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For your prayerful consideration.
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General Assembly begins today! We are excited to join with our fellow Presbyterians in community here in St. Louis.
 
 
 
We come to the assembly as a prophetic community. The Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is one of 40+ Presbyterian Mission Networks, but with a unique mandate from the 216th General Assembly (2004) to advocate for Palestinian human rights and to deepen the involvement of Presbyterians with their struggle. As our mandate calls for, we seek to demonstrate solidarity, educate about the facts on the ground, and change the conditions that erode the humanity of both Israelis and Palestinians, especially those who are living under occupation in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.
 
The following are our recommendations for voting at the 223rd General Assembly. (Click here for printer-friendly PDF voter guide file; it will print 2 two-sided cards.)

Based on our GA Mandate, here are our recommendations:

YES - 12-01 On Opposition to Congressional and State Anti-BDS Legislation - Rationale for support: To target nonviolent BDS work with congressional and state anti-BDS laws carrying civil and criminal penalties in the U.S. on one issue, namely the violation of human rights towards Palestinians in Israel/Palestine, is unconstitutional.

YES - 12-02 On Advocating for the Human Rights of All Citizens of Israel - Rationale for support: There exists in Israeli law and practices, a structural system of inequalities for Israeli citizens of minority ethnicities and faiths. Demonstrated in the legal system, citizenship privileges, income and employment, distribution of resource and social welfare, accessibility to land, educational resources, availability of healthcare, and blocks to equal political participation, the different application of Israeli laws toward minority Palestinian citizens violates their human rights.

YES - 12-03 On Creating a Task Force to Examine NCCOP’s Call to Ecumenical Solidarity for Justice for Palestinians and 
YES - 12-04 On Responding to the Open Letter from the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) to the World Council of Churches and the Ecumenical MovementRationale for support: For over a decade, the PC(USA) has been a leader among its ecumenical peers in responding to calls for justice from the Palestinian community. This overture accompanies our Palestinian Christian siblings in Christ.
 
YES - 12-05 On Jewish-Christian Dialogue and the Israeli Occupation of Palestine - Rationale for support: When there is resistance to dialogue, we are complicit to injustice by our silence. Relationship-building between the PC(USA) and our Jewish colleagues following the Holocaust has included necessary self-examination of Christian anti-Semitism, as well as fruitful partnership in a wide range of social justice work. This overture seeks an honest, searching, and respectful season of dialogue, breaking new ground in important relationships.
 
NO - 12-06 For the Protection of the Children of Israel and Palestine - Rationale for opposition: This overture is “a balancing effort” with the implication that such balance is a good of itself. However, one of the significant issues in the Israel/Palestine conflict is precisely the lack of balance, or asymmetrical access to power. To present a narrative which suggests that the welfare of children is equally threatened by both sides in this conflict is inaccurate and inconsistent with the findings of UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, and with Israel/Palestine: For Human Values in the Absence of a Just Peace, which was adopted by the 222nd GA.
 
YES - 12-07 On Urging RE/MAX to Stop Facilitating the Sale of Property in Israeli Settlement Colonies - Rationale for support: RE/MAX must cease selling Jewish-only housing in Israeli settlements of the occupied West Bank. The settlements are illegal under international law and RE/MAX enables segregation in the region through these listings.
 
YES - 12-08 A Resolution on the Status of Jerusalem - Rationale for support: We support the Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns to be empowered to prepare reports on the status of Jerusalem in an effort to stop the tragic cycles of fear and violence in the holiest of cities.


Affiliated Overtures Related to Just Peace:

YES - 4-02 A Resolution on Prioritizing Translation + Accessibility in PC(USA) - Rationale: Barriers to access and language are a form of exclusion, in the PC(USA) and in Israel.

NO - 7-01 On America’s Interfaith Context + the Church’s Challenge - Rationale: While inter-religious dialogue is imperative, this overture seeks to adopt: a paper already church policy (2014), one already received for study (1987), and one disapproved with direction to bring in more voices, especially Palestinian Christians (2010). This overture does not address that limitation of voices.

YES - 8-01 On [Direction to] Divest from Fossil Fuel + Actively Invest  in...Renewable Energy- Rationale: Divesting from fossil fuels (which contribute to climate change, disproportionately impacting people of color and the Global South) is consistent with the PC(USA)’s action to divest from companies profiting off the Israeli occupation—let us not profit from oppression!

YES - 9-03 On Support of Peace Churches in the PC(USA) - Rationale: Commitments to peace are one of the most urgently needed priorities of the global church and the world. They are integral to our Biblical mandate and to Reformed theology

YES - 9-05 A Resolution to Advocate for Human Rights of All Citizens of Yemen - Rationale: To remain silent is to be complicit. “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Mt. 25:40).

YES - 9-06 A Resolution on Global Order + National Purpose Rationale: A broad political spectrum of experts believe global order faces a crisis in American leadership. This study seeks a more realistic understanding of American purpose.

YES - 11-11 Declare an Imperative for Reformation of PC(USA) in being a Transformative Church in This Intercultural Era and
YES - 11-18 Responding to Racist NationalismRationale: Racism is deeply rooted in the colonial powers of Israel and N. America. We seek to dismantle white supremacy in our Reformed theology, in our pews, and in our just peace work in Israel/Palestine.
 
YES - 11-14 On...Movement of Spirit to Engage...in Nation-Wide Action to Prevent Gun ViolenceRationale: Militarization, in the U.S. 
and Israel, is destructive and contrary to Christ’s embodiment of just mercy, humility, and nonviolence.
 
YES - 11-16 A Resolution on Honest Patriotism - Rationale: This overture is an affirmation of the Reformed tradition of Christian political engagement from a justice perspective.
 
YES - 12-09 On Responding to Current Syrian Crisis - Rationale: The PC(USA) has no policy on Syria; this overture meets the wishes of our regional partner, the Synod of Syria and Lebanon.




Further logistics about this year’s General Assembly, including onsite registration and business info, can be found here. Most of our advocacy work relates to committee 12, the Middle East Committee, which you can access here on PC-Biz. If you have an advocacy suggestion or want to volunteer with strategy, contact our Advocacy Chair, Addie Domske.
 
+ The Exhibit Hall will be open to the public for almost 50 hours at General Assembly this year from Friday-Wednesday. We view our booth this year as our central educator for assembly-goers, featuring a living room-style design, and regularly scheduled educational events.
We are required to have two people monitoring the booth at all times. If you are willing to help at the booth, please email Addie Domske at addiedomske@gmail.com and include approximate times you will be at GA (arrival and departure), your email and cell phone number. Thanks!
 
+ Can’t make it to GA? Follow our work live online at our Twitter, @IPMN (you don’t need an account to follow our updates) or donate to our work. Your donation to IPMN supports continued advocacy, education, and partnership toward a just peace in Israel/Palestine.


 









 
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