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Interview: Church-based BDS and the Jewish voices beside it
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A vicious cycle of lawlessness in the West Bank
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Resource: Faced with settler violence, the IDF stands idly by
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If nuclear deal fails, we can kiss Iran’s moderates goodbye
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Four Syrian nuclear scientists shot dead near Damascus
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21 Dec 2012 | 1:11 pm
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No easy victories: Presbyterian Church USA divestment measure loses by only two votes
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Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide
with accompanying video episodes
What role have Zionism and Christian Zionism played in shaping attitudes and driving historical developments in the Middle East and around the world? How do Christians, Jews, and Muslims understand the competing claims to the land of Palestine and Israel? What steps can be taken to bring peace, reconciliation, and justice to the homeland that Palestinians and Israelis share?
Zionism Unsettled embraces these critical issues fearlessly and with inspiring scope. The booklet and companion DVD draw together compelling and diverse viewpoints from Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Israel, Palestine, the US, and around the globe. By contrasting mainstream perceptions with important alternative perspectives frequently ignored in the media, Zionism Unsettled is an invaluable guide to deeper… More...
The Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is pleased to announce a new project to be known as the Hosanna Preaching Seminars. This program will take the place of the Hosanna Preaching Prize in 2015.
The Back Story
It has been said that home is where the heart is. Home is remembered as the place where one flourished and is remembered with joy; when one has lost their home, that joy is mixed with an ever-present sadness and longing. In 1915, a ten-year-old Osanna Panian left home and escaped what is now known as The Armenian Genocide; she survived and walked over the mountains into Iran and life as a refugee. Was she just lucky that she survived what Winston Churchill later called the first holocaust of the twentieth century? Or was it Providence?
Osanna is the Latin version of the Greek word hosanna. It’s a popular girls’ name in… More...
Urgent Need for Medical Aid to Gaza
There is an urgent need for medical… More...
What they're saying about
Criticism of Israeli policies and charges of anti-Semitism
The IPMN condemns all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. There is no room for such hatred in our society today.
History has shown that Jewish people have been persecuted and subjected to genocidal actions because of their religious identity. Christianity has been, and in some cases continues to be, a major culprit because of heresies that condemn Jews (along with peoples of other religious faiths) who do not convert to faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, one of the great ironies in the ongoing political debate about Israel is Christian Zionism (see here for definition) which supports a Jewish state today, but presumes a very anti-Semitic… More...
IPMN Reflects on the Vatican Recognizing Palestine
The Vatican’s official recognition of the state of Palestine is a step toward Palestinian sovereignty over their land and lives. It is a statement in support of Palestinians’ God-given humanity and their right to exist outside Israeli control.
While it is important for the state of Palestine to have the capacity to engage in legal and diplomatic affairs on the international stage, there are still unfortunately far too many obstacles on the ground for the idea of statehood to have any substantive effects on the Palestinian people.
Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank and its full blockade of the Gaza Strip have destroyed the Palestinian economy and paralyzed the movement of Palestinians within and between these territories. The expansion of… More...
Frequently Asked Questions About Divestment
Did the PC(USA) divest from Israel?
No. The PC(USA) divested from three American companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and blockade of Palestinian territory. The Church continues to invest in several companies doing business in Israel. And the 221st General Assembly reaffirmed our support for a secure and sovereign state of Israel.
Had the PC(USA) ever divested from other companies?
Yes. The PC(USA) has a longstanding investment/divestment policy that prohibits the Church from investing in any company that contributes to “human harm.” The Church does not own stock in any company that is involved in military related products, human rights violations, tobacco, or alcohol. Accordingly, the Presbyterian Church (USA) has divested from more than six… More...
Final GA 220 Report
Final IPMN Report from the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
July 9, 2012
At the close of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the church’s Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) wishes to reflect on the results of the GA and to thank all of our friends, supporters, and the hundreds of church commissioners who took a stand for human rights and justice in the Holy Land last week by voting according to their consciences, and not according to their fears.
While the resolution calling for targeted divestment from three companies that profit from Israeli violations of international law and abuses of Palestinian human rights was not adopted by the plenary, it was approved overwhelmingly by the church’s Committee on Middle East Peacemaking Issues (Committee 15), and the minority report that replaced it won by a mere two out of 666 votes, with two commissioners abstaining. In truth, a full plenary discussion on divestment never took place, pre-empted by the minority report’s adoption.
On the other hand, the resolution calling for a boycott of just two products made in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories was expanded and strengthened by Committee 15 to cover all Israeli products made in the occupied territories, before being approved by an overwhelming majority (457-180, or 71%) of the plenary in what was a very divided Assembly. The boycott vote puts the Presbyterian Church (USA) squarely into the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005 and officially endorsed by the Palestinian Christian community in 2009 with the Kairos Palestine document. "Presbyterians have heard the call for economic solidarity from Palestinians, including Palestinian Christians,” said Rev. Jeff DeYoe, IPMN Advocacy Chair. “The IPMN looks forward to assisting the church in determining which products will be included in the boycott.”
Despite the fact that they failed to pass divestment, afterwards 57% of church commissioners voted in favor of a resolution directing the church’s Board of Pensions "to create a program for relief of conscience for plan members who are troubled by the choice to continue holding Board of Pensions assets in Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard.” Although this motion was later overturned on a procedural technicality by the GA’s Stated Clerk, it clearly reflected a desire on the part of a majority of commissioners to provide an option for individual Presbyterians who have moral qualms about profiting from these three companies, whose products are used to inflict so much hardship and suffering on Palestinians.
“A few short years ago, any one of these things would have been considered a significant victory for divestment and boycott supporters,” said Rev. Katherine Cunningham, IPMN Vice-Moderator. “At every General Assembly since these issues were first introduced in 2004, the church has moved slowly but steadily towards the positions advocated by the IPMN. In 2010, following our official endorsement of a boycott of Ahava Dead Sea beauty products and dates from the Hadiklaim Co-op, we were attacked by critics for being ‘ahead of the church.’ Last week, the rest of the church caught up with the IPMN on boycotting settlement products, and moved much further in the direction of divestment than anybody could have expected just a few years ago. We believe it’s only a matter of time before the church catches up on divestment too, and we look forward to the next GA in Detroit in 2014, and to the day when both Israelis and Palestinians are able to live in peace and freedom.”