Protestants Urged To Nix Divestment

By Eric J. Greenberg

Published December 03, 2004, issue of December 03, 2004.

A coalition of American Jewish organizations this week called on mainline Protestant leaders officially to reject divestment from Israel as a potential advocacy tool.

The Jewish coalition issued a detailed statement Tuesday as its official response to the Protestant groups, who have been considering divestment but asked the Jewish organizations to explain why they find economic sanctions against Israel objectionable.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted in July to begin a process of selective divestment from Israel.

In their joint statement, the Jewish organizations declared that they were “startled that there are those within the ecumenical Protestant community who believe an economic lever should be employed in a discriminatory fashion specifically against the State of Israel.” The statement was issued by the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Anti-Defamation League, the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

The organizations stated: “A policy of divestment or corporate action resonates in the Jewish consciousness with historic boycotts against Jewish companies and later Arab boycotts against the State of Israel; they are experienced by Jews as part of a pattern of singling out Jews for attack.”



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