Presbyterian Church (USA) Fails to Pass Divestment Motion
July 5, 2012 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is disappointed to announce that today the plenary session of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) failed to support a motion to divest church holdings from three companies (Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions) that profit from non-peaceful pursuits in the occupied Palestinian territories. While voting against divestment, the plenary did approve a resolution to boycott products made in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, including Ahava Dead Sea beauty products.
“It appears that church commissioners were swayed by a fear that divestment would cause irreparable harm to Jewish-Christian relations,” said Rev. Katherine Cunningham, IPMN Vice-Moderator. “In reality, the divestment motion was supported by a broad alliance of Jews, Christians, and others who believe that nonviolent means such as divestment are an effective way to pressure the Israeli government into abiding by international law and respecting Palestinian human rights.”
In failing to pass the motion, church commissioners disregarded many years of diligent work by the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI), which recommended divestment after making repeated, fruitless attempts at constructive engagement with the companies in question, as well as an overwhelming vote in support of divestment earlier this week by the General Assembly’s Committee on Middle East and Peacemaking Issues.
Despite today's outcome, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) will continue its efforts to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians and to help bring peace and justice to Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey DeYoe
IPMN Advocacy Chair