At the 216th gathering of the General Assembly in 2004, the Presbyterian Church (USA) affirmed its intention to "move forward as soon as possible, for the purpose of creating currents of wider and deeper Presbyterian involvement with Palestinian partners, aimed at demonstrating solidarity and changing the conditions that erode the humanity of Palestinians living in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza."
As a further expression of these intentions, at the 217th General Assembly in 2006, the church committed itself to "identify affirmative investment opportunities as they pertain to Israel, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank."
The investment working group of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network has sought to provide opportunities for congregations to bring those aspirations to fulfillment. Working with Palestinian partners, we have sought to identify both institutional channels and individual projects through which individuals or churches could invest endowments, investment funds or mission dollars in initiatives which would bring economic benefit to Palestinians while providing the possibility of a return of principal and perhaps a modest profit on the investment.
It has not been an easy task! Conditions in the Palestinian economy have been filled with enormous challenges. It has been clear that most of these challenges are a direct result of the occupation of land captured in 1967; our main focus must always be to end the occupation. But Palestinians have been living with that occupation for more than forty years now. As we seek to walk with them, we look for ways of working with them to make their life better in the meantime, not only through gifts of charity but through investments that can strengthen their economy.