United Church of Christ votes to boycott & divest from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation

Activism
on 55 Comments

The United Church of Christ Palestine-Israel Network sent out the following press release:

The United Church of Christ Palestine-Israel Network (UCC PIN) is pleased to announce that today the plenary of the 30th General Synod taking place in Cleveland passed Resolution #4, calling for boycotts and divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.

“As disciples of Jesus, we hear and seek to heed his call to be peacemakers, responding to violence with nonviolence and extending love to all,” said Rev. John Deckenback, Conference Minister of the Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC, which submitted the resolution to the synod. “It is in that spirit of love for both Israelis and Palestinians, and a desire to support Palestinians in their nonviolent struggle for freedom, that the United Church of Christ has passed this resolution.”

“In approving this resolution, the UCC has demonstrated its commitment to justice and equality,” said Rev. Mitri Raheb, a Christian Palestinian and Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, who traveled to Cleveland for the synod. “For Palestinians living under occupation or facing systematic discrimination as citizens of Israel, enduring the destruction of their homes and businesses, the theft of their land for settlements, and living under blockade and siege in Gaza, this action sends a strong signal that they are not alone, and that there are churches who still dare to speak truth to power and stand with the oppressed.”

The vote, which was 508 in favor, 124 against, with 38 abstentions, was the culmination of a process that began in 2005 to end the Church’s complicity in Israel’s nearly half-century-old occupation and other abuses of Palestinian human rights. It also comes as a response to the Christian Palestinian community’s call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, as embodied in the Kairos Palestine document, which seeks to achieve Palestinian freedom and rights using peaceful means, inspired by the US Civil Rights and South African anti-Apartheid movements.

In passing Resolution #4, the UCC is following in the footsteps of sister mainline churches like the Presbyterian Church (USA), which passed a similar resolution last year divesting from Israel’s occupation, and the United Methodists, who voted to boycott products made in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and whose pension board divested from G4S, a prison service company, due in part to its dealings with the Israeli military.

UCC PIN expresses its gratitude to synod delegates, who faithfully carried out their duties in a thoughtful and responsible manner, giving the proposal the careful deliberation it deserved. UCC PIN also expresses its gratitude to our many allies, including those in the Jewish and Palestinian communities, for their indispensable and cherished support.

UCC PIN hopes that this modest initiative will help encourage the Israeli government to end the occupation, and looks forward to working in covenantal relationship with the UCC Pension Boards and the UCC Funds to implement this resolution moving forward.

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55 Responses

  1. just
    June 30, 2015, 12:10 pm

    “The vote, which was 508 in favor, 124 against, with 38 abstentions, was the culmination of a process that began in 2005 to end the Church’s complicity in Israel’s nearly half-century-old occupation and other abuses of Palestinian human rights.”

    Hurrah~ a HUGE margin of victory toward justice! Congratulations to UCC PIN! Now, spread the word. If every delegate speaks and explains why to 10 people, etc.

    • ckg
      June 30, 2015, 1:57 pm

      In contrast the 2014 PC(USA) divestment vote was 310-303. Incredible. I had always thought of UCC as being slightly to the left of PC(USA), but this is a huge margin.

      • lysias
        June 30, 2015, 3:53 pm

        Perhaps the PC(USA) vote would be more lopsided if it were held today.

      • Balfour
        June 30, 2015, 4:56 pm

        The United Presbyterian Chùrch has a large, conservative Southern contingent, unlike the UCC, which has its popular and historical roots in the New England region of the United States.

      • Ellen
        June 30, 2015, 11:35 pm

        Balfour , the UCC has historical roots in New England , but is large in the Mid West, which is also Christian Zionist territory.

        So this is, indeed, significant

  2. lonely rico
    June 30, 2015, 12:11 pm

    Encourage all to write a note of thanks to the people at
    United Church of Christ Palestine/Israel Network,
    for their conscientious stand for justice and peace in Palestine/Israel –

    link to uccpin.org

    • Marnie
      June 30, 2015, 1:07 pm

      @lonely rico –
      Just sent my thanks to the UCC – thank you for this link.

