Sunday, June 22, 2014

22-Jun-14: Divesting Presbyterians

At the General Assembly [Image Source]
We wrote here a few days ago ["18-Jun-14: Sharing some thoughts with Christian advocates of an Israel boycott"] about the upcoming General Assembly of the of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) and the obsessive preoccupation with matters Israeli in evidence among certain of its activists. We also referred to a video statement that we made to those taking part.

It's a church in a state of serious resizing. Wikipedia numbers show it boasted 1,760,200 members in 2013. But there had been 3.1 million of them in 1984. The decline since 2000 (by our calculation) exceeds 30%, and it has been accelerating in the past few years. 

The General Assembly voted on Friday by 310 votes to 303 to divest from three US companies on the grounds that they profit from what the framers of the motions call Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. 

For the three companies - Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard - the decision to divest has close-to-zero significance. Ditto for the economy of the State of Israel. But Jewish leaders are saying it is likely to damage Jewish-Presbyterian relations for years to come. 

Strangely enough, given the effort and sweat invested over a period of years by the activists promoting last week's agenda, we have yet to hear of anyone claiming the Church decision brought peace closer.

Should that surprise or disappoint us? If not, what was this really about?

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