D039 Regarding Occupation and Apartheid

Original version

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church condemns laws and policies of the state of Israel that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel and have inevitably led to the current state of apartheid, under which Jewish Israelis enjoy full civil and human rights while the civil and human rights of Palestinian citizens are diminished. The Convention directs the Office of Government Relations to inform US legislators and members of the Executive Branch of US government of our concern about these laws and to convey them to their counterparts in the Israeli government; and be it further

Resolved, That the Convention condemns the system of military justice applied in the occupied Palestinian territories that subject Palestinians to detention without charges or counsel, detain minors without parental presence, deprive their right of peaceful assembly, and condones lethal violence against unarmed Palestinians without accountability; and be it further

Resolved, That the Convention calls upon the State of Israel to cease its denial of travel to Palestine and Israel by members of human rights organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace who are committed to ending the conditions of apartheid in Israel and the occupied territories by bringing economic pressure to bear on Israel. The Convention supports the right of Palestinians to self-determination, freedom of movement, property rights, unrestricted access to water, electricity, medical care, primary and secondary education, economic opportunities, permission to build and retain homes, and commerce; and be it further

Resolved, That the Convention urges members of The Episcopal Church to pray, reflect and frankly and openly discuss whether the policies of the Israeli government toward Palestinians contribute to a state of militarization and apartheid, and whether such conditions are consistent with our Baptismal Covenant to struggle for human dignity and freedom for all people in the region.

Explanation

The Episcopal Church has a strong history of advocacy on behalf of a just peace in Palestine and Israel, including calls upon members of the Episcopal Church to pray and work toward just peace, ending the occupation, and ending construction of Jewish-only settlements in the occupied territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The 71st General Convention of the Episcopal Church recognized that Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace (1994-D065).

The 73rd General Convention of the Episcopal Church affirmed the right of Palestinians and Israelis to self-determination, independence, and sovereignty based in justice, peace, and security for the two peoples (2000-B016).

The 70th General Convention of the Episcopal Church called upon Israel to secure the human rights of indigenous Arabs within Israel and Palestinian territories through a) ending the violation of civil and human rights; b) stopping the brutalities committed against individuals, families, and groups which now occur; c) restricting the use of military force to measures and practices proportionate to the situation and suited to the control of civilian populations; d) causing the State of Israel to discontinue the use of administrative detention and collective punishment; e) the permanent reopening of schools, universities, and other educational institutions for Palestinians in the occupied territories; f) causing the State of Israel to be even handed and fair in the recognition and enforcement of the rights and interests of Palestinians with respect to their personal safety, property rights, water rights, and rights of access to commercial markets; and g) reestablishing and safe-guarding the City of Jerusalem as an inter-religious municipality in which full respect is accorded the rights and interests of Christians, Jews, and Muslims (1991-A147).

Apartheid is defined as a rigid policy of segregating and economically and politically oppressing a population and any system or practice that separates people according to color, ethnicity, caste, etc. (Dictionary.com)

The Episcopal Church expressed its opposition when such conditions of apartheid as described above existed in South Africa (1976-D036).

The 68th General Convention of the Episcopal Church adopted a resolution calling for an unambiguous, coherent policy in opposition to apartheid in the Republic of South Africa (D029 – 1985).

The Israeli government continues its oppression of Palestinians and suppression of those that support elimination of its system of apartheid, as recently demonstrated by its action to deny entry into Israel to individuals and organizations protesting its apartheid policies and laws.


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