Mennonite Church USA Votes Overwhelmingly for Israeli Occupation Investment Screen
6 July 2017
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Mennonite Palestine Israel Network (MennoPIN) welcomes the successful passage of the “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine” resolution by Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA) at its biennial convention in Orlando, FL, today. MCUSA delegates voted nearly unanimously to create an investment screen for the purpose of “withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.” The resolution was approved overwhelmingly, with approximately 98% of the 548 voters supporting it.
The comprehensive resolution lifts up the rights of Palestinian refugees, citizens of Israel, and those living under occupation, declaring the denomination’s opposition to Israel’s 50-year-old military rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories. The resolution also urges church agencies and members to review their own investments, to boycott products associated with the occupation or produced in Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law and longstanding official US policy, and to advocate for an end to U.S. military aid and arms sales in the Middle East.
“This resolution is a long overdue response to the Palestinian Christian call to the global church,” said Joy Lapp, Professor of Religion at Iowa Wesleyan University and one of the founders of MennoPIN. “Today we stand in solidarity with their courageous and nonviolent efforts for justice and equality.”
The resolution focuses on ways Mennonites have been involved in harms against both Palestinians and Jews, and names concrete steps to address those harms. It addresses the ongoing reality of anti-Semitism around the world, and the extent to which Mennonites in the U.S. are complicit in Jewish suffering historically, currently, and theologically. Church members are encouraged to build relationships with Palestinian-American, Muslim and Jewish communities in the United States.
Mennonite Church USA joins with the Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, Quakers, Unitarian Universalists, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and others who have taken economic action in recent years to support justice for Palestinians.
MennoPIN looks forward to working with denominational staff and members to robustly implement the resolution in the years ahead.
The Mennonite Palestine Israel Network (MennoPIN) is a grassroots network of Mennonites working for peace with justice in Palestine-Israel.
Tom Harder (Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita, KS)
Joy Lapp (Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Mt Pleasant, IA)
Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach (Peace Fellowship Church, Washington, DC)
Timothy Seidel (Community Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA)