US church votes to boycott Israel over occupation of Palestine

One of the largest Christian Protestant denominations in the United States has overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

The United Church of Christ voted Tuesday to boycott products from Israeli settlements and divest from companies with business in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, underscoring the growing momentum of a US protest movement against Israeli policy.

The denomination’s top legislative body endorsed the action on a vote of 508-124 with 38 abstentions during its meeting in Cleveland, Ohio.

The boycott resolution was the second such measure passed by the church, which has about 1 million members and over 5,000 congregations across the US.

The first resolution, passed in 2005, called for the use of “economic leverage” Israel and had accused the Zionist regime of widespread human rights abuses against the Palestinians.

Peter Makari of Global Ministries, an agency that is part of the United Church of Christ, said the resolutions “reflect our urgent concern for the worsening effects of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian people and lives, including the disparity in rights and power.”

 

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