presbyterian church

Presbyterians Divest from the Israeli Occupation: the End of the Beginning?

When there is a just resolution to the Israel/Palestine conflict, I will claim that June 20, 2014 marked a turning point.

That was the day that the Presbyterian Church, USA voted to divest from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions as a result of these companies' continued involvement in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and these companies' continued refusal to change their policies.

VICTORY! Presbyterians vote to divest from Caterpillar, HP & Motorola!

Just a short time ago, the Presbyterian General Assembly voted 310-303 to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard over these companies’ ties to the Israeli occupation! Commissioners took this step to put their investments in line with their values despite persistent attempts by opponents to conflate this selective divestment with a boycott of all Israelis or even of all Jews.

That’s in part thanks to everyone who showed support for Presbyterians considering divestment!

The Presbyterian Church is the largest Christian denomination to divest from companies involved in the Israeli occupation, making this vote a historic victory for justice and human rights.

Presbyterians have taken a bold step toward putting their values into action. Let’s spread the news!

The Presbyterian action is making headlines all over the news. Help spread the word by reading and sharing the New York Times article on Presbyterian divestment

Thanks for all you do to support Palestinian rights,

Megan Iorio and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy

P.S. If you’re on Twitter, send the PCUSA a “Thank you!” Here’s a sample tweet:

Thank you #PCUSA for bringing your investments in line with your values by passing #ChurchDivest! #GA221

Help us reach our June fundraising goal—make a $10 tax-deductible contribution today!
If you can, please make a donation today. Your financial support helps us create opportunities for Americans to agitate for a more just foreign policy.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

Presbyterian divestment passes committee in decisive vote!

Yesterday afternoon, the Middle East Issues Committee of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted decisively 45-20 to endorse divestment from three companies—Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard—that play a role in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The resolution now moves on to the General Assembly where it is expected to be taken up either Thursday or Friday.

From what we’ve seen in the last few days, one of the biggest worries of some Presbyterians is how it will look to the outside world if they should divest. That’s why it’s important that as many of us as possible raise our voices in support of their efforts to take their money out of companies participating in violence and injustice.

Let’s continue to show Presbyterians we’ve got their backs! Here are some suggestions for action:

1. Join the Thunderclap. By signing up with either your Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr account, Thunderclap will send out one (and only one!) message on your behalf at noon eastern time Thursday, June 19.

2. Tweet our petition on #ChurchDivest and #GA221 hashtags. Let General Assembly participants know that over 15,000 people have made their support for divestment known. Just copy and paste this message into twitter:

Over 15,000 sign statement supporting #ChurchDivest bit.ly/presby-divest #GA221 via @justfp

If you don't use social media…

1. Watch some of the testimonials we've gathered. We are continuing to collect video testimonials from the diverse group of people here in Detroit supporting divestment. Watch a few and share them with your friends. http://whywesupportdivestment.tumblr.com

2. Tell five friends to sign our petition. Here's some sample text to use to email them:

Anti-Apartheid Archbishop Calls Presbyterians to Back Divestment from Israeli Occupation

 Detroit -- As Presbyterians meeting in Detroit consider divestment from three companies linked to the Israeli occupation of Palestine -- Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett Packard -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the leader who more than any other human being alive is associated with the successful use of divestment to help overturn apartheid in South Africa, is calling on Presb

Presbyterians Poised for Historic Vote Against Israel's Occupation of Palestine

Sometimes a situation that appears hopeless is actually poised for a new beginning - when the apparent hopelessness reflects acceptance that conventional wisdom has utterly failed to bring about solutions and that solutions require actions that conventional wisdom has blocked.

Next week, Presbyterians meeting in Detroit will have a historic opportunity to help change the fundamental dynamics of the Israel-Palestine conflict in a way that will bring a just resolution of the conflict closer. They'll be considering divestment from three companies - Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett Packard - that are significantly tied to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Support Presbyterian Divestment from Israeli Occupation!

Next week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) is holding its biennial general assembly in Detroit where they’ll consider a resolution to divest $17 million from three companies—Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard—that participate in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Just Foreign Policy will be in Detroit for this potentially historic vote—and we want to bring your messages of support with us!

Here are two things you can do right now:

  1. Sign our statement supporting Presbyterian divestment. We’ll share your signatures with Presbyterian delegates in Detroit!
  2. Use our “Presby Divest!” profile image. If you use Twitter, Facebook, or other social media, make our “Presby Divest!” image your profile picture.

When the Presbyterians last considered divestment two years ago, the resolution failed by only two votes. The view that prevailed was that Presbyterians should support Palestinian rights via investment instead of divestment.

But Palestinian business leaders and international economic institutions like the World Bank have made clear that the Israeli occupation itself, which is strangling the Palestinian economy, is largely to blame for the dire situation of Palestinians, and investment alone can’t reverse the consequences of occupation. There must be increased pressure on the Israeli government to change its policies.

Support Presbyterian Divestment—Make Our "Presby Divest!" Image Your Profile Pic!

The Presbyterian Church (USA) is holding its biennial general assembly in Detroit where they’ll consider a resolution to divest $17 million from three companies—Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard—that participate in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Many groups that oppose pressure on the Israeli government to change its policies are demanding that the Presbyterians vote against the divestment resolution. That’s why they need to hear from supporters like you.

Making our "Presby Divest!" image your profile picture is an easy way to show your support for Presbyterian divestment. Here's what you do:

Twitter

  1. Right-click the image and select "Save Image As" to save file to your computer
  2. Go to Twitter
  3. Go to your profile
  4. Click the button "Edit Profile" on the right-hand side of the page
  5. Click on your current profile pic where it says "Change your profile picture"
  6. Click "Upload Photo"
  7. Select the image and press "Open"
  8. Click the "Save Changes" button on the right-hand side of the page

Facebook

  1. Right-click the image and select "Save Image As" to save file to your computer
  2. Go to your Facebook profile
  3. Hover over your current profile picture and click "Update Profile Picture"
  4. Select "Upload Photo"
  5. Select the image and press "Open"

You can also sign our statement in support of Presbyterian divestment.

Close Presbyterian Vote on Selective Divestment Shows Likudniks Losing Middle America

Thursday night, by what the Christian Science Monitor called the "thinnest of margins" the General Assembly of the 1.9 million member Presbyterian Church USA failed to approve a resolution requiring the church to divest its $20 million investments in Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard over the ties of these companies to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.

The vote at the PCUSA's General Assembly in Pittsburgh was 333-to-331. In percentage terms, 49.85% were in favor of selective divestment from the Israeli occupation and 50.15% were opposed.

No doubt many among what Peter Beinart calls "the American Jewish establishment" celebrated the result. They had pulled out the stops to block the Presbyterians' selective divestment move. 1300 rabbis and 22,000 other Jews wrote to the Presbyterians, falsely seeking to characterize the proposed move as "the use of economic leverages against the Jewish state."