This week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) is meeting in Detroit for its biannual General Assembly, and delegates will be voting on whether to support divestment from American companies doing business with Israel. NGO Monitor commends the 29 Presbyterian pastors who signed a letter opposing divestment and rejecting the international anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign behind this agenda. While the lives of three kidnapped Israeli teens hang in the balance, the timing of this debate is particularly disturbing.
“The pastors who signed ‘The Things that Make for Peace – An Open Letter to the Presbyterian Church USA‘ understand with full clarity the dynamics behind the divestment effort in the Presbyterian and other churches,” said Yitzhak Santis, Chief Programs Officer, NGO Monitor.
The pastors’ letter correctly interprets the divestment resolutions on the Presbyterian Church’s agenda as “not simply been about addressing the business practices of individual corporations, but rather about pushing the denomination into the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (‘BDS’) Movement.”
Since 2004, a vocal minority of anti-Israel activists in the Presbyterian Church (USA) have repeatedly attempted to convince the denomination’s national GA to support BDS. This year’s GA is no different with 10 resolutions on Israel alone, most being pro-divestment with one that calls for the church to “review” its traditional support of a two-state framework for the Arab-Israeli conflict.
NGO Monitor has published a Resource Guide for Presbyterians: “Something for Presbyterians to Consider on Peacemaking in the Middle East,” which demonstrates that BDS is the opposite of peacemaking, in that it enflames conflict, demonizes and dehumanizes one side of the dispute. Visit our website to read the full guide.