|Mary Sharon Ryan||13662|
|Martha Koenig Stone||14618|
Those who have signed in support of this letter
Dear Governor Cuomo,
I am writing on behalf of the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ, a judicatory with 260 churches in the state of New York. For decades our denomination, the United Church of Christ, has been committed to supporting a just peace in Israel/Palestine. We have sought to build relationships with people of all faiths in the region - both Palestinian and Israeli - who share our desire for justice and healing. Through those relationships we have learned about the realities of the Israeli Occupation and the truly devastating impact it has on everyone in the region, especially Palestinians. We have asked ourselves and our partners in the region how we, as American Christians, can be in solidarity with those who are tirelessly struggling to end the occupation. One of the clearest answers was to use our financial resources to apply economic pressure to the structures supporting it.
Two years ago, the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ voted to forward a resolution to our national governing body calling on our church to divest from “companies that profit from or that are complicit in violations of human rights arising from the occupation of the Palestinian Territories by the state of Israel,” and to “boycott goods produced in or using the facilities of illegal settlements located in the West Bank.” Last summer, that body - the UCC General Synod - overwhelmingly passed this resolution.
While not a full endorsement of Palestinian civil society’s BDS Movement, the UCC’s action clearly supports one of that movement’s calls—an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. We are as committed as ever to that goal and stand behind our support of divestment as one tactic in achieving it.
As a church, we have a right to engage in non-violent action to bring about change, including using economic leverage. All people and organizations have that right, and it is a right we must defend. For this reason, with the full support of the Board of Directors of the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ, I respectfully request that the New York Conference, United Church of Christ be placed on the top of your list of organizations you would like the state of the New York to boycott. Gov. Cuomo - stop denying our rights. Rescind your executive order now!
Reverend David R Gaewski
New York Conference, United Church of Christ
For the full wording of the Resolution affirmed by the United Church of Christ' General Synod