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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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What's in a slogan?

'Peace Not Walls' is not neutral

The 2005 ELCA Churchwide Assembly passed a resolution authorizing the campaign for “Peace Not Walls: Stand for Justice in the Holy Land.” With this action the ELCA joined “the Lutheran World Federation ... and others seeking peace in the region in calling for an end to the construction of the Israeli separation wall or barrier being built on Palestinian land, which may undermine efforts toward a credible two-state solution.”

The 2007 Churchwide Assembly passed another resolution calling on the ELCA to explore “the feasibility of refusing to buy products produced in Israeli settlements.”

“Peace Not Walls” is a catchy slogan. Who would dare speak against peace or justice? But a more honest and descriptive slogan might be “Tear Down Your Defenses, O Israel, or We’ll Smite You with Economic Sanctions.” I write to urge the 2009 Churchwide Assembly to scrap the “Peace Not Walls” slogan and remove all present and future threats of economic sanctions aimed at Israel.


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