The Presbyterian Church (USA)’s 220th General Assembly had just cast its first vote on an anti-Israel divestment resolution when the spin began. Major news outlets and activists on each side could hardly wait for the debate to finish the next day before declaring winners and losers.
Proponents of using economic pressure to force Israel out of the West Bank may have lost a key battle this week – by a hair’s breadth – but they have no intention of giving up.
The country’s largest Presbyterian church has agreed to vote by week’s end on divesting its portfolio from three companies that it is says has resisted the request to stop providing services that aid Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
As a long-time advocate for peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I am pained that frustration over failure to achieve a just and lasting peace has led allies in the struggle to end up at odds over tactics like boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS).
Delegates could pass any one of several resolutions calling for punitive economic measures against Israel.