Official Seal of the General Convention
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B013 Peacemaking Through Political Action
Topic: International Relations

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Committee:

Proposer:

The Rt. Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely

Finalized text

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That The 78th General Convention reaffirm the vocation of the Church as an agent of reconciliation and restorative justice, and recognize that meaningful reconciliation can help to engender sustainable, long-lasting peace and that such reconciliation must incorporate both political action and locally driven grassroots efforts; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention, lamenting the diplomatic and political stalemate following recent elections in Israel, reaffirm this Church’s commitment to a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a negotiated settlement between the parties resulting in two states for two peoples: a secure and universally recognized Israel living alongside a secure and viable state for the Palestinian people; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church commend the United States government for its efforts during the past triennium to broker negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, but express grave sorrow at the collapse of those negotiations in 2014 and the subsequent deterioration of political relations between the parties; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church, recognizing that simple calls for the parties to return to the negotiating table are no longer sufficient to address the urgency of the situation, challenge the United States government, in coordination with global partners , to develop and offer a new, comprehensive, and time-bound framework to the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority for the conclusive negotiation of a two-state peace agreement and the resolution of all final-status issues; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention urge all national governments represented in The Episcopal Church to invest substantial diplomatic capital in support of such a framework; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention urge the Presiding Bishop and the staff of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society to continue its exemplary work to enhance understanding, build political consensus, and organize grassroots support within The Episcopal Church for this political action; and be it further

Resolved, That Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society: (1) convene a collaborative group of experts and interfaith partners to collect a wide range of resources designed to inform and enliven a conversation among those holding differing convictions; (2) encourage early travel of the 27th Presiding Bishop to the Holy Land, in the spirit of interfaith fellowship[SD1] , to establish and build relationships with leaders of the communities of the Children of Abraham working for peace, justice, and reconciliation; and (3) continue its commendable efforts to assist Episcopalians to learn about and understand the traumas, hurt, suffering, fears, pain, aspirations, and hopes that shape the daily lives of all living in Israel and the Palestinian Territories; and be it further

Resolved,That the General Convention commend the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s investment of $500,000 during the last triennium in the infrastructure of the Palestinian economy as a tangible step toward building a viable Palestinian state and strengthening the economic well-being of Palestinian communities; and to urge Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society to expand this loan investment at least twofold in the next triennium; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention encourage The Episcopal Church to (1) embrace the principles of restorative justice in its advocacy and engagement for the just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and (2) engage and support the voices of both Israelis and Palestinians—especially those who are themselves victims of violence and injustice—who seek peace with justice through nonviolent and restorative responses to the conflict; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention support existing efforts toward restorative justice by urging the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society to identify and find creative ways to commend, support, and elevate the work of local peace-building and economic development initiatives, including those of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East and grassroots organizations jointly led by Israelis and Palestinians; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $675,000 for the implementation of this resolution to be used as follows: (1) a total of $60,000 over the course of the triennium to each of five existing local, grassroots peace-building initiatives jointly led by Israelis and Palestinians to support and expand their work; (2) $300,000 to the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East to support and expand its sustainable peace-building efforts in Israel and the Palestinian Territories through its ministries of health care and education; and (3) $75,000 to cover other costs associated with the implementation of this resolution.