Presbyterian church leaders will gather together this week in Detroit for the biennial General Assembly meeting; the highest anticipated topic of conversation for the meeting will be the possibility of the denomination divesting millions of dollars from companies that affect the conflict between Palestine and Israel.
According to the Huffington Post, the 1.76 million member church is debating withdrawing $17 million from the Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard corporations, all of which pro-Palestinian activists claim contribute to violence in the Middle East.
“For Presbyterians, this is a matter of stewardship. We are called as Christians to be good stewards of God’s abundance. And we find ourselves with money in our foundation and in our pensions invested in companies that do more harm than good. We don’t invest in alcohol, tobacco, gambling and some kinds of weapons manufacturers either,” said Elizabeth Dunning, Mission Responsibility Through Investment committee moderator.
University of Michigan-Dearborn political science professor Ronald Stockton said the decision to boycott will be a defining moment; Stockton identifies as a Presbyterian himself.
“We are seeing this more and more in not just churches, but all over the place, when it comes to boycotting or divesting from certain companies in Israel or products in general. Many people see it as a moral issue, not a political one. They don’t want to profit from what they see as someone else’s suffering.” he said.
Publication date: June 9, 2014