*This is huge.*
[It sure is! So many Christians have sincerely believed that God gave the Jews the land now called Israel/Palestine as “the Promised Land” and felt they were in alignment with God by supporting Israel. –Nancy]
By an overwhelming 80% margin, the United Church of Christ just voted to divest from Israel’s nearly 50 year occupation of Palestine, and to boycott products made in settlements. This vote by the UCC, which represents almost one million Christians, sends a clear message: faith communities are standing up, speaking out, and taking action for peace and justice.
If you’d told me last year that over 80% of UCC delegates would vote to divest from the occupation, I’d have said that was impossible. But that’s what happened–thanks to the courage of UCC leaders and the growing grassroots interfaith movement we’re building together.
Please click here to thank them:
We know the backlash will be fierce, and we can’t afford to be complacent. Our opponents will say that divestment harms interfaith relationships — but we know that’s not true. Supporting each other to align our values and actions is the very heart of what interfaith relationships should be. Let’s make our voices heard, and show that we support this historic decision of our brothers and sisters in the UCC.
I’m in absolute awe of the people I’ve met here in Cleveland: the UCC-Palestine-Israel Network who organized their own communities for divestment, and the brave UCC delegates who debated how to best turn their belief that the occupation is unjust into concrete action that can support those living under it. Their moral clarity, and their commitment to turn their faith into action were like nothing I’d ever seen before.
Together, we worked to elevate the voices of Palestinians, and act for justice, like our faith traditions teach us. Why? The UCC-Palestine-Israel Network said it best: the days of praying for peace and paying for occupation are over. The time for action is now — and taking action is exactly what the UCC did today.
Last year, we strategized, talked, and prayed with our allies in the Presbyterian Church as they aligned their values with their investments by divesting from Israel.
This week, we did the same, and now another major religious body has made it clear that they won’t profit from the persecution of Palestinians.
Some people say that progress is impossible. Some people say that the Israel lobby is too powerful. Today, we stood with the United Church of Christ, and we proved those people are wrong.
Midwest Regional Organizer
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