Presbyterian Overture - Greater Atlanta: On Peace and Justice in Palestine and Israel
The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, having held dialogues with members of the Atlanta Israeli, Palestinian, Islamic, and Jewish communities and with representatives of Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations, and having an ongoing concern for peace and justice in Palestine/Israel, respectfully overtures the 218th General Assembly (2008) to do the following:
1. Produce a video and study guide—including participants from the Jewish, Islamic, Palestinian, Israeli, and human rights communities (both Israeli and Palestinian)—addressing the questions: “What is your vision for a just peace in Israel/Palestine and how do we achieve it?” and “What can the PC(USA) do to make that vision a reality?”
2. Request Peace and Justice, through the Mission Responsibility Through Investment Committee (MRTI), to produce a guide for congregations and individuals to reflect on their investments in light of biblical and theological principles and to suggest possible actions persons might take in light of those reflections. Such a guide would include the careful process of principled corporate engagement that MRTI has undertaken with regard to peace and justice in Israel/Palestine (the Sept./Oct. 2002 issue of Church & Society’s article, “The Presbyterian Church as Investor,” is a helpful starting point).
3. Request World Mission, through its Office for Interfaith Relations and its Office of the Middle East to produce a guide to help Presbyterian congregations and members seek out and live into intentional friendships with Jews, Muslims, and Middle Eastern Christians who reside in their communities.
4. Continue to lift up the plight of the dwindling Christian community throughout the Middle East, recognizing that there are various reasons for the churches’ difficult circumstances, and expressing special concern for those in areas of active military violence. Thus, we will continue to seek ways to support and pray for the Church in the lands of its birth.
5. Urge the president of the United States to appoint a special envoy for Israel/Palestine, based in Jerusalem, to begin immediately as a sign of active, principled U.S. engagement toward solving Israeli-Palestinian abuses and conflicts.