The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised and welcomed the decision of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States (1.8 million members) to reject a motion endorsing the discriminatory anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The ZOA has also welcomed the decision by the Mennonite Church U.S.A. (95,000 members) to defer a vote on BDS until 2017.
BDS, as openly admitted by its founders, aims for Israel’s delegitimization and eventual elimination, while ignoring genuine human rights abuses committed by myriad other nations.
The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops, at the Church’s convention in Salt Lake City, rejected a resolution that would have divested its holdings in companies that do not withdraw operations from Judea/Samaria. Supporters of a BDS resolution in the Mennonite Church will be working to reformulate their resolution in two years time in a way that addresses concerns of members who believe Israel deserves their support.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We praise and applaud the Episcopal Church’s decision in this matter. It has set an example to other Christian denominations that are being courted by the BDS campaign to delegitimize Israel.
“While it would have been far better for the Mennonite Church to reject the BDS campaign, we recognize and welcome the efforts of those within it to defer the issue and to see that, in the on-going discussion, the Church’s support for Israel remains unimpaired.
“These acts stand in positive and stark contrast to the disgraceful decision of the United Church of Christ last week to endorse BDS. Shame on them.
“The BDS campaign, while seeking to besmirch Israel’s reputation as a human rights-observing rule of law state, ignores the genuinely racist Palestinian program seeking a Jew-free Palestinian state and the appalling, genuine human rights violations that occur in Palestinian-controlled areas.
“BDS is simply a vicious campaign for the eventual disappearance of Israel and Jewish self-determination.
“Let’s be clear: anyone who calls Israel an Apartheid state or suggests it is a variation of it supports its disappearance, just as one would support the disappearance of the Apartheid regime in South Africa.”