General Assembly backgrounder: Middle East peace

After eight years of failed engagement, MRTI recommends divestment

June 22, 2012

LOUISVILLE

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI), completing a process that was first launched by the 2004 General Assembly, is recommending that the PC(USA) divest itself of stock in three corporations ― Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions ― that it says are “profiting from non-peaceful pursuits in Israel-Palestine.”

Overtures from the presbyteries of San Francisco and Palisades support all or part of the MRTI recommendation.

Overtures from National Capital and New Covenant presbyteries oppose divestment and another from Philadelphia Presbytery calls for “a plan of active investment in projects that will support collaboration among Christians, Jews, and Muslims and help in the development of a viable infrastructure for a future Palestinian state.”

An overture from Scioto Valley Presbytery asks Presbyterians to “consider how to respond to “A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith and Hope from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering” (also known as the “Kairos Document”) and its call to engage in “boycott and disinvestment as tools of nonviolence for justice, peace and security for all.”

In its recommendations, MRTI also asks the Assembly to renew the call of previous Assemblies to “all corporations doing business in the region to confine their business activity solely to peaceful pursuits, and refrain from allowing their products or services to support or facilitate violent acts by Israelis or Palestinians against innocent civilians, construction and maintenance of settlements or Israeli-only roads in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territory, and construction of the Separation Barrier as it extends beyond the 1967 ‘Green Line’ into Palestinian territories.”

Decrying the decline of the Arab Christian population in Israel-Palestine, an overture from San Jose Presbytery commends the U.S. State Department for its reporting on religious discrimination by the State of Israel and urges the Israeli government to end such practices and “enforce its own legal obligation to protect Christian holy sites in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.”

An overture from the Presbytery of Muskingum Valley asks the Assembly “to recognize that Israel’s laws, policies and practices constitute apartheid against the Palestinian people.” The overture insists that “Israel’s practices and actions in the occupied Palestinian territories combined with Israel’s physical changes to the land and infrastructure of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, fit the United Nations and World Court definitions of apartheid.”

An overture from San Francisco Presbytery seeks to “condemn the production and sale of Israeli products that come from the Occupied Palestinian Territories” and calls for a boycott of two producers of such products ― AHAVA Dead Sea Laboratories Beauty Products and all date products of Hadiklaim Israel Date Growers, often marketed as King Solomon Dates or Jordan River.

An overture from Greater Atlanta Presbytery seeks diplomatic solutions to tensions between the U.S. and Iran and opposes preemptive military action “by any nation” against Iran.

Matters related to the Middle East will be considered by Assembly Committee 15 ― Middle East Peacemaking Issues.

  1. God has not abandonned his chosen people. Indeed He has called them home. 144,000 Israelis will be raptured to join Christ in the heavens one day, perhaps soon. On 09/15/12 the Fayetteville Observer reported that a Presbyterian USA church in Charlotte, NC paid for 98 ads which advocated ending U. S. military aid to Israel. I say SEND MORE AID in all forms to Israel. The article said the ads are part of a nationwide campaign. Is this a campaign of the Presbyterian Church USA? If it is I will seriously consider severing my membership. I was baptized in 1947 at Highland Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, NC. I was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Warner Robins, GA for around 30 years. I've considered myself a presbyterian for most of my 65 years. But God comes first and I will not chance his wrath by remaining a member when I see the Presbyterian Church USA ignoring his word in relation to Israel. So says Toni Koerner

    by Toni J. Koerner

    September 15, 2012

  2. For a Church that claims to believve is "God," you are very wrong and misguided about israel. Support Israel. Tell the Palestinians they need to fix their inner souls to believe in peace and co-existance. Get off your spirtual throne and get real.

    by lex

    July 15, 2012

  3. The PCUSA published a document, "Kairos Palestine Document Study Guide", to help Presbyterians understand the Israel and Palestine conflict. Israel is unlawfully occupying Palestine, while for the most part the rest of the world either looks away or rationalizes their actions. As people stand by and refuse to aid the Christians, Jews and Muslims of Palestine, they are quietly authorizing human-rights violations. The situation is complex. However we, as Christians who follow the god of love and mercy, cannot support the government of Israel in the use of tactics and strategies that beat down the Palestinians. I am amazed by the amount of support Israel has in its illegal occupation. We must take a stand against those who profit from this illegal and grievous activity. Romans 12:2 -- "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will." As we are in this world, we must call and respond for justice, we must live according to our faith. What would Jesus do in this situation? Jesus would see respond with mercy and love for all of those involved -- Israeli, Palestinian, Christian, Jew, Muslim -- and stand against the occupation and the oppression of Palestine. I ask the General Assembly to support divestment of those companies who profit from the violence of occupation and oppression.

