The Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) welcomes and supports the recent letter to Congress from fifteen Christian religious leaders asking for an end to unconditional U.S. military aid to the state of Israel. The letter presses for an immediate investigation into possible violations of the U.S Foreign Assistance act, which prohibits assistance to any country engaging in a consistent pattern of human rights violations, and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act which limits the use of U.S. weapons to “internal security” and “legitimate self-defense.”
“Israel’s grave and systematic abuses of Palestinian human rights and violations of international law have been thoroughly documented for many years by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and even by the U.S. State Department,” said Rev. Jeff DeYoe, IPMN Advocacy Chair. “We’re pleased and encouraged that church leaders from a growing number of denominations are recognizing this and taking a stand in favor of justice and freedom for all the peoples of the Holy Land. We hope members of Congress will do the same.”
The actions urged in the letter to Congress are consistent with the policies of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), including a 2010 vote on an overture calling for compliance with U.S. government policy in the use of military aid.
In addition to the leadership of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the letter includes signatories representing the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Council of Bishops, the National Council of Churches, the American Friends Service Committee, the Mennonite Central Committee, the American Baptist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It has also received the support of Jewish Voice for Peace’s Rabbinical Council.