D019 Ending Church Complicity in the Occupation

Original version

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 79th General Convention continues its firm support for the right of Israel to exist in secure borders as established and recognized by the United Nations, but also continues its strong opposition to Israel’s occupation in perpetuity of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip which is now recognized by the United Nations as the sovereign state of Palestine; and be it further

Resolved, That in order to end the Episcopal Church’s complicity in the 51 year old occupation, the General Convention directs the Executive Council’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility to develop a human rights social criteria investment screen based on the social teachings of this Church and 70 years of Church policy on Israel/Palestine by General Convention and Executive Council as the basis for such a screen in the Israeli occupation of Palestine i.e., the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and to present a recommendation to the Executive Council for action before the end of 2020

Explanation

The Episcopal Church has a long history of policy development in the tragic and seemingly intractable conflict between the Israeli and Palestinian people. This history is well researched in a document produced by the Archives of the Episcopal Church and can be accessed at https://www.episcopalarchives.org/sites/default/files/gc_resolutions_2018/Israel-Palestine_AECResearchReport_09-05-2017.pdf
That history has unwaveringly supported the right of Israel to exist in secure and safe borders, while at the same time supporting a sovereign state of Palestine, with Jerusalem to serve as the shared capital of both nations. And the Church has opposed acts of terrorism and violence against Israel, including suicide bombers attacking innocent civilians, while opposing Israel’s occupation that includes detentions, demolition of Palestinian homes, military checkpoints, the building of a wall/fence where it violates Palestinian land, and building illegal Jewish settlements.
The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility regularly reviews its investment portfolio for social performance. Over the years, a number of issues have been identified as areas where the Episcopal Church should not invest its resources. Among those are:
Tobacco companies
Oil companies in Sudan
Prison Industry
Companies in South Africa (during the apartheid era)
Certain military contractors
These companies are placed on a No Buy List to avoid ongoing Church complicity in areas that violate the values of Jesus Christ as determined by policies of General Convention and Executive Council.
For the past 12 years, the Church has pursued corporate engagement with companies in its portfolio that are involved in the occupation, including Caterpillar, Motorola and Trip Advisor, among others. Nonetheless, these investments make the Church complicit in the occupation. Thus, consideration of a No Buy list of companies would be a logical progression as the Church seeks justice for all Israelis and Palestinians.


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