Joint Statement from Reverend Dr. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas of Cathedral of Hope (United Church of Christ) and Rabbi Steve Fisch of Congregation Beth El Binah (Union For Reform Judaism):
We are proud of the important and caring alliance that we at Congregation Beth El Binah and the Cathedral of Hope have on behalf of the LGBT and larger community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Our respective congregations — one Protestant, one Jewish — agree completely on our philosophies and actions on behalf of all those who suffer from injustice.
However, we have deep concerns about the vote by the General Synod of the United Church of Christ on June 30 to approve Resolution No. 4 to divest from companies with business and to boycott products made in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. We believe the resolution failed to take into account the fullness of the complexity of the situation.
While we are in agreement that not all steps taken by the current Israeli government regarding the difficulties in dealing with their Palestinian neighbors have been the best decisions, the resolution appears to place the blame for problems in the region solely on Israel. Too many people continue to ignore Israel’s need to defend herself against governments united in their desire for the destruction of the Jewish State.
The United Church of Christ is progressive, open and affirming. However, from the LGBT perspective the resolution neglected to consider the treatment of LGBT folks in Palestinian-controlled territories who are refugees now in other countries because of the way the LGBT persons have been treated in Palestinian-controlled territories.
We believe these concerns make Resolution No. 4 shortsighted.
Our hope and prayers regarding the current conflict in the Middle East involve deep concern for both Israelis and Palestinians who are affected by the difficulties in this region.
While our two congregations cannot immediately create change in the Middle East, we pledge our respective efforts to help bring about peace and greater equality for all peoples, beginning here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.