NEW YORK, June 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC denounced the United Church of Christ (UCC) adoption of a policy resolution accusing Israel of blocking efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians and calling for punitive measures against Israel.
"The UCC's one-sided view of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process singles out Israel and, shockingly, ignores any Palestinian accountability," said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations. "The Church claims to promote a 'just peace' for Israelis and Palestinians alike, yet, in fact, the UCC General Synod's actions bolster those who oppose peace."
The UCC General Synod, meeting in Cleveland, adopted by a vote of 508 to 124, with 38 abstentions, a resolution calling for UCC divestment from companies doing business with Israel and for boycotting Israeli companies. These punitive measures align UCC with the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement, which ultimately seeks to delegitimize Israel, the world's only Jewish-majority country.
"Blatantly absent from the 2015 UCC resolutions is any mention of Hamas, the terrorist group that still controls Gaza and instigated last summer's war with Israel by firing thousands of rockets and missiles and building an extensive tunnel network to infiltrate Israel to harm and kill Israeli civilians," said Marans.
"The UCC also failed to call on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table, which he, not Israel, abandoned in April 2014, bringing to an end the U.S. effort, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, to achieve comprehensive, sustainable Israeli-Palestinian peace. Nor did the UCC call on Abbas to stop his unilateral actions in international bodies that do a veritable end-run around the negotiating table."
AJC has long supported direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians leading to an enduring two-state solution, and, in that spirit, welcomes interreligious partners who genuinely champion peace for Israelis and Palestinians.
"The resolutions regarding Israel accounted for one-fifth of the 16 resolutions initially proposed by the UCC General Synod. By contrast, inexplicably and tellingly, none addressed the pressing plight of Christians -- including beheadings, attacks on churches, expulsions, forced conversions, etc. -- at the hands of Islamic State, Boko Haram, and other Islamist forces in the Middle East and Africa," Marans added.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee