Support Annexation Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act

Support Annexation Amendment to the National Defense Authorization ActDear James,The Episcopal Church has maintained a longstanding commitment to peace in the Holy Land, in part


Dear James,

The Episcopal Church has maintained a longstanding commitment to peace in the Holy Land, in particular opposing unilateral annexation by Israel. In doing so, The Episcopal Church has joined with other churches, including Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, in advocating for a just resolution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

General Convention has long held the stance that any sovereign Palestinian state must be comprised of territories within the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and that the presence of Israeli settlements within these territories is illegal. The possibility of a peaceful resolution is made more difficult by Israeli government efforts to annex settlements within the West Bank. If annexation moves forward in violation of international law and numerous UN resolutions, it would “bring about the loss of any remaining hope for the success of the peace process” according to the heads of churches in Jerusalem and Palestinians would suffer greatly. 

In response to the Israeli discussion of annexation, Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) has introduced an amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prohibit Israel from using funds provided by the United States to annex West Bank territory. If passed, this amendment would be a significant step towards reinforcing the United States’ commitment to a two state solution. This amendment is not created to undermine U.S.-Israeli relations, but instead to maintain understanding and dialogue between the U.S., Israel, and Palestine.

General Convention Resolutions:
2018-D018: Commit to a Negotiated Solution to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
2015-B013: Reaffirm a Policy of Reconciliation and Restorative Justice in the Middle East
2012-B019: Support Israeli-Palestinian Peace
2003-D008: Urge Israel to End Policy of Demolition of Palestinian Homes
1994-D065: Recognize Illegality of Israeli Settlements in Gaza and the West Bank
1991-D008: Urge a Peaceful Resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Additional resources:
Churches Against Annexation from Churches for Middle East Peace
Statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of the Holy Land Churches on Israeli Unilateral Annexation Plans
American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem


Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 31: 8-9

Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations
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