Evangelical Lutheran Church Votes for Aid Cutoff to Israel

YERUSHALAYIM - The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America joined the anti-Israel boycott over the weekend as it voted to endorse punitive measures against Israel, including a cutoff of U.S. aid and divestment from businesses in Yehudah and Shomron.

The triennial meeting voted for a resolution calling on the U.S. government to stop all aid to Israel unless there is a halt to building in Yehudah and Shomron and it “enables an independent Palestinian state,” The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.

The church’s conference in New Orleans also voiced support for the economic boycott, saying that the church should not invest in companies that profit from Israel’s policies over the Green Line.

It also called on the president of the United States to recognize the state of Palestine, and not to block its accession to full membership in the UN.

Both votes were lopsidedly in favor. The aid vote passed 751-162, urging church members to pressure their elected officials to “take action requiring that to continue receiving U.S. financial and military aid, Israel must comply” with international demands to withdraw from Yehudah and Shomron and make possible a Palestinian state.

The vote on divestment was 821-92, stipulating that the church must not profit from human rights abuses, such as are allegedly committed against Palestinians, and recommended the church “increase positive investment in Palestine.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America claims about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations.