Jewish Support for Growing Movement in US Churches to Divest from Israeli Occupation

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Contact: Naomi Dann | media@jvp.org | 845-377-5745

Jewish Support for Growing Movement in US Churches to Divest from Israeli Occupation 

Jewish Voice for Peace supports churches taking action towards a just peace in Israel-Palestine

June 29, 2015–This week, three prominent churches are debating questions around their moral responsibility in the face of the decades-long Israeli occupation of Palestinians. These churches, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church and the Mennonite Church, are considering resolutions that call on their communities to end their financial complicity with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and other human rights abuses. A vote on a resolution under consideration by the United Church of Christ in Cleveland may take place as early as this afternoon (Monday, 6/29).

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is proud to support our Christian partners in making an ethical decision to withdraw their investments from companies complicit in military occupation and human rights abuses against Palestinians.

There is no contradiction between choosing to divest from companies complicit in human rights abuses and maintaining good interfaith relations with Jews.” stated JVP board member Lev Hirschhorn. “Jews are divided on the issue of divestment, many of us are joining the BDS movement because of our conviction that change in Israel will not come on its own. A growing number of Jews oppose the building of illegal settlements and increasingly support putting pressure on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories.” Hirschhorn and other JVP members are in attendance in both Salt Lake City, where the Episcopal vote is taking place, and in Cleveland, where the UCC vote is taking place, to support the church activists who are calling on their communities to take a powerful stand for justice and human rights.

Given the recent election of an extreme right-wing and anti-peace Israeli government, it is more apparent than ever that it will take outside pressure to move towards justice and peace in the region. Each of these churches has long opposed the occupation and taken a principled stand to advance peace with justice. Divestment from companies that are complicit in human rights abuses being committed in Israel/Palestine is the next step in this process.  

Last summer the Presbyterian Church voted to divest from specific companies that support Israel’s occupation and to boycott settlement goods. At the Methodist Church’s 2012 General Conference, delegates voted to boycott settlement products and last year, their pension board divested from G4S, a global security company involved in Israeli prisons and checkpoints. 

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Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org) is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 65 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.

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