Presbyterians Challenge Corporations That Support Israel’s Occupation Of Palestine

21 June 2006 - Facing pressure from powerful Jewish lobbyists, the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s (PCUSA) 217 General Assembly adopted a resolution to replace the previous assembly’s language calling for “phased, selective divestment from corporations that profit from the illegal occupation of Palestine.” The new resolution does not rescind the 2004 resolution.

This year’s resolution supports Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI)’s customary process of corporate engagement that holds divestment as a last option. The resolution states “that financial investments as they pertain to Israel, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank be invested in only peaceful pursuits, and calls for the customary corporate engagement process.”

The PC(USA) has continued its stand for moral integrity according to representatives from the Israel/Palestine Mission Network, the Mideast Caucus of the PCUSA, Jewish Voices for Peace and various grassroots organizations. In addition, the Presbyterian Church, through this resolution, continues to oppose Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine and calls on the Israeli government to abide by international law.

Palestinians are facing a humanitarian catastrophe. United Nations reports reveal that 60% of Palestinians are now living in acute poverty and that over half of all Palestinians are completely dependent on food aid. This rise in poverty levels is a direct result of Israel’s policies of occupation, including road closures, the construction of barriers, checkpoints, a 25’ separation wall and restrictions on the movement of Palestinian crops and products.

For more details, please contact:
Casey Currie at 313-303-4458

The Mission Network for Israel and Palestine is a mission network, an ad hoc gathering of Presbyterian representatives who work in support of a partnership relationship and denominational policies for Israel and Palestine. At their inaugural meeting, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network formed a leadership group that affirmed the following vision statement: “In joyful obedience to the call of Christ, and in solidarity with churches and our other partners in Israel and Palestine, this Network covenants to engage, consolidate, nourish and channel the energy in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) toward the goal of a just peace in Israel and Palestine by facilitating education, promoting partnerships, and coordinating advocacy.”

Related Links

  • BY TOPIC: Boycott and Divestment News
  • Open Letter to the Presbyterian church, Open Letter, JATO (14 June 2006)
  • Churches speak out on economic pressure as a tool for peace, Adri Niewhoff (2 October 2005)
  • Presbyterian Church names companies for ‘progressive engagement’ over role in Middle East violence, Report, PCUSA (5 August 2005)
  • Understanding the Presbyterian Vote, Will Youmans and Noura Erakat, Counterpunch (24 June 2006)