The 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church met in June in Detroit and took several actions regarding the Middle East. Because local interfaith relationships are so important to us, we write to share the General Assembly’s actions.
By a 310-303 vote, the General Assembly, a representative body of pastors and elders elected from across the denomination, voted to recommend divestment from the denominational portfolio from three American corporations — Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions — whose products have been identified as being utilized in “non-peaceful pursuits” in the Palestinian territories. This decision represented the culmination of a 10-year process that included repeated attempts at dialogue with the three companies. The assembly explicitly stated that our action to selectively divest was not to be construed as being aligned with the global Boycott/Divest/Sanction movement.
Further, we voted to “Reaffirm Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation within secure and internationally recognized borders in accordance with the United Nations resolutions.” We also acted to “Declare (our) commitment to a two-state solution in which a secure and universally recognized State of Israel lives alongside a free, viable, and secure state for the Palestinian people.”