This weekend the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) overwhelmingly approved two resolutions calling on the U.S. government to end all financial and military aid to Israel until Israel “compl[ies] with internationally recognized human rights standards”, freezes settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land, and for the church to adopt an investment screen to avoid profiting from Israel’s Occupation, at ELCA’s triennial 2016 Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans. ELCA is one of three Lutheran church bodies in the U.S.
Yesterday’s vote on Resolution C1 was 751 (82%) in favor, and 162 opposed.
[8.] To urge this church’s members, congregations, synods, agencies and presiding bishop to call on their U.S. Representatives, Senators and the Administration to take action requiring that, to continue receiving U.S. financial and military aid, Israel must comply with internationally recognized human rights standards as specified in existing U.S. law, stop settlement building and the expansion of existing settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, end its occupation of Palestinian territory, and enable an independent Palestinian state; and
[9.] To encourage this church’s members, congregations, synods, and agencies to call on the U.S. President to recognize the State of Palestine and not prevent the application of the State of Palestine for full membership in the United Nations.
A second resolution (C2) directing the ELCA’s Corporate Social Responsibility review team to adopt an investment screen to avoid profiting from Israel’s Occupation passed overwhelming (90%) this morning:
[I]n the case of Israel and Palestine, specifically based on the concerns raised in the ELCA Middle East Strategy….To repudiate explicitly and clearly the European-derived doctrine of discovery as an example of the “improper mixing of the power of the church and the power of the sword” (Augsburg Confession Article XXVIII, Latin text), and to acknowledge and repent from this church’s complicity in the evils of colonialism in the Americas, which continue to harm tribal governments and individual tribal members;
To encourage ELCA members, congregations, synods, agencies and institutions to increase positive investment in Palestine and other under-resourced areas where human rights abuses materially impact the well-being of all people; and
To encourage ELCA members, congregations, synods, agencies and institutions to engage in shareholder advocacy in support of human rights, exercising the right of a shareholder to submit resolutions at a corporation’s annual meeting.