United Church of Christ condemns Israel for alleged treatment of Palestinian children


(JNS.org) The United Church of Christ (UCC)—one of the largest mainline Protestant churches in America, with 915,000 members—overwhelmingly approved a resolution condemning Israel for its alleged treatment of Palestinian children.

The United Church of Christ logo. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The resolution, titled “A Call for the United Church of Christ to Advocate for the Rights of Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation,” was approved Sunday at the UCC synod in Baltimore, with 79 percent voting in favor, 13 percent against and 9 percent abstaining. 

The measure calls for “attention to the plight of children suffering under Israel’s prolonged military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.” It claims Palestinian children are “living with constant fear of arrest, detention, and violence at the hands of Israeli forces.”

The UCC’s move is the latest in a series of anti-Israel stances taken by the Protestant denomination. In 2015, the UCC overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s “occupation” or control in the disputed territories, as well as a boycott of products from Israeli settlements. 

Rabbi Noam Marans, the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) director of interreligious and intergroup relations, said the latest UCC resolution is “deeply disappointing” and continues “a trajectory dictated by the BDS movement, accusing Israel exclusively of human rights violations and preventing the end of the conflict.”

According to the AJC, the UCC’s resolutions ignore how Palestinian leaders continue to support violence against Israel, including through school textbooks and paramilitary camps for children.

“The real solution to problems of necessary detention of children who commit acts of violence is a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that leads to two states for two peoples,” said Marans. “The latest UCC resolution does nothing to advance the possibility of peace. Rather, by continuing to demonize Israel, UCC supports those who oppose peace.”

Posted on July 3, 2017 .