  3. Balfour
    June 30, 2015, 12:20 pm

    Very proud of the UCC in sending this unequivicable message in support of human rights.

  4. Citizen
    June 30, 2015, 12:35 pm

    Good news! I hope more Christian denominations follow suit; it’s really hard to understand why the followers of Jesus would not do so. I wonder how those who say they must stand with the Jews in any case, which they interpret to mean Israel, the state birthed in 1948 by conflating the word Israel in the Old Testament, how do they answer “What would Jesus do?” Surely they know Jesus was a Jew? The only answer I ever got from any of them was “There’s a few rotten apples in every barrel, when Israel’s conduct is pointed out to them. Otherwise, they inferred, I was an anti-Semite. They were all otherwise good people who made good neighbors.

  5. Qualtrough
    June 30, 2015, 12:48 pm

    Waiting for DoubleStandard to come here and tell us how BDS isn’t going anywhere.

    • JLewisDickerson
      June 30, 2015, 1:34 pm

      NEW HASBARA STRATEGY: “BDS is the best thing that has ever happened to Israel, because it is causing everyone to rally to Israel’s defense!”

    • DoubleStandard
      June 30, 2015, 5:38 pm

      Wait no further. I’m glad to have such name recognition though!

      It’s a historically leftist Church with a membership of 1.1 million people, most of whom are politically disengaged. Its members drop off by the year.

      And the Church establishment is one of the last bastions of anti-Semitism in the United States. Many of the evangelicals are anti-Semitic too, but their religious philosophy happens to prioritize the safety of Israel. But many are also “philo” semitic in that they think Jews are the key to Jesus’ return. But outside of the evangelicals, pretty much all Church clergy are anti-Semitic at bottom. Christianity as a religion is pretty much incurably anti-Semitic, even though most Christians (in the West) are not.

      Besides, BDS is kind of inconsistent: is something considered “BDS” even if it specifically supports two-states (as did this resolution)? BDS is anti-2 states in principle. Just ask Barghouti and Abunimah. The thought of a Jewish state on one square inch of territory anywhere in the world gets them foaming at the mouth.

      How can they rejoice at something that calls for a Palestinian mini-state on 22 percent of Israel’s land?

      • Kris
        June 30, 2015, 7:54 pm

        @DoubleStandard:

        Christianity as a religion is pretty much incurably anti-Semitic, even though most Christians (in the West) are not.

        Could you cite your source for this information, thanks.

        @DoubleStandard:

        Just ask Barghouti and Abunimah. The thought of a Jewish state on one square inch of territory anywhere in the world gets them foaming at the mouth.

        Again, please cite your sources. I think they are concerned with Palestinian territory that Jews have stolen/are stealing. What is your evidence that they would object to a “Jewish state on one square inch of territory” somewhere else, assuming the rightful owners sold it to the Zionists freely and legally?

      • echinococcus
        June 30, 2015, 8:11 pm

        I think they are concerned with Palestinian territory that Jews have stolen/are stealing. What is your evidence that they would object to a “Jewish state on one square inch of territory” somewhere else, assuming the rightful owners sold it to the Zionists freely and legally?

        Kris, the why should be obvious: because there is a difference between real estate and sovereignty. Anywhere on earth you buy land, you have to confirm to the current requirements of the owners of the sovereignty. In all of Palestine as defined by the mandate territory, those owners are the Palestinians (including some 4-6% Jewish Palestinians.) Palestinians may, nay should, be concerned by the woes of other invaded people –just like you and me who, without being Palestinians, are seriously concerned by that invasion. The South Pole may be for sale if all lobbies work overtime in all participating countries but I expect stiff resistance from the Penguins.

      • lonely rico
        June 30, 2015, 8:35 pm

        > DoubleStandard

        a historically leftist Church … most of whom are politically disengaged.

        DoubleStandard
        does some some
        DoubleTalk

        What a performance !

      • Jethro
        June 30, 2015, 8:41 pm

        @DoubleStandard:
        “Christianity as a religion is pretty much incurably anti-Semitic, even though most Christians (in the West) are not.”

