New York, NY, September 15, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended the group Presbyterians for Middle East Peace for taking a strong stand against Presbyterian activists pushing for their mainline Protestant church to divest from three American companies doing business in Israel.
A church committee of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has recommended that the church divest from three American companies -- Motorola, Hewlett-Packard and Caterpillar -- for conducting business in the State of Israel.
But the recommendation, by PCUSA's Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment, has met with opposition from the Presbyterians for Middle East Peace, whose leaders, including Pastor John W. Wimberly Jr., have criticized the latest divestment initiative as another attempt to unfairly punish Israel.
In a letter to Pastor Wimberly, the League called the divestment effort "flagrantly anti-Israel" and commended his group's efforts to oppose it.
"We commend you and the rest of the steering committee of Presbyterians for Middle East Peace for your vigilance and good work regarding the continuing anti-Israel activities by key elements within the leadership of the Presbyterian Church," said the letter signed by Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, and Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, ADL Interfaith Director.
"The news that the PCUSA's committee in charge of investment has recommended the church divest from three American companies doing business with Israel is of deep concern to us. This action raises serious questions about the ability of the PCUSA to be an effective peacemaker in the region."
In 2004, PCUSA became the first mainline Protestant church to pass a divestment resolution against Israel. That measure was later rescinded by church leaders, in 2006.