Presbyterian webinar will look at US role in Israel Palestine

Office of Public Witness, World Mission join Israel Palestine Mission Network to discuss responsibility and accountability

by Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service

The al-Aqsa Mosque, with the Mount of Olives in the background, at right. (Photo by Douglas Dicks)

LEXINGTON, Kentucky — There are 35 states that have laws penalizing companies and individuals that choose to boycott Israel due to its human rights record with Palestinians.

Major organizations funding Israeli settlers who commit human rights violations against Palestinians enjoy charitable, tax-exempt status in the United States.

And U.S. taxpayers will give Israel $38 billion in military aid over the decade from 2018 to 2028, which will support human rights violations against Palestinians.

The United States plays a role in ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians, and that will be the subject of a webinar at noon Eastern Time/9 a.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, May 10, presented by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness in Washington, Presbyterian World Mission, and the Israel Palestine Mission Network.

“As the human rights situation on the ground in Israel/Palestine further deteriorates, it’s urgent that people in the United States realize the role our country is playing: we are not a neutral arbiter but a party to the conflict,” said Catherine Gordon, Representative for International Issues in OPW. “And with this realization it is urgent for Presbyterians to speak out and urge Congress and the administration to stop exacerbating the conflict by supporting or ignoring blatant violations of international law and human rights.”

Click here to register for the webinar

The discussion is rooted in PC(USA) policy approved at the 222nd General Assembly (2016) , which states in part, “We can no longer consider the U.S. government an impartial arbiter, as its diplomatic, financial, military, and intelligence assistance to the Israeli government vastly overshadows its assistance to the Palestinian Authority. The complicity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and other U.S. Christians in enabling the continued Israeli occupation derives from the overwhelming support from the United States to Israel, regardless of its policies.”

A protest sign on display at the Banksy Museum at the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem. (Photo by Douglas Dicks)

Israel Palestine: U.S. Complicity and Accountability” will feature three panelists engaged in work on the ground in Israel and legal advocates in the United States in a conversation that will also tell viewers how they can engage in this work.

 

Gordon will moderate the conversation, scheduled to last one hour.

The Office of Public Witness is one of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.


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