The American Presbyterian church voted Friday by a slim 310-303 margin to divest itself of holdings in three companies accused of supporting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
The measure, which is a victory for the boycott Israel movement, means the church will sell about $21 million in stock in Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions, all of which sell products or services to the Israeli security forces.
A similar proposal failed by just two votes at the church’s last general convention two years ago.
Supporters and opponents of Israel have fiercely lobbied churches and academic organizations in recent years, with mixed results.
Presbyterian leaders insisted they hope the move will not damage relations with Jews.