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Evangelical Lutheran Church calls for US inquest into human rights violations in Israel,    CHICAGO (ELCA) - Concerned about the deteriorating conditions in Israel and the
occupied Palestinian territories and the commitment for a just peace, the Rev.
Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(ELCA), and other U.S. Christian leaders are urging Congress to conduct an investigation into possible human rights and weapon violations by the government of Israel.           In an Oct. 5 letter to Congress, the religious leaders cited possible violations
by Israel of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, which respectively excludes assistance to any country that engages in a consistent pattern of human rights violations and limits the use of U.S. weapons to "internal security" or "legitimate self-defense."                     The leaders also urged Congress "to undertake careful scrutiny to ensure that
our aid is not supporting actions by the government of Israel that undermine prospects for peace. We urge Congress to hold hearings to examine Israel's compliance, and we request regular reporting on compliance and the withholding of military aid for non-compliance."          


    snip-The leaders further said it is unfortunate that "unconditional U.S. military assistance to Israel has contributed to (the) deterioration, sustaining the conflict and undermining the long-term security interests of both Israelis and Palestinians. This is made clear in the most recent 2011 State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices covering Israel and the Occupied Territories, which details widespread Israeli human rights violations committed against Palestinian civilians, many of which involve the misuse of U.S.-supplied weapons."
     Examples of human rights violence related to U.S. military
support were included as an annex to the letter and, in addition to specific rights violations, the Christian leaders expressed their concern that Israel continues to expand its settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, claiming territory "that under international law and U.S. policy should belong to a future Palestinian state."                                


      snip--The U.S. Christianleaders wrote that it is "our moral responsibility to
question the continuation of unconditional U.S. financial assistance to the government of Israel. Realizing a just and lasting peace will require this accountability, as continued U.S. military assistance to Israel -- offered without conditions or accountability -- will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel's military occupation of the Palestinian territories."
They requested that Congress hold Israel accountable to these standards by "making the disbursement of U.S. military assistance to Israel contingent on the Israeli government's compliance with applicable U.S. laws and policies. As Israel is the single largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid since World War II, it is especially critical for Israel to comply with the specific U.S. laws that regulate the use of U.S.-supplied weapons. We also encourage Congress to support inclusive, comprehensive and robust regional diplomacy to secure a just and lasting peace that will benefit Israelis, Palestinians, and all the peoples of the region and the world."
     Through an action, the 2001 ELCA Churchwide
Assembly expressed concern over continued U.S. military aid to Israel.





2 Replies

Re: Evangelical Lutheran Church calls for US inquest into human rights violations in Israel,

Will be interested to see if the backlash within the ELCA, of which our home Congregation is an affiliate, will be.  We saw a big split-off when the greater body voted to not restrict pastorial duties to heteros only.  I suppose we could lose some more over this.  Maybe gain a few.  But couragous and well formed,  nonetheless.


Re: Evangelical Lutheran Church calls for US inquest into human rights violations in Israel,

  The United Presbyterian, Quakers and Methodists recently discussed and took some faltering steps toward BDS, little by little people are taking courage to open their eyes and act on their religious and moral convections.   The internet has broken the control of the media and the world is learning the Truth, never doubt the power of Truth.  European Nations are joining the BDS movement, it's only a matter of time.