Lutherans move on Israel boycott

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America took a step toward a partial boycott of Israeli goods.

At its 2007 Churchwide Assembly in Chicago last week, the church’s top legislative authority urged “consideration” of economic options, including the refusal to buy Israeli products or invest in activities in Israeli settlements, The Jerusalem Post reported. The church also resolved to work toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for investment in the Palestinian Authority.

The assembly rejected a call for divestiture from Israel.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center blasted the assembly’s “mixed message” of rejecting divestiture but “studying” a boycott.

“This marks the first time a mainline American Protestant church has moved toward a possible boycott of Israel,” said the center’s associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper.

“ELCA delegates would have made a stronger contribution to the quest for peace and justice in the Holy Land had they also raised the ransacking of Christian places of worship and [the] recent forced conversion of a Christian professor in Gaza, as well as the unrelenting targeting of Israeli civilian communities by Palestinian Kassam rockets,” Cooper said.

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