Both the Mennonite and Episcopal churches in America have rejected calls to divest from Israel and to boycott the country by the BDS (Boycott Divest Sanction) movement which uses ant-Israel rhetoric as a cover for ant-semitism.
Meeting in in Salt Lake City on Thursday during their General Convention, the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops voted overwhelmingly against divesting the Church from any Israeli investments. The Episcopalian Church — which was formed by American members of the Church of England after the American Revolution — has about 1.8 million members in America.
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The American Jewish Committee, which attended the convention as observers, sated, “AJC commends the Episcopal Church for rejecting calls for divesting from companies doing business with Israel and for boycotting Israeli products. AJC has long supported direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians leading to an enduring two-state solution, and, in that spirit, welcomes interreligious partners who genuinely champion peace for Israelis and Palestinians.”
“The Episcopal Church is a significant partner in bringing the Abrahamic faiths together in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace, ” added Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC Director of Inte-rreligious and Inter-group Relations.
At the same time the small Mennonite sect with 95, 000 members also voted against joining the BDS. On Thursday, at that Church’s convention held in Kansas City, Misouri, voted to defer any action until at least 2017.