US Presbyterian c'tee approves Israel divestment

Church says Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions providing services that aid Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

By JTA
July 3, 2012 23:00
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Shadow of couple on Israeli flag 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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WASHINGTON - The  largest Presbyterian church in the US has agreed to vote by week’s end on divesting its portfolio from three companies that it is says have resisted the request to stop providing services that aid Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly’s Middle East Committee voted 36 to 11 with one abstention in favor of divesting its portfolio from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions. The committee said the company’s helped “Israel’s use of their products in violations of Palestinian human rights.”

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The group recommended the church put those funds instead into companies “engaging in peaceful pursuits in Israel and Palestine.”

The Church’s full convention, being held in Pittsburgh, is expected to vote either Thursday or Friday on the proposal.

Ethan Felson, vice president of the Jewish Council of Public Affairs, was at the convention, speaking with Church leaders about toning down the resolution, according to a JCPA spokesman.

A 2011 church report found that Caterpillar supplies bulldozers for the demolition of Palestinian homes, Motorola provides cell phone technology to West Bank settlements and Hewlett-Packard manages information technology for the Israeli Navy.

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