Resolution Number: A160
Subject: Assembly 2023 Resolution on Peace and Justice in Palestine and Israel
Moved By:  
Seconded By: The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Be it resolved that this General Synod:

In partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, gathered as Assembly 2023, reaffirm the commitment of our churches to the pursuit of peace with justice for all in Palestine and Israel.

We ask:

  1. The Primate and the National Bishop to respond to opportunities for solidarity and advocacy, including responding to specific incidents of human rights violations;
  2. Our churches to seek ways to provide safe spaces in Canada for conversation and collaboration in pursuing truth, and working for a just and lasting peace among all people of the region;[1]
  3. Our churches to decrease the presence and impact of Christian Zionism[2] within our denominations while discerning ecumenical and civil society possibilities for greater interaction with Palestinian Christians and those of the Muslim and Jewish faith who seek a just peace in the region;
  4. Our church to study and reflect upon the long standing history of anti-semitism within Christianity and the ongoing legacy of of anti-semitism in our biblical interpretation and theology (Christian Supersessionism);
  5. Anglicans and Lutherans to
    1. pray for peace and justice in Palestine and Israel,
    2. celebrate Jerusalem and Holy Land Sunday annually,
    3. grow in awareness of the realities of life and Christian ministry in the Holy Land, and,
    4. be open to opportunities for accompaniment, advocacy, and action; and
  6. The General Synod Office and the National Office to
    1. examine, discuss, and address emerging realities, including the implications of the recent reports by B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, and for its governing bodies to respond appropriately;[3] and
    2. continue to support the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem in their deep capacity for and implementation of programs that serve the needs of local communities and peoples.

We affirm the rightful place of the State of Israel in the community of nations and recognize its legitimate security needs. We affirm the State of Palestine and its right of self-determination and legitimate security needs. We condemn the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and the occupation of East Jerusalem and West Bank since 1967, including settlement construction and expansion in these territories, as illegal under international law and must be ended. We believe it is only through an end to the occupation and a just, comprehensive and lasting peace settlement that the security of both Palestinians and Israelis can be assured.[4]

We affirm that our work concerning Palestine and Israel is guided by principles for human rights and peace[5], including:

  • Respect and assertion of human rights and dignity for all
  • Commitment to International Law and International Conventions
  • Equality including gender justice and racial justice
  • Commitment to challenge Christian Zionism[6], anti-Semitism[7] and Islamophobia[8]
  • Non-violence
  • Ending political and religious extremism
  • Self-determination
  • Commitment to advocacy and action

We affirm the need to listen to the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches, and repeated pleas of the Christian communities of the region, and to accompany them in prayer and action.[9] This includes our primary partners, The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.

We join the World Council of Churches in recognizing that Israeli discrimination against Palestinians is overt and systemic.  The ongoing half-century-long occupation continues to contradict the human dignity and human rights of Palestinians living under this system of control, while the response of the international community to this travesty continues to fail. The 2022 suppression of several Palestinian human rights organizations by Israeli authorities without much effective opposition by the international community is an emblematic example of this system of control and failings. For Palestinians, the situation is sadly compounded by the grave divisions and inadequacies of the Palestinian authorities, including reprisals against opposition leaders and the lack of legal and democratic accountability.[10]

We affirm the advocacy concerns identified by Canadian church members in the 2020 KAIROS Palestine and Israel Delegation Report[11]:

