Presbyterians To Divest In Israel

Presbyterian_Church_(U.S.A.)Emblem_of_Israel.svgWe previously discussed the growing boycott of Israel by various academic, political, and business groups. On Friday, another major organization joined the movement. The Presbyterian Church voted — by a razor thin margin of 310-303 — to join the boycott. The Church only has about $21 million in investment capital so this is not a significant financial hit for the Israeli government but the vote carried obviously considerable symbolic value for the boycott movement and could further damage tourism for Israel.

The American Jewish Committee in New York responded by denounced the Presbyterians for a vote “driven by hatred of Israel.” That is not what I would have recommended as a response, particularly in such a close vote. While there are valid arguments to be made against such boycotts, it is neither productive nor accurate to accuse the 1.8 million member church of simply being anti-Israel. They were obviously motivated by what they saw as a human rights issue due to the treatment of the Palestinians. Rather than attack the church as anti-Semitic or anti-Israel, it would have been better to address that concern and counter with countervailing arguments. Indeed, some opposing divestment took a more measured approach like Rabbi Rick Jacobs, head of the liberal Union for Reform Judaism, who objected that the Church vote was unfortunate because it would as a whole is no longer be “a partner for joint work on Israel-Palestine peace issues.”

The close vote reflected intense lobbying on both sides. Notably, this included Rabbis and other members of Jewish Voice for Peace, who advocated for divestment. Those Jewish advocates believe that only divestment will change government policies. Jewish advocates also lobbied against divestment.

Source: NPR

121 thoughts on “Presbyterians To Divest In Israel”

  1. When you (Israeli government) act in all manner of a theocratic apartheid state you should be shunned like a theocratic apartheid state.

    Perhaps now that the Presbyterian Church has taken the lead others will follow suit.

    No amount of Israeli crocodile tears should be allowed to obscure the truth that Israel is now an apartheid state created in part by US tax dollars.

    1. It would be interesting to know in which of the many Arab countries you would choose to live. . .Israel is a light in the midst of a sea of darkness. You condemn Israel without on word about the atrocities taking place on a daily basis in the rest of the Arab world.

  2. Nick – this is getting confusing. Are you being accused of being anti-Semitic (shif) and pro-Israel (doglover) in the same thread?

  3. Nick never said those who criticize Israel were anti-Semitic. He said, “When someone says “Zionists slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Palestinians when they moved in” well, they might be an anti-Semite. At the minimum they are a liar.” And he is correct. A faction of the Jews (distanced from mainstream) cleared out Arab settlements and sent them to surrounding Arab countries (which refused to absorb them because they want to force “the right of return.”) It was actually the British who killed or imprisoned 10% of the Arab population during the Arab Revolt, which they barely put down.

    He also said, “Bob, There are anti-Semites entwined w/ righteous people who have problems w/ Israel. It’s a case by case basis. Doglover fails that test.”

    That is not hypocritical in the slightest. He disagreed with the Presbyterians, but specifically did not say they were all anti-Semitic. He said that criticism of Israel tends to bring out the anti-Semites on this blog.

    Annie’s comment is incorrect: “My point is, dear Bob, at some point unthread a certain person agreed that it was anti Semitic of those who agreed with the Presbyterians, then later on this same person totally did a 180 and agreed with you. Did you not catch this hypocrisy, just because the person agreed with you? I tend to dismiss hypocrites.”

  4. Saucy:

    You’re so right. That case of Muslims not allowing schoolgirls to leave a burning school because they were improperly dressed made me want to vomit when I first heard about it.

  5. The IRS problem really bothers me, too. It would be one of the highest crimes our government can be accused of – misuse of power to use a government agency to target its own citizens based on political beliefs.

    I heard the IRS commissioner interviewed, the one who said “an apology is not owed.” A senator said, “Why should I believe you? The IRS said no targeting occurred. And that was not true. Then they said it was a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati, and that was not true. And then they said they targeted Liberals, and that was not true. And then they said they would provide the emails, and that was not true.” (I’m paraphrasing.)

