In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I was raised as a Lutheran. Because of that, I have been keeping a close eye on what the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has been doing up until now about BDS, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, that brought down apartheid in South Africa, as it applies to the Occupation of Palestine and the grossly discriminatory system of apartheid that the Israelis use today.
It was the huge American churches divesting from South Africa which finally brought an end to apartheid (to oversimplify the situation), and many US churches have already divested from Israel. For example:
The move by the US church’s pension fund manager Wespath was taken under its ethical investment policy, as Israel falls among the “high risk” countries it has identified for “a prolonged and systematic pattern of human rights abuses.”
So, the fact that the formerly do-nothing Lutherans are now being so aggressive in their support of Palestine is a huge shift in church policy the likes of which has never been seen before.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America approved a resolution calling on the US government to end all aid to Israel if Israel does not stop building settlements and “enable an independent Palestinian state.”
Voting at its triennial assembly in New Orleans that ended Saturday, the church also sought a halt to all investment in companies that profit from Israel’s occupation and called on US President Barack Obama to recognize the State of Palestine.
The aid vote, which passed 751-162, urged church members to “call on their US Representatives, Senators and the Administration to take action requiring that to continue receiving US financial and military aid, Israel must comply with internationally recognized human rights standards as specified in existing US law, stop settlement building and the expansion of existing settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, end its occupation of Palestinian territory, and enable an independent Palestinian state.”
The resolution also called on Obama not to prevent the application of the State of Palestine for full membership in the United Nations and, in coordination with the United Nations Security Council, to “offer a new, comprehensive and time-bound agreement to the governments of Israel and Palestine, resulting in a negotiated final status agreement between Israel and Palestine leading to two viable and secure states with a shared Jerusalem.”