2 of the MESC report passed 53 to 0, a remarkable
consensus. Committee 14 then discussed and took actions on the nine
different overtures before it.

In this guide, page 2 summarizes the findings in approved Parts 1 and 2 of the
MESC Report. pages 3 & 4 summarize both the recommendations in Part 2 of
the MESC Report as well as actions on all the overtures. The 219th General
Assembly overwhelmingly approved Committee 14’s actions on the MESC
Report as well as its recommendations to the plenary on the overtures. The
summary here therefore represents the policy positions of the PC(USA). The
text of all the materials approved by the 219th GA and a summary of their
actions is at www.pcbiz.org.

Because some findings and recommendations reference Israeli settlements in
the West Bank, bypass roads, the separation wall/barrier, the 1967
internationally recognized border between Israel and Palestine, and East
Jerusalem, four maps are included for reference. It should be noted that the
information on these maps was not a matter of contention at Committee 14 or
the General Assembly in 2010.

PC(USA) Statements Acknowledging Israeli
Human Rights and International Law Violations

Through action at the 219th General Assembly, the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

• Affirms Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation
within secure and internationally recognized borders
in accordance with United Nations resolutions.
• States that the Israeli occupation leads to the denial
of human rights for Palestinians and is a violation of
international laws.

• Acknowledges with great concern the Israeli
settlements with a current population of 285,000 in
the West Bank and 198,700 in East Jerusalem.
• Notes that the growth of the number of settlements
and settlers is perceived by many as an attempt by
Israel to prevent the establishment of an
economically viable Palestinian State.

• Acknowledges the numerous “Israeli-only” bypass
roads that carve up the Palestinian homeland and
connect one settlement to another.

• Expresses concern that these roads have a
devastating effect on the ability of Palestinians to live
out a normal life – to visit family, farm, family
property, to seek medical treatment, to secure
employment, and to travel freely in one’s own
country.

• Acknowledges that three quarters of the separation
wall/barrier is inside the West Bank rather than on
the 1967 internationally recognized border between
Israel and Palestine.

• Notes that the location of the separation wall/barrier
is in violation of international law, is perceived as an
impediment to peace, and perceived as an effort to
annex Palestinian land and water resources.

• States that it is estimated that 24,145 Palestinian
homes have been demolished in the West Bank
since 1967.

• States the overwhelming consensus of the
committee was that “Israel’s occupation of the West
Bank and Gaza is a sin against God and other fellow
human beings.”

PC(USA) Statements Acknowledging Israeli
Human Rights Violations

In 2010, the 219th General Assembly of the PC(USA)
reaffirmed Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation
within secure and internationally recognized borders in
accordance with United Nations resolutions. The General
Assembly (GA) also recognized the daunting and
mounting obstacles to the viability of a “two-state
solution,” and affirmed with great urgency the historic
Presbyterian stances with specific regard to the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict, calling for:

1. an immediate cessation of all violence, whether
perpetrated by Israelis or Palestinians;

2. the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian
territories and diversion of water resources;

3. an immediate freeze both on the establishment or
expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank
and on the Israeli acquisition of Palestinian land and
buildings in East Jerusalem;

4. the relocation by Israel of the Separation Barrier to
the 1967 border;

5. the withholding of U.S. government aid to the state
of Israel as long as Israel persists in creating new
West Bank settlements;

6. continuing corporate engagement through the
Committee on Mission Responsibility Through
Investment (MRTI) with companies profiting from the
sale and use of their products for non-peaceful
purposes and/or the violation of human rights;

7. a shared status for Jerusalem;

8. equal rights for Palestinian citizens of the state of
Israel

9. the cessation of systematic violation of human rights
by any party, specifically, practices of administrative
detention, collective punishment, the torture of
prisoners and suspects, home demolitions and
evictions, and the deportation of dissidents

10. the immediate resumption by Israel and Palestine of
negotiations toward a two-state solution.
In addition, The PC(USA) adopted the following
policies or calls for action:

The Presbyterian Church (USA)

• Calls on the U.S. government to exercise
strategically its international influence, including
making U.S. aid to Israel contingent upon Israel’s
compliance with international law and peacemaking
efforts

• Calls for the allocation of U.S. military aid funds to
be contingent on compliance with (1) the US Foreign
Assistance Act of 1961,which prohibits giving
assistance to the government of any country which
engages in a consistent pattern of human rights
violations, (2 )the U.S. Arms Export Control Act of
1976 which prohibits using U.S. weapons against
civilians and civilian infrastructure, and (3) the U.S.
foreign policy insofar as it pertains to
recommendations for steps toward peace, in this
instance, between Israelis and Palestinians.

• Commends for study the Kairos Palestine document
(‘A Moment of Truth’), and endorses the document’s
emphases on hope for liberation, nonviolence, love
of enemy, and reconciliation. We lift up for study the
often neglected voice of Palestinian Christians. We
direct the Middle East Monitoring Group to create a
study guide for the document.

• Calls on the Israeli and Egyptian governments to limit
their blockade of Gaza solely to military equipment/
devices and to guarantee adequate levels of food,
medicine, building supplies, and other humanitarian
items, and to allow free commercial exchange in and
out of Gaza, and calls on the U.S. government to
end any support for the blockade that interferes with
the adequacy of such items or such exchange.

• Acknowledges the facts on the ground that
constitute the system of Israeli apartheid against the
Palestinian people, but stops short of recognizing it
as apartheid because “we believe that dialogue is
hampered by words like “apartheid.”

• Strongly denounces Caterpillar’s continued profitmaking
from non-peaceful uses of its products and presses Caterpillar
to review carefully its involvement in obstacles to a just and
lasting peace in Israel-Palestine and to take affirmative steps to end its
complicity in the violation of human rights.

• Calls on the U.S. government to eliminate existing loopholes in tax codes that
permit its citizens to make donations to organizations that support human
rights violations and breaches of international law and UN Security Council
resolutions—particularly those loopholes that allow tax-deductible donations
that financially support the Israeli settlement enterprise on occupied territory or
Palestinian militant groups.

• Calls on the U.S. government to give a thorough accounting to its citizenry as
to the amounts of its foreign aid to countries in the Middle East that have been
used by the recipient nations to finance human rights violations, breaches of
international law and UN Security Council Resolutions, and to redirect adequate
allocations of aid toward (1) the rebuilding of Gaza and humanitarian assistance
for its people, and (2) Palestinian reuse or dismantling of the remaining
settlement infrastructure following the establishment of a Palestinian state.

• Urges the government of Israel to honor family reunification of Christians and
others, to provide permits for home construction and improvement without
discrimination for all its citizens and those Christians and Muslims under its
occupation.

• Calls on the U.S. government to exercise strategically its international influence
and the withholding of financial, economic, and military aid to countries other
than Israel, as we might with Israel, until such a time as the civil, religious, and
other freedoms of their peoples are fully exercised; and to end U.S. taxpayer
support for regimes that perpetuate inequality, and popular frustration.


Download this pdf file from Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
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