Peace in Israel and Palestine to Be Topic of Debate at General Convention
June 27, 2018
At the upcoming General Convention of the Episcopal Church, which takes place July 5-13 in Austin, Texas, deputies and bishops will consider a number of resolutions related to peace and justice in Palestine and Israel.
At press time, seven such resolutions had been assigned to the legislative committee on social justice and international policy, and one had been assigned to the committee on stewardship and socially responsible investing, of which Deputy Newland Smith of Chicago is a member. The latter resolution, filed as Resolution C017, asks the church to divest from “companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.” It will be debated in open session on July 6 at 7:30 a.m. CDT in a joint hearing of both committees. Details are available online.
Among the other resolutions concerning Israel and Palestine is Resolution C035, “Due Process For Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Courts,” which was referred to General Convention by the Diocese of Chicago’s convention in 2017. The resolution asks the church to call “the State of Israel to guarantee basic due process rights and exercise a prohibition against torture and ill-treatment of detained children and to ask [that] the U.S. Secretary of State ensure that no aid has supported ‘the military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children.’” Two others, Resolution D027, "Pursuing Justice in Gaza," and Resolution D028, "Freedom of Speech and the Right to Boycott," were sponsored by Smith.
After difficult and sometimes contentious debate over Palestine and Israel at the 2015 General Convention, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies Gay Clark Jennings appointed a small group of deputies and bishops to recommend a process that would encourage more productive debate.
As a result of the group’s recommendations, the House of Deputies will debate issues related to Israel and Palestine during a special order of business set for Sunday, July 8 from 4:15-5:15 p.m. The session will be livestreamed on the General Convention Media Hub.
Bishop Lee and deputies from the Diocese of Chicago will be posting regular updates on their work at General Convention on the diocesan website and Facebook page. To follow daily General Convention updates, subscribe to Episcopal News Service’s daily newsletter and to the House of Deputies newsletter, which publishes daily during convention.