For Immediate Release August, 22, 2005
Along with many other Presbyterians,
we disagree with the recent actions of the PCUSA Mission Responsibility through
Investment Committee regarding selective divestment from certain industries doing
business in Israel. Both the timing and the substance of the MRTI actions are
detrimental to peace in the Middle East. At a time when the State of Israel is
currently withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and other settlements, our denomination
continues to implement a year-old policy designed to press Israel for concessions,
even after major conciliatory actions have occurred.
silence on the withdrawal from Gaza further damages the PCUSA's credibility and
reputation as a just decision-maker and reliable partner for peacemaking in the
Showing more wisdom than the 2004 Assembly did when it sent
the issue to the Committee, the MRTI Committee has chosen to condemn actions of
Palestinian terrorists as reprehensible and to explore divestment from industries
which purportedly assist them. However, all the region's nations continue to bear
responsibility for contributing to the peace process. Continuing a policy with
a clear double standard (one for Israel, one for every other nation) reveals a
PCUSA partisanship against Israel that is unworthy of the church.
urging Presbyterians to inform themselves about ways in which the PCUSA can be
a pro-active force for peace in the Middle East, investing in peacemakers rather
than applying a simplistic divestment strategy to an extremely complex situation.
We are urging Presbyterians to call upon the MRTI Committee to suspend
the exploration of divestment until the PCUSA can reconsider its Middle East policy
at the 2006 General Assembly.
We are uring every session, congregation
and presbytery to consider adopting appropriate overtures to the 2006 General
Assembly that will lead the PCUSA once again to be a truly effective peacemaker
in the Middle East.
For more information, please contact:
717 264-5715; 717 264-3828 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Wimberly 202 835 8383;
202 363 6085 email@example.com
information about PCJCMR please email Charles