IPMN Voter Guide for 223rd General Assembly
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.
(click here for printer-friendly PDF voter guide file - will print 2 two-sided cards)
Based on our GA mandate, here are our recommendations:
Palestine related overtures:
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.
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 good. 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 withIsrael/Palestine: For Human Values in the Absence of a Just Peace, which was adopted by the 222nd GA.
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. It is integral to our biblical mandate and 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.