  • Canada has a strong policy base to take leadership and support local women’s peace building initiatives as reflected in the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) and National Action Plan of Women, Peace and Security. We urge Canada to take leadership on these issues and to implement these policies in the government’s work in Palestine and Israel.
  • Canada has articulated a strengthened commitment to support and defend human rights defenders in the recent policy, Voices at Risk: Canada’s Guidelines on Supporting Human Rights Defenders. We welcome this new policy and call on the Canadian government and its Embassy and Office, to fully implement these guidelines in its relations with, and development in, Israel and Palestine.
  • Canada’s efforts to promote international human rights includes strong commitments to protecting the human rights and safety of children and youth. We urge Canada to closely monitor and report on the treatment of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system, and on the increasing numbers of Palestinian children killed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories where a climate of impunity and an almost total lack of accountability persists.[12]
  • We urge Canada to take a lead in supporting the right to self-determination on the ground in Palestine as we recognize and continue to address the right of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination in Canada and globally.
  • We urge Canada to take leadership in the international community to end the blockade on Gaza and ensure residents have immediate access to humanitarian assistance and freedom of movement, while affirming the necessary conditions to address Israel’s legitimate security concerns.
  • We call on Canada to increase funding to UNRWA which provides essential services to millions of refugees, including those in Gaza where 70 percentage are refugees of 1948. In 2020 the Canadian government announced a 3-year, $90 million commitment from 2020 through 2022,[13] but this funding is not increasing rapidly enough to fill this critical gap. We urge Canada to give $50 million annually to UNRWA, matching Norway’s contribution based on GDP.
  • We call on the Canadian government to continue to take a just, constructive, and human rights-based approach on Palestine-Israel issues, taking into account the extreme imbalance of power between Palestine and Israel and in line with international law and official Canadian foreign policy.
  • We urge the government of Canada to live up to the entirety of its existing policies on peace in Palestine and Israel, and to its commitments to International Law and International Conventions.

[1] Seeking Justice and Peace for All in the Middle East, WCC Assembly, 2022, page 2.
[2] Definition: In its narrow sense, Christian Zionism refers to a particular movement within evangelical Christianity, which dates from the nineteenth century, although with earlier roots in the Puritan period of the seventeenth century. Using certain key biblical texts it articulates, on the basis of its understanding of Christian faith, support for the continuing return or ‘restoration’ of the Jewish diaspora to a homeland in the Middle East centred on Jerusalem. It also looks to an apocalyptic resolution of human history, and currently propounds an ideology of support for the State of Israel, finding practical expression in more or less uncritical support for Israeli positions in conflicts with Palestinian and Arab interests. (from Land of Promise?: A Report from the Anglican Communion Network for Interfaith Concerns, 2012, paragraph 2.14.)
[3] Seeking Justice and Peace for All in the Middle East, WCC Assembly, 2022, page 3.
[4] Seeking Justice and Peace for All in the Middle East, WCC Assembly, 2022, page 2
[5] KAIROS Palestine and Israel Delegation Report, 2020, page 3.
[6] See footnote 2 above.
[7] Definition: According to the 2021 Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism, Antisemitism is “discrimination, prejudice, hostility or violence against Jews as Jews (or Jewish institutions as Jewish).”  We recognize that there are complexities and nuances surrounding the definition of antisemitism and all that it entails, both within the Jewish community and more widely. Another source that has been widely referenced in this discussion is the  International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of 2016.
[8] Definition: Islamophobia is a fear, prejudice and hatred of Muslims that leads to provocation, hostility and intolerance by means of threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims and non-Muslims, both in the online and offline world. Motivated by institutional, ideological, political and religious hostility that transcends into structural and cultural racism, it targets the symbols and markers of being a Muslim. (from the United Nations)
[9] Seeking Justice and Peace for All in the Middle East, WCC Assembly, 2022, page 3.
[10] Seeking Justice and Peace for All in the Middle East, WCC Assembly, 2022, page 2.
[11] KAIROS Palestine and Israel Delegation Report, 2020, page 9.
[12] Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, August 11, 2022.
[13] Statement by Ambassador Bob Rae, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations, June 23, 2022, at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Pledging Conference.

Source: Partners in Mission Coordinating Committee

Submitted By: Partners in Mission Coordinating Committee

Does this motion contain within it any financial implications? 
Yes     No

If yes, has the General Synod Expenditures Committee considered the implications? 

Yes     No




In the normal course, an ordinary motion must be passed by a majority of the members of General Synod present and voting together. 

Six members of General Synod may, prior to the question being put, require a vote by Orders, with a majority of each Order being necessary to pass.

If a question passes on a Vote by Orders, any six members (two from each of three different dioceses) may immediately before the next item of business require a vote to be taken by dioceses.  A motion passes if a majority (or a tie) of dioceses vote in favour.

Source: Sections 4 and 5 of the Declaration of Principles and sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Rules of Order and Procedure.

The mover and seconder have removed paragraph 4 and replaced it with the following:

  1. Our church to study and reflect upon the long standing history of anti-semitism within Christianity and the ongoing legacy of of anti-semitism in our biblical interpretation and theology (Christian Supersessionism);
Resolution download and history

Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”