Episcopal Church rebuffs divestment resolution


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops overwhelmingly rejected a motion to divest from companies doing business with Israel in the West Bank.

The body, meeting at the church’s General Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, in a voice vote on Thursday rejected the proposal to divest from businesses that have operations in the West Bank and to boycott West Bank settlement products.

Two days earlier, the United Church of Christ overwhelmingly approved a similar resolution. A year ago, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to divest from three companies doing business with Israel’s military.

The American Jewish Committee, which was represented at the Episcopal convention as an observer, welcomed the rejection, saying the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement does not advance peace.

“AJC has long supported direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians leading to an enduring two-state solution, and, in that spirit, welcomes interreligious partners who genuinely champion peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” it said in a statement.

Separately, the Mennonite Church U.S.A., meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, delayed the consideration of a divestment resolution until 2017.

Recommended from JTA