By an incredible 80% margin, the United Church of Christ voted on June 30 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.
Yet the Roman Catholic church on this issue is MIA (missing in action)
This is yet another sign that the American government is reassessing the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel, and that BDS is gaining traction, the State Department yesterday said that it did not oppose BDS, boycott, divestment and sanctions actions, aimed at the occupied Palestinian territories, because Israeli settlements “make it harder to negotiate a sustainable and equitable peace deal in good faith.”
Chemi Shalev of Haaretz says Israel led the effort:
The U.S. State Department on June 30 punched a big hole in Israel-led efforts to induce the Obama administration to regard boycotts of settlements as identical to boycott of Israel proper… The boycott of settlements, in effect, has now been officially stamped “kosher” by the State Department.
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, the Presbyterian Church aligned their values with their investments by divesting from Israel. another major religious body has made it clear that they won’t profit from the persecution of Palestinians.
And the big question: why is the Roman Catholic church so silent on this issue.