Presbyterians Divest From 3 Big Companies Over Israel

Church says H-P, Motorola, Caterpillar help build settlements

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 21, 2014 5:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – The biggest Presbyterian denomination in the US made headlines last night by voting to divest from three big companies it says help Israel oppress Palestinians, reports Religion News Service. Presbyterian Church USA will sell its stock in Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions because it says Israel uses their products in its occupied territories. "In no way is this a reflection of our lack of love for our Jewish brothers and sisters," Heath Rada, the church assembly's moderator, told the assembly after the 310-303 vote..

But the American Jewish Committee said it was "driven by hatred of Israel." The AP says the decision "is expected to reverberate beyond the 1.8 million-member church" and could give momentum to a larger divestment movement known as BDS, or boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. The measure that passed also affirms Israel's right to exist, but that did little to satisfy critics of the move, reports the Huffington Post. It makes Presbyterians the largest American church to back divestment as a way to pressure Israel.

The audience takes part in an opening prayer at the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church at Cobo Hall, in Detroit on Thursday.
The audience takes part in an opening prayer at the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church at Cobo Hall, in Detroit on Thursday.   (AP Photo/The Detroit News, David Guralnick)
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