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Episcopal Peace Fellowship signs onto Israel/Palestine Mission Network statement calling for arms embargo on Israel

Episcopal Peace Fellowship signs onto Israel/Palestine Mission Network statement calling for arms embargo on Israel

As the number of dead and wounded mounts in Gaza, The Episcopal Peace Fellowship joins dozens of faith-based organizations signing onto the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s statement calling for an arms embargo of Israel:

It is with heavy hearts that we compose this statement. At the time of this writing, the Israeli military’s ground, naval, and aerial bombardment of Gaza has killed more than 1,280 Palestinians. The vast majority of these victims were civilians, according to the United Nations. Palestinian rockets and anti-tank fire have killed two Israeli civilians, one Thai migrant worker, and 53 Israeli soldiers (one Israeli soldier has been reported as “missing” by Israel and “captured” by Hamas).

We deplore and condemn the use of violence by anyone, anytime, anywhere. For, each of these casualties is a child of God; each has a name; each has a family; each has a life story that has come to an abrupt and tragic end.

These deaths do not occur in a vacuum. The current onslaught takes place within the context of a seven-year old Israeli and Egyptian imposed blockade of Gaza and forty-seven year old Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza…

Israeli aggression against Palestine, both in the past two weeks, and over the past several decades, has been largely enabled by American military aid and international military sales. The US government gives Israel $3.1 billion a year to purchase the most advanced weaponry in the world. European Union countries, as well as Brazil, India, and Chile have also sold advanced weapons to the Israeli military.

We support efforts to prevent the distribution of weapons to Gaza.

We likewise call for a blockade of weapons to Israel.

We are therefore joining the six Nobel Peace Laureates and thousands of others in endorsing the Palestinian call for an arms embargo on Israel. We will continue endorsing this call until the current bloodshed, blockade, occupation, and exile come to an end.

For the full statement from the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA), which was a catalyst in the recent Presbyterian decision to divest of Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions given their ties to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, please visit their website here.


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Paul Powers

Yes, of course all would be well if Israel would just withdraw from East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. After all, everyone knows that before June 1967, the inhabitants of these territories and of the neighboring countries were all shepherds and poets dedicated to non-violence and seeking to live in peace with Israel in its pre-1967 boundaries. And they never even considered barring all Jews (not Israelis, Jews) from visiting the Western Wall while it was under their control, unlike those horrible Israelis, who haven’t allowed a single Muslim to set foot in the Al-Aqsa Mosque since 1967. And yet despite all this, the Israelis invaded the West Bank and East Jerusalem without the slightest provocation. Bad, bad Israelis! If they had any notion of honor, they would disband their armed forces, dismantle the iron dome, and turn over their nuclear weapons technology to Hamas. Then justice and peace soul reign throughout the earth.


“The notion that they should stand down from self protection and trust their opponents to do the same in a reality in which they have been continuously under attack for decades is irrationl”

I think this one is directed @ me. Yes, Michael, for Israel to “stand down” IS irrational…by the definitions of pre-21st century war (the one where “the way to conclude a war is for the weaker side to sue for peace. It might even require surrender”).

But we don’t live in that world anymore. There never could be a “Deck of the USS Missouri” or “Appamattox”-type moment POSSIBLE here: not for Hamas, not for ANY Palestinian faction. ALL they live for is REVENGE (as I’ve said, the Palestinian people are too socially weak NOT to seek revenge). You can’t military defeat (i.e. kill) an all-consuming desire for revenge. All you can do is quit creating NEW causes for revenge (REGARDLESS of whom you feel “started it”), and let that desire wither, unfed.

Yes, the Palestinian people will EVENTUALLY reject Hamas-style genocidal fantasies—when they have something to live for, not just die for.

But it will take time. And every time Israel sends in drones, tanks, troops, bulldozers just DELAYS that day.

You can’t just keep going at this cycle, Michael: Provocation/Revenge, Provocation/Revenge (“Their ‘Provocation’ is Our ‘Revenge'”, ad nauseum). THAT is irrational. In fact, “doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results”: it’s insane.

JC Fisher



“Once again @Kurt reduces this to an ad hominem attack against those who disagree with him.”

Rubbish. Stop whining that people disagree with the Israeli/US State Department party line. This sentiment is growing. This past weekend nearly 50,000 people marched on the White House to demand that Israel and its US backers end the attack on Gaza. Even ABC News called it a “sea of protesters.” A mass civil disobedience action is scheduled for Friday in front of the Israeli Mission to the UN.—initiated by American Jews who are sick and tired of Israeli attacks on Gaza. And on Saturday, thousands will attend an International March on the UN to end the Israeli violence in Gaza.

Israel is an apartheid state. It is an apartheid state that oppresses non-Jews—including Anglican Christians. Boycott, divestment and sanctions put an end to apartheid in South Africa, and these methods will put an end to Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Kurt Hill


Michael Russell

Once again @Kurt reduces this to an ad hominem attack against those who disagree with him.

Divestment will do nothing but harden their position and embolden the attacks on Israelis. Hamas seems to have plenty of money to buy or build rockets and dig tunnels for surreptitious attacks. Some of that money was for aide not arms. Perhaps when enough Israeli children have been killed “equity” will have been achieved.

But in the end Hamas remains a terrorist organization committed to not only the destruction of Israel but of Christians and eventually other Muslims who do not agree with their version of the faith. It is not Israelis who are driving Christians out of their communities and murdering them, it is the kinship organizations of Hamas.

Neither Gazan nor Israeli children have chosen to go to war, and they should have relief and protection. It is their parents who draw the lines every more harshly and inflict this on their own children. If we wish to take action then it must be against all those engaged in planning and executing the war on both sides. I have no problem with demanding war crimes trials against Israelis and certainly not against Hamas for those behaviors that fit the law. Punishing those crimes is fair and just. But putting the entire Israeli population at risk isn’t.

I would support other pressures on Israel as well, as long as they are balanced with actions against Hamas. I would support suspending all travel to any part of the Holy Land so long as the UnHoly conflict continues. But I would not under any circumstance support unilateral action just against Israel.


An excellent first step by EPF. Now our Church should get on board of the growing movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel for its continued illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. It’s time for the Episcopal Church–and for Anglicans throughout the world–to stand up to the propaganda and lies being promoted by the Israeli government and its enablers in the USA.

Kurt Hill

Brooklyn, NY

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