        Sounds like a bit of projection to me.

      • talknic
        June 30, 2015, 8:48 pm

        Double post ooooops

      • talknic
        June 30, 2015, 8:49 pm

        @ DoubleStandard

        “How can they rejoice at something that calls for a Palestinian mini-state on 22 percent of Israel’s land?”

        Strange, Israel has never legally acquired any territory outside of its self proclaimed and Internationally recognized sovereign extent of 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time), ” the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. The Act of Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.”

        BTW thanks again for the opportunity to show interested readers just how much drivel you and your fellow propagandists indulge in.

      • DoubleStandard
        June 30, 2015, 9:08 pm

        I believe all the land legitimately belongs to Israel. The Mandate originally provided for Jordan too until the British went back on it.

        In any event, Israel acquired it in a defensive war. It belongs to Israel unless it voluntarily chooses to cede it under a peace agreement.

        No security council resolution has ever called for unconditional withdrawal from all of the ’67 lands.

        And it’s not double talk lol. The leadership of the organization is left-leaning. Most of its (very few) members are not involved. The church has been moribund for many years now.

      • RoHa
        June 30, 2015, 9:11 pm

        I don’t think the Australian Antactic Territories are for sale. But maybe if someone makes a good offer…

      • DoubleStandard
        June 30, 2015, 9:16 pm

        As for Abunimah and Barghouti opposing a Jewish state:

        link to twitter.com
        link to electronicintifada.net

        If they oppose a Jewish state within the ’67 lines, then they oppose it in principle. Israel was created legally within those lines.

      • just
        June 30, 2015, 10:05 pm

        “I believe all the land legitimately belongs to Israel.”

        You’re wrong as usual, DoubleStandard.

        There’s nothing legitimate about your claim to indigenous Palestinian land or your nonsensical “I believe[s]”.

        “In any event, Israel acquired it in a defensive war.”

        Baloney~ all that Israel has ever done in my lifetime is OFFENSIVE/aggressive/provoked war. It’s their M.O.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 30, 2015, 11:10 pm

        I believe all the land legitimately belongs to Israel.

        your beliefs vs facts. tough choice, not!

      • DoubleStandard
        June 30, 2015, 11:32 pm

        So my original question: is something a “BDS” victory if it declares support for the two-state solution? What matters more regarding BDS: embrace of the tactics or embrace of the goals?

      • Kris
        July 1, 2015, 12:39 am

        @DoubleStandard:

        “As for Abunimah and Barghouti opposing a Jewish state:

        link to twitter.com
        link to electronicintifada.net

        If they oppose a Jewish state within the ’67 lines, then they oppose it in principle. Israel was created legally within those lines.”

        Untrue. Israel was NOT created legally within the ’67 lines, and no country is allowed to grab territory through war.

        I asked you for links to support your contention that:

        “Just ask Barghouti and Abunimah. The thought of a Jewish state on one square inch of territory anywhere in the world gets them foaming at the mouth.”

        and instead you sent me links about their support for BDS. Obviously, they are opposed to a Jewish state on Palestinian territory, but you said that they opposed a Jewish state anywhere in the world. Untrue.

        You also didn’t supply links to your assertion that

        ” Christianity as a religion is pretty much incurably anti-Semitic, even though most Christians (in the West) are not.”

        Wasting people’s time with misdirection and misinformation is insulting and dishonorable.

        For anyone who is interested, here are the links DS gave me, with excerpts.

        link to electronicintifada.net This is an interview with Barghouti in 2009 about BDS:

        Now on the ground, back to your question, there is no political party in Palestine now or among Palestinians outside either calling for a secular, democratic one-state solution. Despite this, polls in the West Bank and Gaza have consistently in the last few years shown 25-30 percent support for a secular, democratic state.

        Two polls in 2007 showed two-thirds majority support for a single state solution in all flavors — some of them think of a purely Palestinian state without Israelis and so on — in exile it’s even much higher because the main issue is that refugees in particular, and people fighting for refugee rights like I am, know that you cannot reconcile the right of return for refugees with a two state solution.

