Presbyterians continue to take bold stances to affirm Palestinian rights

Posted on Jun 21, 2018

This week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) convened for its biannual general assembly in St. Louis, Missouri. The church, through the leadership of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN), has taken bold stances in years prior to affirm Palestinian rights. This year’s general assembly is no different, and FOSNA is happy to be on the ground, alongside many other dedicated allies, supporting the effort.

Due to overwhelming support in the Middle East Committee, the Presbyterian Church (USA) fully adopted overtures on:

  • Opposing congressional and state anti-BDS legislation
  • Creating a task force to examine the call for ecumenical solidarity by the National Council of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP)
  • Supporting an end to Israel’s oppressive policies in Jerusalem

The church also voted down two overtures introduced by the opposition. The first overture attempted to create a false equivalency between the abuses faced by Palestinian and Israeli children. The second tried to prevent the Presbyterian Church from distributing IPMN’s new publication “Why Palestine Matters: The Struggle to End Colonialism.”

On Friday, the general assembly will vote on the remaining Palestine-related overtures recommended by the Middle East Committee on:

  • Advocating for equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel
  • Encouraging Jewish-Christian dialogue to include the Israeli occupation of Palestine
  • Urging RE/MAX to stop facilitating sale of settlement property
  • Deploring the killing of Palestinians in Gaza during the Great Return March

In addition to these powerful victories, the assembly led a 400-person march to the St. Louis City Justice Center on Tuesday to deliver $47,000 in bail to free people being held in jail for minor offenses. Some have been locked up for over a year without conviction waiting for trial simply because they could not afford bail. It was an inspiring march with signs and chants that lifted up the joint struggle.

Stay updated! Follow the Israel/Palestine Mission Network on Facebook and Twitter, and the #GA223 and #ProtectTheProphetic hashtags for updates.

For a full schedule of the week, check out IPMN’s website.