The U.S.-based Episcopal Church adopted a resolution at its General Convention Assembly calling for “a negotiated two-state solution” and “positive investment” as responses to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Also at the meeting in Indianapolis, delegates tabled a resolution urging “corporate engagement” by the church and dissemination of “information on products” made in the West Bank.
The moves “distanced the church” from the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, according to an American Jewish Committee statement.
“The Episcopal Church has demonstrated its commitment to a negotiated resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and a rejection of unhelpful one-sided judgments aimed at Israel that do not advance the cause of peace,” Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, said in the statement.
Marans attended the General Convention Assembly as an invited guest.
“The Episcopal Church has heard from the Anglican bishop in Jerusalem and other Christians, and has recognized that divestment is not a path to peacemaking – the same conclusion reached by every other American church that has considered the strategy,” Ethan Felson, vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, told JTA.
Last week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) narrowly defeated a resolution calling to divest its portfolio from three companies that it says is helping Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. At the same time, its delegates handily defeated a resolution likening the occupation to apartheid, but also approved a boycott of products made in the West Bank.
In May, the United Methodist Church turned down a divestment initiative.