United Church of Christ votes to divest from companies with ties to Israeli settlements

Most welcome news has come in via our dear friends of Jewish Voice for Peace. This is what Midwest Organizer, Ilana Rossoff, has written:

(posted on 30 June 2015)

By an incredible 80% margin, the United Church of Christ just voted to divest from Israel’s nearly 50 year occupation of Palestine, and to boycott products made in settlements.

This vote by the UCC, which represents almost one million Christians, sends a clear message: faith communities are standing up, speaking out, and taking action for peace and justice.

If you’d told me last year that over 80% of UCC delegates would vote to divest from the occupation, I’d have said that was impossible. But that’s what happened — thanks to the courage of UCC leaders and the growing grassroots interfaith movement we’re building together.

We know the backlash will be fierce, and we can’t afford to be complacent. Our opponents will say that divestment harms interfaith relationships — but we know that’s not true. Supporting each other to align our values and actions is the very heart of what interfaith relationships should be. Let’s make our voices heard, and show that we support this historic decision of our brothers and sisters in the UCC.

Sign [the] thank you card to the UCC — thank them for standing for justice.

I’m in absolute awe of the people I’ve met here in Cleveland: the UCC Palestine-Israel Network who organized their own communities for divestment, and the brave UCC delegates who debated how to best turn their belief that the occupation is unjust into concrete action that can support those living under it. Their moral clarity, and their commitment to turn their faith into action are like nothing I’d ever seen before.

The UCC Palestine Israel Network said it best: the days of “praying for peace and paying for occupation” are over. The time for action is now — and taking action is exactly what the UCC did today.

Last year, we talked and prayed with our allies in the Presbyterian Church as they aligned their values with their investments by divesting from Israel. This week, we did the same, and now another major religious body has made it clear that they won’t profit from the persecution of Palestinians.

The UCC has taken a brave step forward for justice, and we need to have their back. They need to know that we’re standing with them — sign our thank you card!

Some people say that progress is impossible. Some people say that the Israel lobby is too powerful. Today, we stood with the United Church of Christ, and we proved those people are wrong.

Onward,

Ilana Rossoff
Midwest Regional Organizer
Jewish Voice for Peace
1611 Telegraph Ave, Suite 550
Oakland, CA 94612

Further information also here:

• http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/07/united-church-christ-divest-israel-boycott-occupation-150701001231111.html

• http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.663768

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About Oban Concern for Palestine

. . . supporting people in Palestine and Israel who oppose the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Oban Concern for Palestine are a group of Argyll residents who share an interest in Palestine, a friendship with its people and a deep concern for their welfare. And, for the sake of Israel, we want to encourage the government of Israel to comply with international law. Oban Concern for Palestine believe that the oppression of the Palestinian people is a grave wrong, that the government of Israel is in violation of international law, and that we have a duty to speak up and do what we can to bring it to an end. We welcome new members and supporters. For more information, please contact obanconcern4palestine AT gmail DOT com • +44 7747 300 062 • Oban Concern for Palestine, c/o Stronchriach, Rowan Road, Oban, Argyll, PA34 5TY, UK
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