The NY Times reports that:
After passionate debate over how best to help break the deadlock between Israel and the Palestinians, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Friday at its general convention to divest from three companies that it says supply Israel with equipment used in the occupation of Palestinian territory.
Predictably, the PCUSA disclaimed any anti-Israeli intent:
The measure that was passed not only called for divestment but also reaffirmed Israel’s right to exist, endorsed a two-state solution, encouraged interfaith dialogue and travel to the Holy Land, and instructed the church to undertake “positive investment” in endeavors that advance peace and improve the lives of Israelis and Palestinians. It also said the motion was “not to be construed” as “alignment with or endorsement of the global B.D.S.” movement by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The language was written by the church’s 65-member Middle East committee.
I am reminded of the Seven Churches of Revelation and, in particular, of the Church of Laodicea, which was lukewarm and tepid.
In any case, the disclaimer is bullshit. There is no avoiding the reality that this will be spun as a win for BDS or the reality that this decision is bad economics, bad politics, and bad religion.
I have written on previous attempts by members of the PCUSA (who care more about left-liberal policial policies than God) to divest from comapnies doing business with Israel:
In Those Divesting Presbyterians, I pointed out that "divestment may make activists feel all warm and fuzzy, but the evidence is that (1) it has no significant effect on the target of the divestment campaign but (2) likely does harm the activists' portfolios." I also pointed out that:
Managers of pension plans are fiduciaries of the beneficiaries of those plans. When they pursue a social agenda nearly certain to result in poorer performance, they are disserving their beneficiaries. The activists at the PC(USA) may have gotten a warm and fuzzy feeling from taking a slap at Israel, but in doing so they injured Jewish-Christian relations, besmirched the one functioning democracy in the Middle East, and stabbed their own people in the back. All for the sake of a gesture that experience teaches will be fruitless.
In Was the Presbyterian Divestment Anti-Semitic, I concluded that the 2004 effort was in fact anti-semitic. The same conclusion applies in full measure to this vote.
In Here we go again: PCUSA considering Israel divestment: Anti-semitic, bad economics and politics, and a breach of fiduciary duty, I pulled together a lot of prior posts into one long critique of divestment.
The Prebyterians have voted to be PC, but I believe they will find that Genesis 12:3 has teeth.