Thursday, June 16, 2016

Reflections on the meeting of the 2016 General Assembly: Part Two

The Israel Palestine Conflict:

Once again the Israel Palestine conflict will be an important topic and action item at this year's General Assembly. The General Assembly is receiving a lengthy report from the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy titled, "Israel-Palestine: For Human Values in the Absence of a Just Peace".

Our Church has advocated for the traditional "two-state" solution to this conflict for many years. But Israel's action on the ground in the West Bank has evoked some deep skepticism about whether the "two-state" solution is still a viable option. The report coming to this year's Assembly articulates some of the issues which call into question the viability of the "two-state" solution. This paragraph from page two of the report is important:

"Israel's policy trajectory of continued settlements and brutal occupation is deeply troubling. Not only does it make a two-state solution increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to achieve, but the emerging, de facto single state's systematic violation of Palestinian rights and democratic values is eroding Israel's moral legitimacy. This has presented a growing crisis for a church that has historically supported Israel as a homeland for Jews, and we note growing divisions in the US Jewish community as well."

There is a Committee at this year's General Assembly focused on Middle East issues (Committee 8). The Advisory Committee's report will be considered by this Committee; it is action item 08-06 and is now available for review on PC-Biz.