Justice and D019: Ending Church Complicity in the Occupation

Coming into this General Convention it was difficult to predict how the House of Deputies might vote on a resolution to apply economic pressure to end the 51 year occupation of four million plus Palestinians. After all, it had never had a chance to vote on such a measure. So it was a wake up call to the whole Church when the House of Deputies approved resolution D019 to create an investment screen against corporations that enable the Occupation which would thus end the Church’s own complicity in the Occupation. The vote was an overwhelming 619-214. That qualifies as a landslide.

On the other hand, the outcome in the House of Bishops was sadly more predictable to us. Recent history predicted that the House of Bishops would privilege the status quo dominance of the state of Israel and its false narrative of vulnerability against an equivalent adversary. And, the Bishops did indeed vote down D019 but we are pleased that 48 bishops supported it. They are to be thanked for breaking the logjam and we pray that this represents a progress that will lead to future, more just, decisions. But, as of now, these differing votes show that the Deputies and Bishops are of two minds. As, in the past on issues of justice, one House leads the other. The Deputies recognized that to do nothing is to say "this is normal" and with their votes the deputies said that it is not. The Deputies have positioned themselves as the House that will lead the church to do the justice work that will ultimately free Israelis and Palestinians.

- Donna Hicks, Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network


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