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Episcopal Bishops Overwhelmingly Reject Divestment

The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops overwhelmingly rejected a motion to divest from company doing business with Israel in the West Bank.

The body, meeting at the church’s General Convention, this year taking place in Salt Lake City, on Thursday rejected in a voice vote the proposal to divest from businesses that have operations in the West Bank and to boycott West Bank settlement products.

The rejection comes two days after the United Church of Christ overwhelmingly approved a similar resolution and a year after the Presbyterian Church-USA voted to divest from three companies doing business with Israel’s military.

The American Jewish Committee, which was represented at the Episcopal convention as an observer, welcomed the rejection, saying the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement does not advance peace.

“AJC has long supported direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians leading to an enduring two-state solution, and, in that spirit, welcomes interreligious partners who genuinely champion peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” it said in a statement.

Separately, the Mennonite Church U.S.A., meeting in Kansas City, Mo., delayed until 2017 consideration of a divestment resolution.

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