        That is the big white elephant in the room and people are ignoring it — a return for refugees would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. The right of return is a basic right that cannot be given away; it’s inalienable.

        A two-state solution was never moral and it’s no longer working — it’s impossible with all the Israeli settlements and so on. We need to move on to the more moral solution that treats everyone as equal under the law, whether they are Jewish-Israeli or Palestinian.

        link to twitter.com A tweet by Ali Abunimah:

        The goal of #BDS is the full restoration of Palestinian rights, not an agreement to create an artificial mini-state in order to save Zionism.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 1, 2015, 1:12 am

        is something a “BDS” victory if it declares support for the two-state solution?

        that would depend. for example, once netanyahu said he supported a 2 state solution. that would not be considered a victory for bds. whereas, if veolia declares they support the 2 state solution and at the same time pulls out of israel and/or the settlements, that would be a victory. basically, it doesn’t matter if someone or some entity (country or business) supports one state or 2, if they boycott, divest or sanction israel, it’s a victory for the bds movement. even if someone doesn’t doesn’t declare they are supporting the bds movement and decide to actively end investment in israel or the occupied territories, for whatever reason (bad investment) it’s a victory for bds.

        and by ‘victory’, i don’t mean a total victory. it won’t be a total victory until all the goals are met. a one state solution, per se, is not one of the goals.

      • talknic
        July 1, 2015, 1:14 am

        @ DoubleStandard “I believe all the land legitimately belongs to Israel. The Mandate originally provided for Jordan too until the British went back on it.”

        Zioignorance is amazing …

        The LoN Mandate FOR Palestine Article 7 tells the world (except for Ziomorons) Jews could attain PALESTINIAN citizenship.

        The LoN Mandate FOR Palestine Article 7 tells the world you’re either ignorant or a propagandist. In the time you’ve been posting your nonsense here I’ve put Article 7 of the Mandate up numerous times for all to see, so I’m betting you’re a paid propagandist

        “Israel acquired it in a defensive war.

        Article 11 of the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States tells us it has been illegal since at least 1933 to acquire territory by war, ANY war.

        Article 11 of the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States tells us you’re either ignorant or a paid propagandist or simply stupid

        Israel has never had any territory taken to be in need of return and has been on the “offensive” from the outset as a matter of policy
        Report to the Provisional Government of Israel by Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ben-Gurion 3 Jun 1948
        “The entire expanse of the State of Israel allocated to us under the terms of the UN resolution is in our hands, and we have conquered several important districts outside those boundaries“.
        and;
        “To the greatest possible extent, we will remain constantly on the offensive, which will not be confined to the borders of the Jewish State“.

        Schwebel/Lauterpacht/Herzog tell us territory may be “returned” to the sovereign by war, not acquired.

        Schwebel/Lauterpacht/Herzog tell us Syria has the right to attempt to have the Golan returned war.

        Schwebel/Lauterpacht/Herzog tell us you’re full of sh*t

        “No security council resolution has ever called for unconditional withdrawal from all of the ’67 lands.”

        You’re fountain of crap overfloweth

        UNSC res 476
        1. Reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem;

        “If they oppose a Jewish state within the ’67 lines, then they oppose it in principle. Israel was created legally within those lines”

        Read UNSC res 476

        How does it feel to be full of ziopoop pal?

      • Sibiriak
        July 1, 2015, 2:15 am

        Annie: it won’t be a total victory until all the goals are met. a one state solution, per se, is not one of the goals.
        ———————————————————

        Which implies that all the goals of BDS could be met within a two-state framework.

      • Misterioso
        July 1, 2015, 12:55 pm

        DoubleStandard

        “The Mandate originally provided for Jordan too until the British went back on it.”

        Utter nonsense.

        The 1922 League of Nations British Class A Mandate did not include what was then Transjordan and the League never contemplated that it would. I also remind you that by definition, the Class A mandate prohibited the creation in whole or in part of a Jewish state or homeland in Palestine. (A Jewish “national home” in Palestine as referred to in the then illegal 1917 Balfour Declaration, which was incorporated into the British Mandate, is neither a state nor a homeland.