  6. Bob:

    “Am I an anarchist if I don’t believe the IRS’s explanation for Lois Lerner’s missing emails?” Don’t forget the 6 other people under investigation, including those who had multiple trips to the White House just before the targeting, who miraculously had “computer glitches” too! And the fact that there is a law requiring the IRS keep all records for years (not 6 months), and a contract that stated that the company with the servers retain data for 3 years.

  7. Forgive me the Wikipedia link. I know it’s lazy but I don’t have much time this morning:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandatory_Palestine

    The Brits ruled the “Palestine” they created from WWI to WWII. The Arabs would not cooperate with any Jews (oooooooh, look, sound familiar? Like thousands of years familiar? Hence the need for a Jewish state for an oppressed people familiar?). They formed the Black Hand, which would be defined today as a terrorist organization, complete with bombers, with the express goal to murder Jews.

    And cue the Arab Revolt, which Britain barely beat. It made them realize it was impossible for Arabs and Jews to co-exist, and only a partition would work. The Jews accepted it, the Arabs rejected it. (Remember, no Jewish state in the Middle East is not a recent philosophy.)

    Now, the “Palestinians” were not “a people” but rather a loose association of Arab tribes that had lived under the iron rule of the Ottoman Empire, where the Turks could barely control the factions from killing each other. When WWII began, which side do you think they took, the side that engaged in Jewish genocide, or the side that wanted to save the Jews? Hmmmmmmm. Tough one.

    Well, they sided with the Nazis, who looked down upon them for not being blond, but accepted their help anyway.

    As Jews were being murdered in Europe, they fled by the boatload to other countries. Some tried to go “home” to Jerusalem. Many of these boats were intercepted by the British, who refused to let them in to British-controlled “Palestine”, or were sunk by the Soviets (who seemed to have trouble picking sides.) In the end, there were 250,000 Jewish refugees in Europe. Truman wanted at least 100,000 to be able to go to their homeland, known in all 3 faiths, including Islam, as Israel.

    Jews and Arabs bitterly fought over the region. The newcomer US declared there should be no theocracy, and basically Israel should be a secular US with no one faith dominant. (Like we wanted in Iraq and worked out sooooooo well.) Brits wanted to do the partition plan, but said it would need 300,000 US troops indefinitely to enforce it, because the Arabs did NOT want it. They put it to the UN, who voted for a partition (that the Arabs rejected.)

    The UK arbitrarily drew all the countries that used to be the Ottoman Empire, including Jordan, which the Jews objected was an integral part of Palestine. (Would have made less land to partition.)

    Israel was created in 1948, the Brits withdrew, a radical faction of Jews cleared out Arab settlements, and the Arab-Israeli war immediately began. Then Egypt got involved and tried to seal off Israel’s shipping.

    Arabs have resisted the partition plan ever since, with the Palestinian Authority declaring in 1988 the Independence of Palestine, and it’s goal of the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel

  8. The Balfour Declaration promised a Jewish state after WWI.

    You are to recall that the Middle East was Jewish and Christian until Muslim Expansion, which triggered the Crusades.

    The Brits arbitrarily drew a line and called it “Palestine” after the region that the Romans conquered and named long ago. But before WWI, it was “The Ottoman Empire.”

    I’m pretty sure that if a “Jewish Expansion” conquered Mecca, it wouldn’t matter if a few hundred years passed; Muslims would always need it back.

  9. Kraaken:

    “Some of these ‘hostile and well armed neighbors’ had their land grabbed and taken from them after WWII.” Are you forgetting the British carved Palestine out of the Ottoman Empire after WWI? They occupied it until after WWII, when it became Israel.

    Was it OK when the Turks conquered Palestine?

  10. Paul:

    “That is a really bad analogy. A better analogy would be Daddy if you do not protect me against all the bullies who want to kill me, then you must hate me.”

    Right-o. I have a relative who worked at the Pentagon. Dealt with Middle East and USSR frequently. He cannot believe that the same people who claim to be for women’s and gay rights continue to romanticize and excuse Islamic extremists. They have no concept of the terrorism Israel faces every single day. Or how the country came to be. Or why we need to be firmly allied with the only non-extremist country in the Middle East.

