Episcopal Peace Fellowship/Palestine Israel Network
2019 saw the third delegation in four years to the West Bank and Gaza led by members of EPF's Palestine Israel Network. Through these trips, many members have been able to see firsthand the consequences of settler colonialism, which has helped to inform our work. By going on the ground in Israel and Palestine, we have been able to verify with our own eyes the injustice of displacement, the pain of poverty, and the tragic result of state violence. We have seen the manifold ways the situation there resonates with so many concerns of Consultation groups at home: racism, the privileging of a few and the 'othering' of many, victimization of children, militarism, and xenophobia.
Within the Church in the US, our work in 2019 focused on monitoring the progress of implementation of six resolutions passed by the General Convention 2018:
• the House of Bishops has appointed a committee to address the mandates of B003: On the Status of Jerusalem.
• B021: Support Aid to Palestinian Refugees and C038:Safeguard Rights of Palestinian Children were cited in action alerts by O.G.R. and the Presiding Bishop in support of reinstating UNRWA funding and a US House resolution, Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act.
• The Church's Executive Council voted to put in place a Global Human Rights Investment Screen, with specific criteria for the Palestine/Israel conflict. The adoption of the screen creates a No-Buy List for our church, to be administered by the Council's Committee for Corporate Social Responsibility. In addition, three corporations, Motorola, Caterpillar and the Israel Discount Bank were placed on the No-Buy List, with a mandate to sell church holdings.
Another emphasis for PIN in 2019 was local organizing. A new PIN Bulletin for Local Organizers is being circulated among PIN activists to build up our network and share tactics and local initiatives. This fall, the dioceses of Rochester and Chicago passed resolutions on freedom of speech and the right to boycott. The resolutions were modeled on a resolution adopted in the Diocese of Vermont in 2018 and circulated in the Bulletin with advice for a successful process. The Bulletin also highlights materials from PIN's Tool Kit [https://epfnational.org/pin/palestine-israel-tool-kit/]. PIN continues our regular media outreach through PIN on the Go and Facebook. Our group is actively engaged with a wide circle of allies, representing denominations and interfaith organizing. In 2019, PIN endorsed four action initiatives from our allies at Jewish Voice for Peace, Friends of Sabeel North America and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.