Jerusalem – In the wake of the vote by the United Church of Christ (UCC) to support divestment, the Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor issued the following statement:
The vote in favor of divestment by the United Church of Christ at its General Synod is a blow to morality and peacemaking in the Middle East.
The divestment resolutions were pressed on the UCC delegates by political advocacy NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and other supporters of international anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) campaigns. The vote shows that most delegates either failed to recognize that BDS seeks to end the existence of Israel, or did understand and supported the resolution nonetheless.
BDS is anti-peace as it promotes the destruction of Israel and opposes dialogue, cooperation, and developing peaceful ties between Israelis and Palestinians. The church’s decision has made the UCC a participant in the conflict, the opposite of peacemakers.
The vote was driven by a vocal minority of anti-Israel activists in the church, and bolstered by enablers such as Jewish Voice for Peace. The resolutions put before the delegates overwhelmingly relied on “evidence” and materials provided by a narrow group of NGOs. The consequence was a highly distorted approach in UCC deliberations on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that resulted in today’s misguided vote.
NGO Monitor produced a fact sheet “United Church of Christ: How Missing Facts and Half-Truths are Informing the 30th General Synod’s Resolutions on Israel” that documents this dynamic.