A petition addressed to the Episcopal Church of the United States of America
We, the undersigned, members and friends of the world-wide Anglican Communion, urge responsible authorities in the Episcopal Church of the United States to reject all proposals to remove church investments from companies that do business with, or in, the State of Israel. We direct this proposal not only to members of the hierarchy of the Episcopal Church, but to lay leaders as well.
We make this proposal for the following reasons:
- Divestment has been recommended to all churches belonging to the World Council of Churches, in a statement issued earlier this year (2005). It is therefore an idea that is likely to receive a respectful hearing among the leaders and many lay members of the ECUSA.
- However, divestment is a policy that places exclusive blame for the Arab-Israeli conflict on Israel, a conclusion that is entirely inconsistent with the actual history of this long and tragic conflict.
- Furthermore, by placing exclusive blame on Israel, the divestment campaign ignores the complex realities of the Middle East, and seems to justify the tactics of terrorists. This would only encourage the very violence that the church hopes to end, and the continued suffering of Arabs and Israelis for years to come.
- At a time when there is at last some sign of progress in the Middle East, the Episcopal Church is being urged to take one side in the conflict, rather than encouraging all sides to negotiate in good faith.
- We urge the Episcopal Church to affirm that, as Christians and as Americans, we are commited to a peaceful resolution of the claims of both sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict; that we support a two-state solution for the lands of the former Palestine Mandate; and that we reject all efforts to demonize and destroy the State of Israel.
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