Jewish Journal

Presbyterians debate divestment measure

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 5, 2012 | 6:56 pm

Still no word from the General Assembly of the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States, the PC(USA), as to whether the church will adopt a resolution to divest from Israel. Now that bellies are full, debate is under way.

Check out the livestream of the debate here.

And is what the AP’s Rachel Zoll wrote about the resolution earlier today:

The exact amount of money involved in the Presbyterian divestment is unclear. The funds are divided between the church Board of Pensions and the Presbyterian Foundation. The board investments are estimated to be around $16 million. However negligible the economic impact, pro-Palestinian activists consider the withdrawal of funds an act of social witness.

The Rev. Walt Davis, of the Israel Palestine Mission Network, a pro-Palestinian Presbyterian group, argued that the denomination would have divested years ago from the companies under church’s own socially responsible investment guidelines “were it not for the Israel lobby.”

“They said first that it’s anti-Semitic, then that it’s anti-Israel, then that it delegitimizes Israel. It’s none of those,” Davis said. “It’s us being true to our values.”

But the liberal-leaning Americans for Peace Now, which calls for the evacuation of Jewish settlements in the territories and supports a Palestinian state, said the Presbyterian effort was “misguided and counterproductive.”

The way Presbyterian resolutions get debated, a vote might not come in tonight. It’s already 9 pm in Pittsburgh (hometown of the VideoJew himself). But whenever votes are cast, this is far from the last time the issue will come up at GAs.

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