Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"US Lutherans consider Israel boycott"

By Haviv Rettig
Aug. 15, 2007

Full article is on the Web at:

Excerpts are below:

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which has almost five million members in the US, took a step toward a partial boycott of Israeli goods at its 2007 Churchwide Assembly in Chicago last week.

On Saturday, the assembly, the church's top legislative authority, passed a resolution calling to work toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and urging investment in the Palestinian Authority.

The assembly then urged "consideration of refusing to buy goods or invest in activities taking place in Israeli settlements, and a review of other economic options," according to Bishop Christopher Epting, the presiding bishop's deputy for ecumenical and interfaith relations, according to the Episcopal Life Online Web site.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's own news service did not provide information on the content of that motion.

According to the Pondering Pastor blog, Saturday's debate on the resolution picked "up with an amendment to call upon the ELCA to underscore the call for economic initiatives by this church and its members in the ['Peace not Walls'] campaign...

The Simon Wiesenthal Center blasted what it called the "mixed message" of the assembly - rejecting divestiture but "studying" a boycott.

"This marks the first time a mainline American Protestant church has moved toward a possible boycott of Israel," said the center's Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper...."

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