United Church of Christ Passes Middle East Resolutions

Just one day after deciding to support same-sex marriage, the United Church of Christ voted Tuesday to use “economic leverage” in the Middle East to “promote peace” and dismantle the Jewish state’s security fence.

The 884-member UCC General Synod passed two resolutions regarding Israel and Palestine during its biennial gathering, in Atlanta, Georgia.

The first Middle East resolution would use tools of “economic language,” including divestment, to promote peace. The church will first try to persuade companies to stop profiting from conflict in the Middle East. However, if talks fail, church officials might resort to divestment.

Under the resolution, the church would invest in groups that promote peace and cooperation, and would call on the Bush Administration to “to engage actively, fully and fairly” in a peace process that will lead to “the coexistence of two states.”

It also specifically warned that construction of the barrier has rendered the Bush Administration’s "Road Map for Peace" unachievable, along with other proposals for a negotiated two-state solution, according to a United Church of Christ press release.

The second resolution calls on the Israeli government to halt the construction of the security barrier around Palestinian territories and tear it down.

Delegates rejected an amendment that would have suggested that Israel move walls to its own territory.

The Middle East decision marked the final act of business at the UCC’s 25th General Synod, which began July 1.