    We don’t have to agree with every single thing our ally does, but we cannot be ignorant of the fact that the Palestinians have been very open that they will never accept a Jewish country in the Middle East. They have refused any deals to end the war unless they have the “right of return.”

    They want the “right of return” of Palestinians, which means that they would flood Israel with Arabs, and it would become just another Islamic extremist country where non-Muslim temples and artifacts would be defaced. Where Jews would not be allowed (check the travel restrictions in Saudi Arabia against Jews.)

    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4151/palestinians-recognition-israel-jewish-state

    We must not confuse modern or moderate Islam, as is practiced by many Muslims in America, peacefully coexisting with other faiths, with the extremist Islam sweeping the region.

  11. “why is it only jews are allowed to be bankers? and please dont try to deny it all you need to do is look up the ceo cfos,coos and everything to do with upper management of all commercial banks and that truth is told. ” ShakingMyHead Another extremely anti-semitic statement on this thread….. Please feel free to criticize the state of Israel and its actions without resorting to pronouncements about the worldwide “jewish banking conspiracy”.

  12. Nick,

    It was the second story on CBS This Morning. I caught a few minutes of the hearings after 9pm.

    The level of audacity and unbelievability in this matter has reached the Jodi Arias level.

  13. THANK YOU MR TOM STEDMAN!!! its about time the rest of the world has begun to wake up to the crimes and apartheid committed by israel. i wonder if any will ever ask why is the usa giving israel 4 billion dollars a year without fail for a holocaust that did not happen here? why does israel have so much power here in the usa? and why is israel the only country or state however you see it to have dual citizenship?

    [the people are tired of being called anti semite for asking the questions that israel does not want to answer, it doesnt mean we hate them we just want the truth. and the jews by the way also dont want to share with the palestinians why is it we always hear about the atrocities committed in the middle east but never hear anything or less then nothing about the atrocities committed in israel? by the jews against the palestinians? the truth is out here but you have those who will continue to deny it with their dying breath.
    why is it only jews are allowed to be bankers? and please dont try to deny it all you need to do is look up the ceo cfos,coos and everything to do with upper management of all commercial banks and that truth is told.

    we are expected to follow the laws of our land but they dont. when have you heard of the muslims having their own police force? dual citizenship? there is even a sect of jews who refuse to work they call themselves the “Haredim”
    ultra orthodox jews. the men spend their entire lives studying while the women get pregnant. they even separate themselves from other jewish sects except for family members who may follow a more lenient orthodox study. and yet its blamed on blacks and latinos we are the ones called lazy and welfare leeches.

    asking about anything jewish that doesnt sit right and you’re automatically called anti semite or its anti semticism words that were made up by tavistock and given a meaning to shut up those who dare question the jewish religion and its world wide power. asking anything about muslims or any other religion and they’re just plain on questions with answers

  14. Ramallah, 2000. Fatah’s bloody hands while Palestinians celebrate the lynching of 2 captured Israeli soldiers.

    That is BDS: the Methodist Church last week, the Presbyterian Church this week, condemning the flawed, but free and democratic nation of Israel in favor of savages.

  15. Bob, The Commish just testified he does not remember when, except “in the month of April 2014” OR WHOM told him that 17 months of Lois Lerner’s emails vanished. There are many details but this is a felony, not a phony investigation. This Commish is like Sgt. Schultz, “I know nothing.”

  16. Bob, The IRS Commish, Koskinen is being grilled, it’s on C-Span or Fox. Nobody else seems to think this is newsworthy.

  17. When I was quite young I was diagnosed as schizophrenic. Then they ameliorated the diagnosis down to Manic Depressive, In recent years they re verbed it as Bi Polar and then just this year the doctor tagged it as Pres Bi Terian. I said to him what is the difference between that and Bi Polar? And he said it is all in the DSM 5. So, I looked on the website at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Volume 5. It used to be in volumes with Roman numerals but they went to our numeral, but that is not her nor there. The book was clueless on the new diagnosis. I am at a loss. No pills are given with the new diagnosis. Just a Bible. The Good Book the doctor says. Read it and don’t weep he says.

  18. Well Bob, you can be rest assured I won’t call you a stalker, for pointing out discrepencies in my commentary. lol.

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