        This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: “[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status.”

        Furthermore, regarding the British Mandate, as approved by the Council of the League of Nations, the British government declared: “His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State.” (Command Paper, 1922)

        This was further confirmed in the 1939 MacDonald White Paper, which in accordance with the Mandate, ruled out any possibility of a Jewish state, and declared Great Britain “could not have intended Palestine should be converted into a Jewish state against the will of the Arab population of the country.” It called for a Palestinian state in which Jews and Arabs would govern jointly based on a constitution to be drafted by their representatives and those of Britain. The constitution would safeguard the “Jewish National Home” in Palestine and if good relations developed between Jews and Arabs, the country would be granted independence in ten years. Land sales to Jews were to be restricted and the annual level of Jewish immigration was to be limited to 15,000 for five years, following which, Palestinian Arab acquiescence would be required.

        Also, Transjordan (today’s Jordan) was not part of Palestine. As Ottoman maps attest, it was administered separately from Palestine, the dividing line being the Jordan River. Known to locals as Al Baqa, the area east of the Jordan River which became the Emirate of Transjordan in 1923 (as partial fulfillment of Britain’s pledge in the July 1915 to March 1916 Hussein/ McMahon correspondence to grant the Arabs independence – including Palestine – in exchange for what proved to be their invaluable assistance in defeating the Turks during WWI) was part of the Turkish vilayet (province) of Syria. The area west of the river was governed by the Ottomans as three sanjaks (sub-provinces), two of which (Acre and Nablus) formed part of the vilayet of Beirut, while the third was the independent sanjak of Jerusalem.

        in 1921, Britain agreed to recognize Abdullah ibn Hussein al Hashem as the ruler of Transjordan. Transjordan became an autonomous emirate under Abdullah in 1923,

        “In any event, Israel acquired it [i.e., its June 1967 conquests] in a defensive war.”

        More nonsense.

        To wit:
        At 7:45 AM on 5 June 1967, Israel attacked Egypt and thereby, Jordan and Syria who each shared a mutual defense pact with Egypt. The attack took place just hours before Egypt’s VP was to fly to Washington for a prearranged June 7th meeting with the Johnson administration to defuse the crisis between Egypt and Israel based on an agreement worked out in Cairo between Nasser and Johnson’s envoy, Robert Anderson. In a cable sent to Johnson on May 30, Israel’s PM Levi Eshkol promised not to attack Egypt until June 11 to give diplomacy a chance to succeed. However, on June 4, when it heard about the June 7th meeting and the distinct possibility that it would rule out war, Israel’s cabinet ordered its armed forces to attack Egypt the next day. In short, the war was another massive land grab by Israel.

        Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Minister without portfolio in Eshkol’s cabinet, while addressing Israel’s National Defence College on 8 August 1982: “In June, 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” (New York Times, 21 August 1982)

        Meir Amit, chief of Israel’s Mossad: “Egypt was not ready for a war and Nasser did not want a war.”

        “No security council resolution has ever called for unconditional withdrawal from all of the ’67 lands.”

        Given the UN Charter and the fact it is binding on all UN members, such a resolution is not necessary. I refer you to the Preamble of UNSC Resolution 242, which governs all that follows: “Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war….”

        Furthermore:
        (A) Security Council Resolution 446 (22 March 1979) “[Affirms] once more that the Fourth
        Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem,
        “1. Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;..”

        (B) Security Council Resolution 465 (1 March 1980) “determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity…”

        (C) Israel’s 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was unanimously rejected by the UNSC in Resolutions 476 and 478.

        (D) On 17 December 1981, the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 497, which declared Israel’s 14 December 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Height “null and void.”

        (E) In accordance with the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by Israel, and further underscoring the illegality of the settlements, Part 2, Article 8, section B, paragraph viii of the Rome Statute of the International Court (1998) defines “the transfer directly or indirectly by the Occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” as a War Crime, indictable by the International Criminal Court.

