Israel Palestine + Iraq + Iran + Afghanistan

Boycotts, Nonviolence, and Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Transformation

by Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb

As an American, a Jew, a rabbi, a peacemaker, and a solidarity activist, I want to open a conversation about “BDS” — boycott, divestment, and sanctions — the nonviolent strategy supported by the majority of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, Israel, and the diaspora as the preferred method of ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. I am writing about BDS from a particular framework of understanding:

GA Update: Peacemaking Issues

By Jan Orr-Harter

The long-awaited GA plenary session on Peacemaking and International Issues came and went, with excellent results, but not quite as we expected the process to go. We'll take the results.

GA calls on the United States to cease combat in Afghanistan

By Pat Cole, PC(USA) News Service


The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 219th General Assembly (2010) has called for the United States to end direct combat operations in Afghanistan, the denomination’s first such statement since the war began in 2001.

The action, approved by the Assembly by a show-of-hands vote Friday, also asks the U.S. government to increase humanitarian and economic development assistance to Afghanistan. In addition, it calls for the United States to work with the Afghan people to facilitate peacemaking through consensus-building, open communication, economic incentives and diplomacy.

“There is no more appropriate time for the church to proclaim the peace of the gospel and pursue its mandates than when the country is at war,” said George Lynch of Pacific Presbytery, moderator of the Assembly’s Peacemaking and International Issues Committee.

GA Update: Middle East

By Jan Orr-Harter

Some of the toughest items were up today, Committee 14 on all issues related to the Middle East.

GA approves ‘Breaking Down the Walls’ report on Middle East

PC(USA) News Service


The 219th General Assembly approved the recommendation of the Middle East Peacemaking Issues Committee on Friday regarding the report “Breaking Down the Walls,” which spotlights the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The full Assembly action followed a unanimous decision by the committee to accept an amended version of the report, which came to it from the GA Middle East Study Committee (MESC).

Update: Lots of good news as Peace Overtures leave committees for plenary

By Jan Orr-Harter

The committees have all finished their deliberations and have forwarded their proposals to the GA plenary for final votes.

Presbyterian Peace Fellowship Supports Jewish Ship to Gaza

Unarmed European Jews to Carry Humanitarian Aid through Gaza Blockade

Minneapolis, MN – The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship announces a new nonviolent initiative, joining with European Jewish groups to send a boatload of humanitarian supplies to Gaza. The Peace Fellowship has raised $10,000 from its members to lend solidarity to the three groups organizing the unarmed civilian action: European Jews for a Just Peace in the Middle East, Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East (both in Germany) and Jews for Justice for the Palestinians (UK).

Committee 13 Recommends Overture Opposing War in Afghanistan

Committee 13 votes 49-2 to recommend the overture on Monday

After careful deliberation, On Monday July 5 Committee 13 on Peacemaking and International Issues approved by 49 to 2 an overture from Presbytery of Atlanta, as amended, opposing continued US military action in Afghanistan, supporting humanitarian and economic help for Afghanistan, a tabulation of war casualties and prayer and support for all involved, including US troops and their families. While numerous efforts were made to weaken the four overtures sent from presbyteries calling for US withdrawal, the committee in fact strengthened the statement by stating that the church "opposes the war in Afghanistan."

Principles to Guide our Work: The Conflict between Israel and Palestine

This document is intended both to ground our own work in this area, and also to offer guidance for others, including commissioners and advisory delegates to the 219th General Assembly. It was approved by the National Committee of the PPF on May 24th, 2010.