Skip to comments.Spilling the Beans [ECUSA and Israel Disinvestment]
Posted on 07/27/2005 6:25:56 PM PDT by sionnsar
Judging by the criticism of New York Bishop Mark Sisk coming from 815, divestment from Israel by the Episcopal Church appears to be a done deal:
It was unfortunate and disappointing to some senior-level staff members of the Episcopal Church Center that the Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, Bishop of New York, did not first consult with the Executive Council Committee on Social Responsibility in Investments (SRI) before July 21 when he publicly accused it of promoting divestment from the State of Israel.
The SRI committee, which is composed of 10 members appointed jointly by the Presiding Bishop and the president of the House of Deputies, is conducting a 12-month study at which time it will recommend appropriate action where the corporate investments of the Episcopal Church support the occupation of Palestinian lands and violence against innocent Israelis, but that is not divestment or even a slippery slope leading toward it, according to the Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, deputy for ecumenical and interfaith relations at the Episcopal Church Center.
Raise your hand if you think SRI is going to recommend buying more Caterpillar stock or investing ECUSA's jack in Amalgamated Barbed Wire & Checkpoint Supply.
Whenever the word divestment is used in the Church today it causes all sorts of understandable problems in the Jewish Community, Bishop Epting said. Its unfortunate that word was used. Im not for divestment personally. We need to be careful in how we use language. We want people to give this [proposal] a fair hearing.
Eppie's an Episcopalian so he's not used to people who get to the point. But do you recall how ECUSA needed time to come up with a way to send their representatives to the recent Anglican Consultative Council even though they were asked not to? The same principle is at work here.
The Episcopal Church wants to divest from Israel and intends to divest from Israel but needs time to come up with a rhetorical way to claim that they're not divesting from Israel at all and how could the Jewish community even suggest such a thing? Eppie's just cross with Sisk for giving the game away. Meanwhile, ECUSA peace and justice kahuna Brian Grieves said ECUSA isn't singling Israel out:
The Rev. Canon Brian Grieves, director of peace and justice ministries at the Episcopal Church Center, said it was disappointing that Bishop Sisk chose to characterize the work of the SRI as a slippery slope leading to divestment, especially since the study is still underway. The committee is scheduled to report its conclusions to Executive Council during its next meeting, scheduled Oct. 7-10 in Las Vegas. The options available to council include drafting a resolution for churchwide consideration by the next General Convention which meets June 13-21, 2006, in Columbus, Ohio.
Whatever SRI recommends will be based on a sound and thorough vetting of the issue, Canon Grieves said. We are not in any way singling out Israel in the careful work that is being done.
Then, while defending Anglicans Promoting Jewish Non-Existence(APJN), Grieves said that the Anglicans were singling Israel out and do you have a problem with that?
Canon Grieves also defended the work of the Anglican Peace and Justice Network (APJN). Last month in Nottingham, England, both the APJN and SRI were commended in a resolution passed by the Anglican Consultative Council. The APJN report and the SRI proposal have been criticized by a number of interfaith leaders, including several bishops of the Episcopal Church, as a subtle form of anti-Semitism, because they hold the Nation of Israel to a higher standard of conduct on human rights, a charge Canon Grieves dismissed as reprehensible.
For years we have had resolutions on other countries for their labor standards, their environmental standards and their human rights standards, he said. This is a red herring.
Actually, Brian, that's an admission of guilt is what that is. Because the APJN is not holding the Palestinians or their Muslim enablers to the same standards they demand from Israel. It expects Israel to endanger itself and its citizens on the highly questionable premise that the Palestinians and the rest of the Muslim world want to live in peace with Jerusalem.
The APJN blames the Israeli "occupation" for the Middle East situation without troubling itself to consider why Israel is in the West Bank in the first place. And it does not suggest that the Palestinians deal with the fact that their situation happened because the Muslim world tried to wipe Israel off the map four times and that maybe the Palestinians are the ones who should settle for less of the Holy Land than they think they deserve.
The word "reprehensible" is the red herring here, Grievesie. But thanks for proving our point.
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