        (F) On 24 February 2004, the U.S. State Department reaffirmed its earlier position in a report entitled Israel and the Occupied Territories, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: “Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights after the 1967 War…. The international community does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over any part of the occupied territories.”

        (G) In its 2004 ruling, the International Court of Justice unanimously ruled that “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” The World Court denoted this principle a “corollary” of the U.N. Charter and as such “customary international law” and a “customary rule” binding on all member States of the United Nations.

      • Mooser
        July 1, 2015, 1:55 pm

        “The Mandate originally provided for Jordan too until the British went back on it.” “DS”

        Why don’t you get some “court clothes” and seek an audience with Her Majesty, and try to recall the exalted sovereigness to a sense of her responsibilities as “Defender of The Faith” ? Why not? A little flattery, a few gifts, and the might of the British Empire will once again be backing the Zionists. Don’t forget to say “sorry” about that unfortunate incident at the King David…

      • RoHa
        July 1, 2015, 8:26 pm

        Mysterioso, don’t go dragging facts into this. It’s anti-Semitic.

      • michelle
        July 2, 2015, 1:55 am

        .
        Hello RoHa
        i hope you day was good
        m
        .
        do you mean it will be called/labeled anti-semitic
        (if not my bad)
        .
        truly the truth can not be anti-semitic
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • RoHa
        July 2, 2015, 2:33 am

        Michelle, I was being sarcastic. Just about anything that does not suit the Zionists is labelled “anti-Semitic”. Zionists are not interested in truth.

      • Mooser
        July 3, 2015, 10:03 am

        To find out what is or isn’t “antisemitic” or “antisemitism” simply access any one of our Zionists comment archive and word-search those terms. I hope you have all day to do it, and don’t mind feeling very, very guilty.

  6. amigo
    June 30, 2015, 12:56 pm

    This result took 10 years but future attempts will take far less.

    Another nail in the zionist coffin that is bound to rankle the usual suspects who true to typical self imposed myopia will claim it is much ado about nothing.Where did we hear that response before.

    Big thank you to all those who have laboured for so long to achieve this goal.You have shown others it can be done.

  7. ckg
    June 30, 2015, 2:12 pm

    Anti-BDS zealot Sen. Mark Kirk is a UCC member. Priceless.

  8. Kay24
    June 30, 2015, 2:29 pm

    The numbers are impressive. Wonder if some alien beings tried to persuade some how to vote, just like they do in college campuses.
    Hm….

  9. Ellen
    June 30, 2015, 3:19 pm

    When will the attacks and defamation of the UCC start?

    Will there be lawfare?

    Will Congress, working for Zionist interests and not US interests, attack this Church?

  10. ckg
    June 30, 2015, 4:17 pm

    The State Department issued a statement this afternoon opposing the conflation of ‘Israel’ and ‘Israeli-controlled territories’ in the TPA’s anti-BDS provision. But it says the U.S. strongly opposes BDS targeting the ‘State of Israel’.

    link to mobile.twitter.com

    • just
      June 30, 2015, 6:18 pm

      More, ckg:

      “U.S. State Department: We won’t protect Israeli settlements against boycott
      Congressional efforts to extend anti-BDS fight to occupied territories show pro-Israel lobby the perils of biting off more than one can chew.

      The U.S. State Department on Tuesday punched a big hole in Israel-led efforts to induce the Obama administration to regard boycotts of settlements as identical to boycott of Israel proper. In doing so, it provided the Israeli government and the pro-Israel lobby with yet another painful lesson in the pitfalls of being too clever by half and biting off more than one should chew.

      A special statement issued by the State Department Press Office on Tuesday afternoon made clear that while the administration “strongly opposes” any boycott, divestment or sanctions against the State of Israel, it does not extend the same protection to “Israel-controlled territories.” Rather than weakening efforts to boycott Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, as Israel supporters had planned, the State Department was actually granting them unprecedented legitimacy. …

      The defiant rebuff of the Congressional bill comes in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Menachem Zivotofsky that rebuffed Congressional attempts to force the administration to record “Israel” next to his city of birth “Jerusalem.” The State Department statement says, in effect, that a bill on trade authority cannot force the administration to change its longstanding policy towards Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. And just as the Zivotofsky decision weakened Israel’s hold on Jerusalem, the boycott decision only delegitimizes the settlements more than ever before.

