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Annual Meeting resolution addresses peace for Palestinians

Because there has not been peace in Palestine for 67 years, Seattle’s University Congregational UCC’s Palestine Action Group went to the Conference’s Justice and Witness Ministry (JWM) Committee and proposed a resolution that was passed by five other UCC conferences and will be presented at General Synod 2015.

resolution signers

14 signers of the resolution proposed by University Congregational UCC on Palestinian issues. Photo courtesy of Ed Crouch

Ed Crouch, leader of the UCUCC Palestine Action Group, said the group hopes it can “move us toward peace.”

The Central Pacific UCC Conference along with four other UCC Conferences passed resolutions to boycott and divest from companies that profit from the illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

Fifty one members of both University and First Congregational of Bellevue signed the resolution. 

In March. the JWM committee endorsed the resolution on the plight of Palestinians and sent it on to the Rev. Andy CastroLang, Pacific Northwest Conference moderator to present at the 2015 Annual Meeting. 

JWM recommended that the Annual Meeting of the PNC endorse the resolution and send it on to General Synod in solidarity with the other conferences. 

Several workshops will cover the subject at Annual Meeting. 

The Resolution of Witness calls for UCC members, congregations and the PNC to:

1) Educate themselves on the Palestine-Israel conflict. 

“We’re learning that Arab, Christian and Jewish Palestinians lived relatively peacefully in historic Palestine for more than 300 years,” said Ed. 

“In 1947, the United Nations recommended that Israel be designated in 55 percent of Palestine.  By 1949, Israel had seized 78 percent of the land, and it now occupies 87 percent of original Palestine” he explained.

2) Divest from companies that profit from the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and boycott products produced in these territories by Israeli companies. 

“For instance, we are called to divest from Caterpillar, which manufactures oversize bulldozers that destroy Palestinian homes and orchards in order to extend Israeli-only settlements into Palestinian Territories,” Ed said. 

“In 2014, 1,177 Palestinian homes were bulldozed. In separate actions, more than 100,000 Palestinians were permanently displaced.  It is estimated that more than 500,000 Israelis now live illegally on Palestinian land in settlements,” he added.

3) Petition Congress to abide by our U.S. Foreign Aid laws and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, both of which prohibit the U.S. from giving aid to countries that engage in human rights violations. 

The Geneva Convention of 1949, signed by the U.S. and Israel and 193 others, also forbids settlement on occupied lands, Ed said.  On Christmas Eve 2014, the state of Israel announced it was building 380 new settlements on Palestinian soil.  The billions in foreign and military aid to Israel each year are not only illegal, but also further contribute to the suffering of Palestinians. 

4) Promote more interfaith dialogue among the three Abrahamic faiths.

For the full 2015 General Synod Resolution of Witness Towards a Just Peace in Israel-Palestine, see, click on Materials, then Resolutions and scroll down to Resolution No. 4.

The Palestine Concerns Task Force of the Church Council of Greater Seattle has met at University Congregational UCC for 25 years.

For information, email


Copyright © April 2015 - Pacific Northwest United Church of Christ Conference News


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