Middle East Issues Committee Endorses Selective Divestment from Israeli Occupation at 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
June 17, 2014
The Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is pleased to announce that an overture endorsing selective divestment from three US companies that profit from Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands has been passed by a vote of 45-20 by the Middle East Issues Committee of the 221st General Assembly.
Following a passionate discussion of divestment featuring voices in support and opposed, a majority of committee members supported the overture, calling for the church to divest its holdings from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions for their involvement in sustaining Israeli human rights abuses and non-peaceful pursuits. This decision was part of a larger action crafted to express ongoing support to both the Israeli and Palestinian people and the ongoing conversation for peace, security, and justice.
We hope that the overture will be allowed a vote in the plenary session later in the week. Two years ago, the committee voted 36 to 11 for a both/and approach, where the assembly could adopt investment and divestment together. However, through parliamentary maneuvers, a minority report replaced the will of the committee and the assembly never voted on divestment. We hope that after 10 years of unsuccessful corporate engagement and the endorsement of the Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) committee and Middle East Issues Committee, the plenary of the general assembly will finally be allowed to vote on divestment.
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey DeYoe, IPMN Advocacy Chair