Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

SALT LAKE – The General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States met in Salt Lake City yesterday, Thursday, July 2 and rejected in a voice vote the proposal to divest from businesses that have operations in Judea and Samaria and to boycott products from the region.

At the Church’s 78th General Convention, the House of Bishops, led by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, overwhelmingly defeated the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions resolution. The Episcopal Church has around 1.8 million members across the United States.


Commenting on the text of the resolution, Bishop Ed Little of Northern Indiana said that it was “clearly and unmistakably advocates boycott and divestment, and we must reject it,” according to a news report by the Episcopal News Service. “As Anglicans, we have the gift and ability to reach out to people on both sides in the conflict. That is what the Episcopal Church is doing in the Middle East. Our current leadership under the presiding bishop is allowing us to be peacemakers.”

Another bishop, Leo Frade of Southeast Florida said in the Episcopal News Service report that his experience of embargoes and blocking, in particular the embargo of Cuba, backfire. “It hurts the same people we think we are helping. Palestinian jobs depend on investment, not on divestment.”

In addition, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA in Kansas City, Missouri, decided to delay a vote on divestment from Israel until their next assembly in 2017. Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) hailed the decision by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church to reject themotion endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“We wholeheartedly thank the Episcopal Church convention for lending its support to Israel on this issue, and for taking a moral stand. We sincerely hope that other major church denominations in America will follow this example and stop the BDS movement in its tracks.”

Earlier this week, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) voted in favor of divestment from Israel.

“Endorsing BDS does nothing to improve the plight of the Palestinians, in particular not of those employed by Israeli companies in the West Bank. Endorsing BDS also doesn’t contribute to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All it does is to sow division and hatred,” added Lauder.

The WJC president said the real motive of the BDS movement was “to put into question the existence of Israel as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people.”

“The BDS movement won’t bring peace and justice to the Middle East; that will only come once the Palestinians and their supporters choose cooperation over confrontation.”

This week, Malachi Rosenfeld, 26, of Kochav Hashahar in the Binyamin region, was killed in a terror attack on Monday when Palestinian terrorists fired upon him and other passengers while they were driving back from a basketball game.


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Anav Silverman is a regular contributor to Tazpit News Agency.


  1. At least this Church is not together with Hamas about killing all the Jews by weakening Israel with BDS. Google “Hamas Charter”, they are also calling for refusal to participate in any peaceful negotiations with Israel. The Charter is in easy to understand English, not legal terms.

  2. I don't hold with thanking a body of people for doing the right thing. the Episcopalian Church should know full well that it shouldn't even attempt to go against all that Gd portrays – Israel does all it can to take care of its arab populous, it always has and has gone along that all the Western countries has instructed it do with giving up land which should never have been offered up – Gd says not even an inch of his land should be given away – and to who? technically Jordanians, there never were "palestinians" – they have their land, there are palestinians working the land in Israel and without these jobs given by Israelis, they would starve – they have medical care, education and all they need so the Episcopalians did know of this but still they smear Jews/Israel in the dust – so now they have pushed their toe in the sand and have had to admit their failings. There is too much factual evidence to the contrary against BDS and if people still continue to believe this lie, then they are as bad as their faux beliefs.

  3. There has been some statements in Israeli press recently about "Christian hatred of Israel. While I can't speak for anyone but myself, I submit this is not true Christians speaking, but liberal "Christians." Anyone who reads the Bible know the importance of Israel yesterday, today and tomorrow. There are many of us who don't have a voice in things, but who pray for Israel every day-and there are more of us than you might think.

  4. Why boycott Israel?

    Isn't it obvious that what Israel is doing to almost no one at a miniscule pinprick on a pimple of the earth is far more important than what millions of non-Israelis are doing all over the globe?

    After all these non-Israelis are only doing things like:

    1) Female genital mutilation

    2) Punishing rape victims

    3) Honor killing

    4) Strapping bombs to children

    5) Sexually enslaving women

    6) Murdering homosexuals

    7) Child marriage

    8) Domestic Violence

    9) Disciplining or Punishing Wives

    By comparison, Israel does almost nothing to almost nobody so yeah, let's spend all our time on that.

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