calendar November 20, 2019 in ELCA

Presiding Bishop Statement on Israeli Civilian Settlements

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has “consistently called for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, the cessation of all settlement activities and withdrawal from settlements on Palestinian territory to the 1967 boundaries, a negotiated, final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and the establishment of and international support for a viable, contiguous Palestinian state,” Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton writes in a Nov. 19 statement to the church.

The Administration announced Nov. 18 that it is changing current U.S. policy by stating that the “establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.” This change “makes the realization of these outcomes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more difficult and distant, rather than advancing the cause of peace,” Bishop Eaton writes.

“Our distress with this announcement is primarily its impact on the daily life of Palestinians, especially our sisters and brothers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, but also their Christian and Muslim neighbors,” she writes.

The ELCA “will continue to work with ecumenical and inter-religious partners who share these commitments. In the long term, we wish to see Israelis and Palestinians co-existing in justice and peace, as citizens of viable and secure Israeli and Palestinian states,” Eaton writes.

Adapted from the ELCA News Service

View the complete statement at