Presbyterians are moving forward on Palestinian rights!

Big things are happening. On Friday, June 15 in St. Louis, the Presbyterian Church (USA) is holding its biannual General Assembly (GA) where they will be taking bold stands on Palestinian rights, affirming our right to boycott, calling for churches to recognize Israel as a colonial apartheid state, and more.

For years, through leadership from the Israel Palestine Mission Network, the Presbyterian Church (USA) has taken bold stands on boycotts, divestment, sanctions, water justice, Israel’s apartheid wall, protection of children, administrative detention, collective punishment, torture, home demolitions, and more. At every General Assembly, the Presbyterians take it to the next level. This year is no exception. This year’s GA in St. Louis will be considering resolutions that include:

1. Affirming the right to boycott by opposing federal and state anti-BDS legislation

2. Equality for all citizens of Israel, including 48 Palestinians

3. Urging boycott target RE/MAX to stop facilitating the property sales in illegal settlements

4. Responding to the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine call urging the World Council of Churches to “recognize Israel as an apartheid state,” to refuse Christian complicity in Israeli oppression, and to defend and intensify BDS campaigns.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) is a perfect example of how civil society is pushing back against draconian repression of Palestinian rights activism, and pushing forward a frame of freedom, justice, and equality for all Palestinians, with no exceptions. With each new vote and breakthrough in discourse at assemblies like this, we can see the needle move closer and closer to a free Palestine.

USCPR will be on the ground at the GA along with Friends of Sabeel – North America, American Muslims for Palestine, St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee, Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, and St. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace, and others to support IPMN and the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship in what is sure to be an exciting week. You can be there with us, too by following IPMN on Facebook and Twitter, and following the #GA223 and #ProtectTheProphetic hashtags for updates.

You can also join IPMN in supporting the resolutions of other progressive movements in the church, including fossil fuels divestment (hashtag #pcusadivest and also on Facebook and Twitter). And to learn more about the work of IPMN, check out their new book Why Palestine Matters: the Struggle to End Colonialism, connecting freedom struggles from the US to Palestine.

It’s not just the Presbyterian Church USA doing good work. In just a few weeks, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network (EPF-PIN) will be working to move groundbreaking legislation at the Episcopal Church General Convention in Austin on everything from divestment to protecting the rights of Palestinian children to opposing the US embassy move to Jerusalem.

If you’re Episcopalian, or if you’re in Austin, and would like to support this important effort, you can send EPF-PIN a message on Facebook — they would love to hear from you!