      Thus, the effort to strengthen the settlements, supported by AIPAC and other mainstream and right-wing groups and opposed by J-Street and organizations on the left, actually ends up weakening them. The attempt to blot out the differences between a boycott of Israel and of the territories actually highlights them. The boycott of settlements, in effect, has now been officially stamped “kosher” by the State Department.”

      more @ link to haaretz.com

      It’s not everything, but it’s something better than yesterday.

      Drip, drip, drip~ then a torrent. Just as we saw last week.

      I read poor 2- state- Beinart today:

      “What last week’s historic changes in America mean for Israel

      Without a two-state solution, Americans will one day embrace one non-Jewish state, in the name of equality.

      …If defenders of the Jewish state can speak convincingly about equality themselves – If they can detail the steps Israel is taking to give Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip citizenship in a state of their own, and the steps Israel is taking to give Palestinians inside the green line more equal citizenship in Israel itself, then they have a chance to stem the tide. But currently they cannot because the Israeli government is taking no such steps. It is doing exactly the opposite.

      I suspect that U.S. President Barack Obama, although he cannot publicly say it, understands this. He remains, after all, the leader of the new American coalition that made last week’s momentous events possible. This fall, in all likelihood, he will offer Benjamin Netanyahu the last off ramp of his presidency: a United Nations resolution endorsing the two-state solution and mapping out a path to get there. Before Bibi rejects it, he should think for a long, long time about what just happened in America. Not in Europe, where everyone knows Israel’s position is weaker, but in America, the country Bibi has always considered Israel’s defender of last resort.

      When the two-state solution indisputably dies, and the only way to advocate legal equality is by advocating the full enfranchisement of everyone between the river and the sea, the Americans who today embrace same-sex marriage and the removal of the Confederate Flag will embrace that one state option, in equality’s name. When that will happen, I don’t know. But we learned last week that after long periods of apparent stalemate, change can come with astonishing speed. And by the time the defenders of the status quo realize they’re losing, it’s already too late.”

      link to haaretz.com

      • ckg
        June 30, 2015, 9:44 pm

        Thanks, just.

      • Citizen
        July 1, 2015, 8:47 am

        U.S. State Department: We won’t protect Israeli settlements against boycott link to haaretz.com

  11. HarryLaw
    June 30, 2015, 4:42 pm

    Ellen@ Will there be lawfare? As Sarah would say,You betcha! ” Shurat HaDin, an organisation with links to Israel’s government and security services, is holding a seminar this week in Jerusalem “to train lawyers from abroad to litigate BDS.” The gathering follows a period of intensified attacks by Israeli officials on the Palestinian-led boycott movement, including reports of imminent Justice Ministry-initiated lawsuits”. link to middleeastmonitor.com

  12. a blah chick
    June 30, 2015, 8:27 pm

    Looks like there are some new developments on the Orange/Partner front. From today’s Financial Times:

    “Orange has negotiated a way to exit its licensing agreement with an Israeli operator just weeks after comments from the head of the French telecoms operator sparked an international row”

    “Partner will have the option to terminate the agreement within the first 12 months. Both Orange and Partner will then have the option to end the brand-licensing agreement over the following 12 months.”

    But of course they are assuring everyone that they are NOT pulling out of Israel. What I got out of the article was that Orange wants to continue operating in Israel but with a lower profile, so as not to attract the attentions of those nasty BDS types.

    Keep the pressure on.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 30, 2015, 8:50 pm

      a blah chick, read this earlier today.. was going to try to write about it. very fishy strange news after all the earlier headline grabbing articles. this essentially paves the way for orange to get out of israel, exactly what they said they wanted to do to begin with — the way i read it.

