Radicalized Palestinian Christian Group Pushes Protestant Churches Toward Divestment
New York, NY, August 23, 2005 … The recent effort by various mainline Protestant denominations to adopt a policy of divestment against companies doing business with Israel has been pushed from behind the scenes by a radicalized Jerusalem-based Palestinian Christian group.
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center is a driving force behind the churches' anti-Israel divestment campaigns, actively promoting divestment through speakers and documents that provide a blueprint for churches to use divestment as a tool to pressure Israel.
"The Sabeel Center has long played a behind-the-scenes role in encouraging churches to adopt divestment as a tool to pressure Israel," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Leaders of the mainline Protestant denominations have routinely welcomed Sabeel leaders as guests at conventions and national meetings, and the influence of Sabeel in advocating for divestment is indisputable, however out of sync their rhetoric is with the people in the pews. Sabeel is the engine that is driving the divestment campaign."
Earlier this year, the Sabeel Center released "A Call for Morally Responsible Investment: A Nonviolent Response to the Occupation" (April 2005). The document offers Protestant leadership a handbook on the justification and implementation of a divestment from Israel plan.
"The Sabeel document artfully claims morality and responsibility for its irresponsible and amoral accusations against Israel," said Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs. "It completely ignores the efforts Israel has made to attain peace, and fails to recognize the terrorism and violence perpetrated by Palestinians aimed at destroying the State of Israel."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.