Presbyterians Against Divestment in Israel

A Presbyterian group took out a full-page ad in The New York Times calling on fellow church members to oppose divestment from Israel.

The ad called on fellow Presbyterians to reclaim the church’s role as a “repairer of the breach” among Christians, Muslims and Jews; reaffirm the church’s commitment to a two-state solution; and seek opportunities to strengthen joint Israeli-Palestinian ventures.

“Presbyterians: We can do better than divestment,” read the headline on the ad signed by scores of Presbyterian clergy and laypeople under the rubric of the group Presbyterians for a Just and Peaceful Future in the Middle East.

Last June, after a contentious debate at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), members voted 310-303 to approve divestment from the stock of three U.S. companies that do business with Israeli security services in the West Bank: Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard."

For sure, there’s plenty of blame to go around when dealing with the Israel/Palestine situation. I’m not even sure that the US is the best country to hash the situation out, given that, IIRC, we are bound by treaty to protect Israel. That doesn’t mean we can’t have some role to play, but we need to have the right negotiator. And, we need to make sure that all interested parties are involved - Israel, the Palestinian leadership, Jordan, and Egypt (as, technically, Jordan is supposed to be responsible for the West Bank and Egypt is supposed to be responsible for Gaza). And a 2-state solution might be seriously a pipe dream, unless Gaza is re-established as part of Egypt, but the West Bank is made independent. The better options could be a 3-state solution (with Gaza and the West Bank being separate states - them being split by Israel would make them being one state difficult - especially because the experiences in Gaza seem much differnent than the experiences in the West Bank), a 1-state solution (where Israel and Palestine are reshaped into 1 state collectively governed by Jews and Arabs), or Egypt taking back responsibility for Gaza and Jordan the West Bank.

But this reminds me of an article I read this week on Yahoo! News regarding a man testing the response of people at a university in California to (a) an ISIS flag and (b) an Israel flag. Several people cheered the ISIS flag, but almost all responses to the Israel flag were very negative. When I was reading it, I was like, umm… Israel’s not perfect (and our pro-Israel people need to stop acting like Israel can do no wrong), but ISIS has been chopping off people’s heads just for not being Sunni Muslim! I can’t find the article right now to link it here, but, pretty much, it shows that the far-left blames Israel for all of the Middle East’s problems. It’s much, much more complicated than that, and there is deep mistrust amongst many of the countries in the Middle East.

I saw the you tube video of the man waving an ISIS flag on the grounds of the university of Berkeley and later a flag of Israel and the different responses he got. Of course, we don’t know how he edited the video and some students might have thought he was a lunatic and didn’t wamt to get close to him. How can anyone support ISIS?

People that think that Christianity is the root of the world’s evils, maybe? And we’ve had several US citizens go abroad and try to join ISIS.


I am glad to see not all presbyterians support divestment from israel.

They should be divested, its ridiculous how we fund their entire military.

Israel is surrounded by enemies. Let’s say we stop aiding their ability to defend themselves and they get attacked. Would you be in favor of the certain direct military intervention by the US?

Thank you for all your responses.

Recently we watched a Oscar nominated documentary called The Gatekeepers. It is the most fascinating documentary on the Israel/Palestine issue from the perspective of 6 Directors of the Shin Beit (Israel Secret Service) from modern Israel’s inception to today.

Definitely a MUST SEE.

Two interesting facts from the documentary:

  1. Israel first proposed the two State solution shortly after achieving Statehood however Israeli political and religious interest groups put a stop to it.

  2. All the Directors commented that their methods are not working due to religious interference in politics. They have little choice but to do their jobs to protect their families and civilians. They are stuck in a nightmare of endless violence and revenge.

It was actually quite sad to watch these hardened men talk about their disillusionment.

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