AJC denounced the United Church of Christ (UCC) for adopting a resolution that criticizes Israel but ignores Palestinian leadership responsibility for the human rights of Palestinian children. The resolution, “A Call for the United Church of Christ to Advocate for the Rights of Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation,” passed at the UCC General Synod by a vote of 79 percent in favor, 13 percent against, and 9 percent abstaining.

“It is deeply disappointing that the UCC continues with a trajectory dictated by the BDS (boycott, sanctions and divestment) movement, accusing Israel exclusively of human rights violations and preventing the end of the conflict,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations. “Israel has pursued peace relentlessly, negotiating accords with Egypt and Jordan, and conducted innumerable negotiations with the Palestinians.”

The UCC resolution ignores the facts that Palestinian leaders continue to support violence against Israelis, regularly demonize Israel, and encourage children through textbooks and paramilitary camps toward violence against Israelis. Tellingly, the resolution fails to recognize Israel’s right to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism and incitement of their children.

“The real solution to problems of necessary detention of children who commit acts of violence is a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that leads to two states for two peoples,” said Rabbi Marans. “The latest UCC resolution does nothing to advance the possibility of peace. Rather, by continuing to demonize Israel, UCC supports those who oppose peace.”

Oddly, the resolution calls for an end to Israel’s “military occupation of Palestinians living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza” even though Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and transferred the territory to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Hamas has ruled Gaza since ousting the PA leadership in a bloody coup in 2007. The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel.

With this resolution, the UCC continues to portray the conflict between Palestinians and Israel as a one-sided struggle that can only be solved by one side, Israel. The resolution ignores the complexity of the conflict and the human rights violations of Hamas and the PA.

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