As the 222nd General Assembly approaches, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will again be in focus. Presbyterians for Middle East Peace advocates an approach based on three core principles: reconciliation, economic cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis, and the empowerment of people of good will on both sides of the conflict. We believe these principles to be sound and at the very center of Christian peacemaking.
There will be several overtures and proposals advocating a different approach. The PC(USA) will be asked to engage with and align itself with the Israel-targeted international Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement. There will be a proposal for the PC(USA) to withdraw support for the “two state solution,” which we see as an abandonment of long-standing PC(USA) support for Israel’s right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people.
Several of the overtures also contain serious and hateful accusations of Israeli human rights violations, examples being accusations that Israel has widely established practices of torturing Palestinian children and hindering Palestinian access to water. These are allegations that are intensely disputed by Israelis, and accusations that the General Assembly has no ability to independently and objectively investigate or verify. The BDS movement has a dismal record of truth and accuracy. Should the General Assembly stand behind accusations that turn out to be false, it will have become an unwitting participant in a coordinated and international hate campaign.
As a tool for General Assembly commissioners and all concerned Presbyterians, we have assembled an overture guide for the GA. We have also produced a paper in rebuttal to a paper produced by the Advisory Committee on Social Witness being presented to the General Assembly
Here are links to the overture guide and PFMEP’s response to the ACSWP paper: