[Episcopal Peace Fellowship press release] The Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s Palestine Israel Network (PIN) commends the recent request by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy – as well as supporters in the House of Representatives – to Secretary of State John Kerry for an investigation into reports of extrajudicial killings by specific military personnel and units in both the Israeli and Egyptian armed forces. For nearly 20 years the Leahy Law has been applied uniformly around the world, in response to substantiated human rights abuses, to suspend U.S. military aid when recipient governments fail to punish those responsible.
The Palestine Israel Network bases our support for Senator Leahy’s request on long-standing Episcopal Church policy, most recently reaffirmed in the second and third resolves of Resolution A105 (2012):
Resolved, That the General Convention reaffirms Resolution 1991-A149, “Urge a Full Accounting of the Use of Foreign Aid in the Middle East,” adopted by the 70th General Convention, and calls on the President of the United States for a full accounting of how United States foreign aid, including military aid, is used in the Middle East and North Africa, in recognition that transparency is critical for requiring accountability from aid recipients; and be it further
Resolved, That the 77th General Convention calls upon the President of the United States to seek accountability for those policies and practices of recipients of United States aid that contradict and undermine core democratic principles, as well as those United States laws and statutes that define legal uses of United States funding.
The Palestine Israel Network calls on the Episcopal Church’s Office of Governmental Relations to articulate this Episcopal Church policy to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee and to all members of Congress. PIN also requests the OGR to support action by the State Department to investigate these incidents. In taking this action, EPF’s Palestine Israel Network joins our voices with 12 other national Christian groups who, on February 22, 2016, urged the Department of State to investigate Israeli human rights abuses.
Organized in 2010, the Palestine Israel Network advocates for a more robust Episcopal Church witness for an end to Occupation and a just peace in Palestine and Israel.