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Delegates fail to act on Israel-Palestine resolution

7.1. 2015 Written By: Gordon Houser 2,060 Times read

From left: Patty Shelly, Elizabeth Soto Albrecht, Ervin Stutzman during the delegate assembly. Photo by Vada Snider.

After much discussion in table groups and from the microphone, delegates seemed evenly divided about whether or not to pass a resolution on divesting from “from corporations known to be profiting from the occupation and/or destruction of life and property in Israel-Palestine.”

Toward the end of the afternoon delegate session on July 1, delegates voted on a motion to table the resolution for two years.

Results of that vote were not available when the session ended.

Earlier, in the morning session, delegates passed a resolution on endless warfare—but not before passing an amendment that sought to include more action in a resolution that some felt was too weak.

The amendment “calls for an immediate ban on research, development, production and deployment of robotic and autonomous weapons, including military drones, and associated artificial intelligence technologies—placing them in the same category as chemical and biological weapons.”

This passed by a wide margin of the 868 delegates, with only 20-25 opposed.

Clyde Kratz of Virginia Mennonite Conference introduced a resolution from 10 individuals and three area conferences to accept the apology of the Executive Board that came in a pastoral letter released April 8.

Part of the confession in that letter said: “We acknowledge we have failed to equip our church to discern Christian faithfulness in regard to same-sex relationships, which has resulted in a breakdown of trust and love.”

Delegates voted overwhelmingly to offer forgiveness.

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6 Responses to “Delegates fail to act on Israel-Palestine resolution”

  1. Jeni Hiett Umble says:

    “For Palestinians living under occupation or facing systematic discrimination as citizens of Israel, enduring the destruction of their homes and businesses, the theft of their land for settlements, and living under blockade and siege in Gaza, this action sends a strong signal that they are not alone, and that there are churches who still dare to speak truth to power and stand with the oppressed.”

    This statement by a Palestinian Lutheran pastor in Bethlehem, was made to the United Church of Christ, which overwhelmingly voted to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation. They join the Methodists and the Presbyterians in supporting Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.

    Too bad Mennonites are not among the churches “to dare to speak truth to power and stand with the oppressed.” I’m so disappointed in the delegate inaction at our convention in Kansas City.

  2. Debra Bender says:

    I agree, Jeni. We had Palestinian neighbors in Chicago, who told us what was happening to their families, we’ve all heard reports from MCC workers in the area, there’s no doubt about the suffering of Palestinians. To postpone this action for two years is shameful. What’s interesting to me is the bold divestiture action by the United Church of Christ, President Obama’s home denomination.

  3. Bill Shumaker says:

    All I can say is shame, shame, shame on Mennonites for the insensitivity to Palestinians

  4. […] resolution same sex unions and other LGBTQ issues passed, but the anti-Israel BDS resolution was delayed for two years by a 55 percent majority, showing that many were reluctant to stray into this political territory. […]

  5. […] resolution same sex unions and other LGBTQ issues passed, but the anti-Israel BDS resolution was delayed for two years by a 55 percent majority, showing that many were reluctant to stray into this political territory. […]

  6. […] resolution same sex unions and other LGBTQ issues passed, but the anti-Israel BDS resolution was delayed for two years by a 55 percent majority, showing that many were reluctant to stray into this political territory. […]

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