Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Deplores Killings in Gaza, Supports Equality for Palestinian Citizens of Israel
June 23, 2018 — Following overwhelming votes opposing federal and state laws designed to suppress Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns in support of Palestinian human rights, and opposing the muzzling of debate and discussion about Israel’s illegal military occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) last evening took further action condemning the recent violence directed against Palestinians during the Great March of Return in Gaza.
The General Assembly expressed “profound grief and sorrow” for the families of Palestinians killed during the protests, and prayers for recovery for those injured. The Assembly further deplored the killing of more than twenty Palestinian medics, and renewed the call of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for an end to decade-old Israeli blockade of Gaza, which has been condemned by the UN and human rights organizations as a form of collective punishment.
The church also urged RE/MAX, LLC to do “everything within its legal and moral power” to stop facilitating the sale and rental of properties in Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law and longstanding official US policy. The action urged RE/MAX to no longer refer any clients to agents or brokers involved in the sale or rental of properties in the occupied areas.
In other actions, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) called for the use of diplomatic tools by the government of the United States to bring Israel into full compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by granting full equality to its citizens who are Palestinian, by “changing its laws, policies, and practices that favor its Jewish citizens and discriminate against its Christian and Muslim citizens and other ethnic minorities.”
Acting on a wide array of issues, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) used its 223rd General Assembly to deepen and widen its commitment to peace with justice in Israel/Palestine. The Israel/Palestine Mission Network is grateful for the work of the staff of the PC(USA) and of the many commissioners and advisory delegates who wrestled with difficult issues and brought wisdom and love to bear on their deliberations. We look forward to a time when such work will no longer be necessary.
The Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a mission network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with a mandate from the denomination’s General Assembly (2004) to work “toward specific mission goals that will create currents of wider and deeper involvement with Israel/Palestine.” The IPMN speaks TO the Church, not FOR the Church.