2016 General Assembly

Action 1

1.    Affirm the support of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as expressed by the 202nd General Assembly (1990), and for the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child as expressed by the 211st General Assembly (2014).

2.    Calls, once again, upon the United States Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and directs the Stated Clerk to communicate this call to all members of the United States Senate, the president, and the vice president.

3.    Directs the Presbyterian Mission Agency, through the Office of Public Witness, to advocate and witness for the human rights of the children of Palestine and Israel until there is an amendment in the practices of the state of Israel so that they are in compliance with international humanitarian laws, specifically the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In particular, mobilize Presbyterians everywhere to communicate with their senators, congresspersons, and the president of the United States their concern for the safety and well-being of the children of Palestine who suffer widespread and systematic patterns of ill treatment and torture within the Israeli military detention system, including but not limited to

     the use of physical violence (beatings, blindfolding, position abuse are examples) and psychological pressure (solitary confinement, threats of sexual assault and rape, verbal abuse, strip searching, threats, denial of food, water, and access to a toilet) to compel children and youth to give testimony, confess guilt, or to provide otherwise incriminating statements against their family, friends, and communities;

     denial of due process guarantees, including denial of the right to prompt access to legal counsel and other appropriate assistance, particularly the presence of a parent or family member during interrogation;

     psychosocial effects and obstacles to reintegration when released from the Israeli military prisons, loss of educational opportunities while in detentions, and access to education following their release from custodial detention;

     the discriminatory legal framework in force in the Occupied Palestinian Territory involving separate laws governing children based on religion or ethnicity (no Israeli child comes into contact with the military court system); and

     violent, late-night raids and arrests by heavily armed soldiers who invade their homes while they and their family members are asleep.

4.    Call on the government of Israel to change its military detention system to

     stop night arrests;

     stop blindfolds and restraints;

     stop separation from parents and legal counsel;

     stop physical abuse and verbal threats; and

     stop isolation and coerced confessions.

5.  Call on the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and the government of Israel to denounce and cease the incitement of violence against children or at the hands of children.

Action 2

1.    Recognize the importance of the continued presence of Christians and churches in the Middle East.

2.    Affirm and encourage the Christian presence in the area through strengthened ties between the PC(USA) and the historic and reformed churches of the region.

3.    Call for expanded partnership relationships between PC(USA) congregations and those of our partner churches in the Middle East.

4.    Direct the Stated Clerk and other appropriate staff to foster consultation and joint action with partner churches of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to address ways of increasing the respect and protection of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.

5.    Direct the Stated Clerk and all appropriate staff to consult with our Christian partners in the Middle East to determine how religiously based radical thought and action in the region can best be thwarted. This should include seeking insights from our partners about appropriate and inappropriate policies and actions in the region of the United States and other governments.

6.    Call upon the United States government, the United Nations, and other international organizations to support and fund activities of peace-building; institutions nurturing civil society; and promoting strategies for broadly inclusive economic developmentall essential for long-term stability in the Middle East.

7.    Call on agencies of the General Assembly, mid councils, church sessions, and pastors of the PC(USA) to seek ways for Muslims, Christians, Jews, and persons beyond the Abrahamic family to work collaboratively in resisting bigotry and extremist thought and actions in communities across the United Statesand especially those groups and individuals cloaking themselves in religious language and ideology.

Action 3

1.    Acknowledge that RE/MAX, LLC, is an American company headquartered in Denver, Colorado, that has real estate franchises involved in the sale and rental of Jewish-only housing in Israeli settlement colonies in the occupied West Bank of Palestine.

2.    Acknowledge that RE/MAX, LLC, is profiting from franchises that support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

3.    Acknowledge that RE/MAX is participating in housing discrimination because non-Jews are restricted from purchasing housing in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

4.    Call for RE/MAX to do everything within its legal and moral power to stop facilitating the sale and rental of property in Israeli settlement colonies in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

“5.     [Commend RE/MAX, LLC, for responding favorably to discussions of this matter with representatives of the PC(USA) and committing to take action to ensure that RE/MAX, LLC, will no longer receive any income from the sale of Jewish settlement properties in the West Bank.]

“6.    [Encourage Presbyterians to continue to be in dialogue with RE/MAX, LLC, to explore ways that it can stop facilitating the sale and rental of settlement properties in the occupied West Bank.]”