Disciples and UCC leadership urge Congress to Support Palestinian Rights
On Tuesday, April 25, a letter signed by 25 leaders of US church communions and Christian agencies was sent to members of Congress expressing support for “Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act” (H.R. 2590).
The letter was signed by the Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, the Rev. Marco Cable, President of the Disciples’ Division of Overseas Ministries and Co-Executive of Global Ministries, and the Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister of the UCC, and Co-Executive of Global Ministries.
In the letter, the Christian leaders expressed their “deep concern for the Holy Land,” and that they “believe Congress must play a proactive role in helping to ensure justice and peace in Israel and Palestine.” Citing reliable sources and reports, the letter noted that, “since the year 2000 an estimated 13,000 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 17 have been detained, prosecuted and incarcerated by the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank.” The letter points out that the COVID pandemic has only exacerbated the threats to their livelihoods that Palestinians face, including continued Israel demolition of Palestinian homes and structures, and the displacement of Palestinian families. The letter concludes by saying, “Our faith commitments call us to advocate for the safety and the wellbeing of the most vulnerable. We are committed to speaking out until the conditions on the ground contribute to the flourishing of all Palestinian and Israeli lives. Congress has a responsibility to ensure that U.S. policy and foreign assistance reflects values that prioritize concern for the rights of the most marginalized, and conform with U.S. law. It is incumbent upon Congress to ensure no U.S. taxpayer funds are used by any foreign government, including Israel, in a manner that violates the dignity and wellbeing of any group.” And the 25 Christian leaders call on “members of the House of Representatives to support HR 2590 [and urge the] introduc[tion of] companion legislation in the Senate.”