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Presbyterian Mission Network Joins BDS, Calls for Boycotts, Supports Kairos
Date:25 October 2010
The Rev. Dr. Jeff DeYoe
IPMN Advocacy Chair
Presbyterian Mission Network Joins BDS Movement, Calls for Boycotts on goods from Illegal Israeli Settlements
Supports Kairos Palestine
CHICAGO—In response to a call to action from the Christians of the Holy Land, The Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) [PC(USA)] voted at its annual meeting to join the international boycott of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
The first targeted products for the boycott are Ahava Cosmetics, King Solomon Dates, and Jordan River Dates, imported into the United States from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
The network also voted to identify companies profiting from the illegal military occupation, initiate dialogue with them and expand the boycott list if needed, at a later date. This action would include companies doing business in the OPT or contributing to the building of infrastructure of illegal settlements.
Carol Hylkema, Moderator of IPMN from Detroit Presbytery said, "Our grassroots network has reached a tipping point and we find we must respond to the call of Christians in the Middle East who through The Amman Call asked for 'No more words without deeds.'" In addition to calling for boycott, as a mission network of the PC(USA), the IPMN will sponsor an initiative that will seek to make its position that of the entire denomination when their General Assembly meets in 2012.
In June 2008, the General Assembly of the PC(USA) voted to endorse The Amman Call and its "commitment to imperatives of ecumenical solidarity in action for Just Peace."
Similarly, at its General Assembly in 2010, the denomination voted to receive for study, a confession from the Christians of the Holy Land known as Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth.
As this bold confession of faith, hope, and love approaches its first anniversary in December 2010, the IPMN joins in solidarity with the confession's call to action, which asks the Churches and Christians of the world "to engage in divestment and in an economic and commercial boycott of everything produced by the [Israeli military] occupation." The object of this form of peaceful resistance, Kairos declares, "is not revenge but rather to put an end to the existing evil...bringing both [Palestinians and Israelis] to justice and reconciliation."
Co-chair of the IPMN Education Committee, David Jones of Redwoods Presbytery stated, "Our network reads the Kairos confession as a Palestinian 'letter from a Birmingham Jail.' Recognizing the hour is late and the call is urgent; we are joining the international BDS movement (boycott, divestment, sanctions) because it is time for action."
The Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is a grassroots organization established in 2004 with a mandate from the denomination's General Assembly. This mandate is to advocate by "demonstrating solidarity and changing the conditions that erode the humanity of Palestinians." As part of its mandate, the IPMN speaks TO the church not FOR the church.