The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) today condemned the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) for recently adopting two resolutions at its triennial assembly in New Orleans, calling for an “investment screen” that is a first step in implementing boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and for calling for cutting off U.S. aid to Israel.
The first resolution established an “investment screen” that will recommend where Lutherans should invest their money with regard to Israel and the Palestinians. The second urged a cutoff of U.S. aid to Israel unless Israel meets a series of conditions, and calls for the immediate U.S. recognition of fictitious “the state of Palestine.”
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We condemn the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America for voting to approve these anti-Israel resolutions.
“This act is likely to contribute to, rather than mitigate, the Arab war on Israel, due to the aid and comfort the ELCA provides the pro-terror, anti-peace Palestinian Authority and Hamas by holding Israel solely or primarily responsible for the lack of peace and consequently seeking to take measures against Israel, not the PA or Hamas.
“While it is true that the ELCA triennial assembly did not adopt even more explicitly pro-BDS language which was proposed by a number of individual church synods, or branches, the proposal for an investment screen is simply a gradual, two-step process of boycott.
“As the Presbyterian Church USA did a number of years back, the ELCA appears to be setting up criteria for non-investment, the so-called ‘investment screen.’ This will lead to the ELCA saying that it cannot invest in Israel, as Israeli companies do not meet their screening criteria.
“In short, this will amount to a boycott in all but name, and made eventually in name as well, now that these resolutions have been passed.
“If the ELCA was serious and sincere in its concern for human rights, it would be making bold statements and boycotting companies that do business with China, that aid the illegal and brutal Chinese occupation of Tibet. It would be boycotting Iran, Sudan or North Korea. But the ELCA is doing none of these things.
“That the ELCA can pass this unprincipled and morally twisted resolution even as the PA continues to refuse negotiations with Israel only shows how absurdly and perniciously biased this decision is.
“If the ELCA wants to take a moral stance, it should be boycotting the PA and Hamas, which have refused to imprison terrorists or outlaw terrorist groups and confiscate their weaponry, while promoting hatred and murder against Jews in their schools, media, and speeches.
“We earnestly urge all genuinely moderate, decent Lutheran clergy and laymen to raise their voices against these dishonest, repellent and immoral resolutions.”