Coalition of Jewish Groups Calls on Presbyterian Church to Reject Israel Divestment
Update: On June 21, the PCUSA's General Assembly adopted a resolution overturning the earlier resolution targeting Israel for "phased, selective divestment." More
New York, NY, June 12, 2006 … In advance of the Presbyterian Church USA's General Assembly meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is calling on church leaders to reject the Church's initiative targeting companies who do business with Israel for divestment.
The divestment policy has remained a linchpin in the Presbyterian Church USA's approach toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and promises to figure prominently in the agenda of the 217th General Assembly (GA), scheduled for June 15-22, where several motions have been submitted seeking both to advance and put a halt to the divestment strategy.
In a June 6 letter sent to the GA's 750 commissioners and advisors, ADL, in coalition with other leading major American Jewish organizations, called the Church's phased-divestment policy "an obstacle to peace" and urged Church leaders to take decisive action to permanently revoke the proposed initiative. The letter is the culmination of two years of joint efforts by this coalition to work with Presbyterians around the country to try to reverse this disturbing policy.
"We believe that this policy undermines peace, promotes extremism, exacerbates conflict, damages the relationship between Jewish and Christians that have been nurtured for decades, and is dangerously ill-matched with our passionately shared vision of a peaceful resolution to the conflict," the letter said.
Other resources on ADL's Web site on anti-Israel divestment campaigns include:
- Statements by leading Presbyterians who have voiced concerns and objections to the PC (USA) divestment strategy.
- An updated report, "The Anti-Israel Divestment Campaign," showing how attempts to promote divestment by churches, universities and city councils have by and large failed to gain traction.
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.