July 13, 2018 — New York
AJC commends the Episcopal Church for once again rejecting divestment directed against Israel, but expresses concern regarding open hostility toward Israel in other resolutions. The Episcopal Church is concluding its 79th triennial General Convention, held in Austin, Texas, at which these anti-Israel proposals were addressed.
The Church stopped short of divestment directed solely at Israel and instead charged its Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility to develop criteria for appropriate investment within a balanced approach toward human rights in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and encouraging positive investment as a productive tool.
This balanced approach, however, was undermined by resolutions that disproportionately focused on Israel and its need to defend itself against Gaza incitement, border riots, and violence emanating from the Palestinian territories, including the cynical use of children by Palestinian militants.
“Divestment against Israel was rejected as unhelpful in advancing an Episcopal Church role toward peace for Israelis and Palestinians. While we commend the Episcopal Church for that rejection, we are concerned that unbalanced anti-Israel voices were championed through several highly problematic resolutions,” said Emily Soloff, AJC’s Associate Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, who attended the General Convention as an invited guest and, along with ecumenical and international guests, offered greetings to the assembled.
AJC has long supported direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians leading to an enduring two-state solution, and, in that spirit, embraces interreligious partners who genuinely champion peace for Israelis and Palestinians. AJC would welcome working with the Episcopal Church toward that goal.