In American Turning Point re: Settler Zionism, Presbyterians Divest

By Andrea Germanos

"Divestment is not the end, it’s the beginning of non-violent means to fight the oppression of our Palestinian brothers and sisters," said Ruling Elder Rick Ufford-Chase.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Friday to divest from U.S. companies linked to Israel's occupation of Palestine.

The vote by the church's General Assembly passed by a narrow margin—310-303—and means it will divest its holdings from Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions, an amount reported as being $21 million.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that

[t]he vote marks the first time the legislative body of any national Protestant denomination, several of which have considered but rejected such actions, chose to target the occupation with economic pressure.

Following the vote, Moderator Heath Rada urged that the action not be reported as "anything other than an expression of love for both our Jewish and Palestinian brothers and sisters."

Language added to the measure stated that the vote "does not mean an alignment with the overall strategy of the global BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) movement."

"Divestment is not the end, it’s the beginning of non-violent means to fight the oppression of our Palestinian brothers and sisters," said Ruling Elder Rick Ufford-Chase.

The vote was applauded by Jewish Voices for Peace, who called it "a turning point."

"This decision will have real consequences," a statement from the group continues, "sending a message to Palestinians that the ongoing violations of their human rights is worthy of action on the global stage, and to companies and the Israeli government that the occupation is both morally and economically untenable."

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Mirrored from Commondreams.org

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Related video:

justforeignpolicy:
“Rev. Don Wagner: Why I Support Presbyterian Divestment”


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3 Responses

  1. It is ironic that most US evangelicals have never demonstrated the slightest interest in the welfare of Palestinian Christians who live under Israel’s harsh and illegal occupation. In contrast, in 2012 “the United Church of Canada [the largest Protestant denomination in Canada]…voted to boycott products exported by Israeli settlements on the West Bank. The foray into Middle East politics was one of 13 resolutions the UCC adopted…The resolutions also single out Israeli settlements as a principal obstacle to peace in the region, call on Israel to suspend settlement expansion, and express regret for previously asking Palestinians to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state.” link to detailedpoliticalquizzes.wordpress.com

    • This could be a watershed development in a groundswell of BDS movement against Israel given a mainstream church organization has adopted this resolution.

      The fear of many pro-Israeli lobby and public relations organizations in the U.S. is that a BDS movement will take root at the mainstream level and public opinion will shift toward sympathy for Palestinians; they note a current 3-1 support in favor of the Israelis among the general public in the U.S.

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