      • a blah chick
        June 30, 2015, 10:44 pm

        Yep, very fishy indeed. Personally I thought Richard’s ass kissing genuflection before King Bibi just a little too over the top. It was pure political theater meant to hide the fact that they want out or at least a much lower profile. And why would they want that? Because BDS is turning up the heat and they want out of the kitchen.

        Big companies like Orange want profits not headaches.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 30, 2015, 11:06 pm

        exactly, re your last sentence. and orange is willing to pay 90mil to eradicate themselves. i’m sure that is not random. it’s framed as determined how much it will hurt the israeli business partner but you better believe orange wouldn’t be making a deal like that unless it was in their financial interest to do so. plus, they signed a 10 million deal (as i recall) just weeks ago. so they grabbed headlines w/the kowtowing and deal, then turned around & scrapped the deal, and then made a deal to get out. hmm.

    • Ellen
      June 30, 2015, 11:48 pm

      Orange wants to be around in 10-20 years. The occupation cannot sustain itself.

      There may be serious financial reparations from those who profit from the occupation. Service providers like transportation and communication will be the easy targets when that day comes. Orange sees the writing on the wall and wants out.

  13. gosmoboleet
    July 1, 2015, 9:27 am

    “…the plenary of the 30th General Synod taking place in Cleveland passed Resolution #4, calling for boycotts and divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.

    The interesting thing about Americans doing this is that they themselves sit on the blood soaked land they took from the indigenous here. American settlements now span 3000 miles of occupied land. Meanwhile the remnants of indigenous are relegated to concentration camps. On the bright side, we do let them believe they’re running the casinos.

    • talknic
      July 1, 2015, 1:57 pm

      @ gosmoboleet “The interesting thing about Americans doing this is that they themselves sit on the blood soaked land they took from the indigenous here. American settlements now span 3000 miles of occupied land. Meanwhile the remnants of indigenous are relegated to concentration camps. On the bright side, we do let them believe they’re running the casinos”

      Lemme see now. You mean that had the US not been colonized Israel would be adhering to the law…

      Or maybe you mean all non indigenous people, including Jews (and you), should leave the USA to the American Indians, then Israel would at last start to adhere to the law…

      Or maybe you mean two or more wrongs make a right…

      Please elucidate, a good laugh is always welcome here

    • michelle
      July 2, 2015, 1:43 am

      .
      @ gosmoboleet
      Hello
      i hope you day has been thus far good
      m
      .
      what you say is true
      are you planning on starting a BDS on behalf of the Native Americans
      is there a web site
      what is your group calling itself
      i would like to help please let me know
      .
      G-d Bless
      .

      • eljay
        July 2, 2015, 7:33 am

        || michelle: … what you say is true
        are you planning on starting a BDS on behalf of the Native Americans
        is there a web site
        what is your group calling itself … ||

        Good questions!

    • eljay
      July 2, 2015, 7:31 am

      || gosmoboleet @ July 1, 2015, 9:27 am ||

      Yet another Zio-supremacist defends Israel using the “as long as murderers exist, it’s OK to be a serial rapist” argument.

  14. Kris
    July 1, 2015, 11:09 am

    @gosmoboleet: “The interesting thing about Americans doing this is that they themselves sit on the blood soaked land they took from the indigenous here.”

    That is “interesting” only to you and the writers of the Hasbara Handbook, gosmoboleet. Everyone else already knows that past crimes do not justify future crimes.

    That is why it is acceptable for the U.S. now to oppose slavery worldwide, for example, despite our history of slavery, and it was acceptable for the U.S. to oppose the Nazis despite our own history of genocide.

    • Mooser
      July 1, 2015, 1:49 pm

      “The interesting thing about Americans doing this is that they themselves sit on the blood soaked land they took from the indigenous here.”

      Okay, yes we do. Now, do you think Israel has the resources and historical momentum to pay the same price we did for that? A terrible price, which has led to a lot of bad things, socially, politically environmentally, you name it. For everybody. That’s what is always so funny about the “whataboutery”. Are they suggesting such events are laudable, and a necessary part of a State’s history? And that Zionism has the wherewithal to pay the prices for these things?

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