    by Suzanne Lindgren

    July 4, 2012

  4. I grew up as a Presbyterian in North Georgia, and like many of those commenting here I believed the Palestinians were at fault in the Mideast conflict. Then I went to the region as head of an interfaith group, spending time in the homes of Christians, Jews and Muslims. The reality I saw with my own eyes was Israel's terrible oppression of Christians as well as Muslims and Jews who stand for justice. Many Jews in Israel and America are asking for selective divestment as a nonviolent, moral step toward a just peace. After studying the region intensely for ten years, and recently leading a Christian delegation to examine the role of specific companies in sustaining Israel's illegal occupation, I believe that cutting our economic ties with these companies through divestment is an essential step towards peace. We cannot pray for peace and invest in violence. It's time to divest.

    by Susanne Garrison Hoder

    June 28, 2012

  5. 1 Timothy 4:1-5

    by Matt24

    June 27, 2012

  6. Please don't do this, we need to suppert Israel all the way. 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Did you catch who???? He that has an ear let him Hear.

    by Patricia Rohrer

    June 26, 2012

  7. I left the Presbyterian Church in 2000. Twelve years later, the leadership is still as anti-Semitic as it was back then. You are sticking your finger in the "Apple of God's eye!" Judgment starts with you! Repent, for you are leading your flocks astray. "Woe to the shepards who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!" says the LORD.

    by Laurie Cardoza-Moore

    June 25, 2012

  8. QUESTION: WHY IS (GAMC) RECOMENDING SUPORT OF THE PALESTINIAN NATION AND NOT THE JEWISH NATION? OF ALL OF THE COMMENTS OF THIS NEWS AND ANOUNCEMENT ONLY TWO REFERENCED SCRIPTURE. THIS NEWS REPORT PROMPTED ME TO STUDY SCRIPTURE AS WELL AS TO STUDY WHY THEY PALESTINIAN NATION IS FIGHTING THE JEWISH NATION? QUESTION: WHY WHEN (GAMC) REFERENCED INTERNATIONAL LAW THEY DID NOT REFERENCE “THE LAW OF THE LORD AS FOUND IN PS 1:1&2.”? (SEE THE BIBLE) QUESTION: WHY WHEN GAMC WHEN REFERENCING THE WEST BANK, DOES NOT REFERENCE EPH.6; 11 AND ROMANS 11-11 THRU 24? (SEE THE BIBLE) ( From Wikipedia encyclopedia) 1. “HADITH”,”QURAN”,”KORAN”-------MUHAMMAD SAID: 1.1.1. “THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT WILL NOT COME ABOUT UNTIL MUSLIMS FIGHT THE JEWS, WHEN THE JEW WILL HIDE BEHIND STONES, AND TREES. THE STONES AND TREES WILL SAY O MUSLIMS, OABDULLAH, THERE IS A JEW BEHIND ME, COME AND KILL HIM. ONLY THE GHARKAD TREE,( A CERTAIN KIND OF TREE) WOULD NOT DO THAT BECAUSE IT IS ONE OF THE TREES OF THE JEWS” 1.1.2. REFERENCE HAMAS ARTICLE 6. “HAMAS IS UNIQUELY PALESTINIAN” 1.1.3. REFERENCE HAMAS ARTICLE 13. “THERE IS NO NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT POSSIBLE. JIHAD IS THE ONLY ANSWER.” 1.1.4. WHEN MUHAMMAD WROTE THE “KORAN” HE HAD THE BIBLE AND KNEW THE SIGNIFICANTS OF THE TREE OF LIFE WRITTEN IN SCRIPTURES. HE ALSO KNEW THAT PETER WAS THE ROCK. MATHEW 16:18 “AND I ALSO SAY TO YOU THAT YOU ARE PETER, AND UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH; AND THE GATES OF HADES SHALL NOT OVER-POWER IT” 2. SCRIPTURES IS WHERE WE FIND STRENGTH REGARDING THE ISSUES OF THE STRUGLES BETWEEN THE PALISTINIANS AND THE ISRALITES. (From scriptures) 2.1.1. EPH.6:11.” PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD, THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO STAND FIRM AGAINST THE SCHEMES OF THE DEVIL. 12. FOR OUR STRUGGLE IS NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, BUT AGAINST THE RULERS, AGAINST THE POWERS, AGAINST THE WORLD FORCES OF DARKNESS, AGAINST THE SPIRTUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS IN THE HEVENLY PLACES.” 2.1.2. ROMANS-11 THRU. 24----- “18. DO NOT BE ARROGANT TOWARD THE BRANCHES; BUT IF YOU ARE ARROGANT, REMEMBER THAT IT IS NOT YOU WHO SUPPORTS THE ROOT, BUT THE ROOT SUPPORTS YOU” 2.1.3. ROMANS 2:10. ‘BUT GLORY AND HONOR AND PEACE TO EVERY MAN WHO DOES GOOD, THE JEW FIRST AND ALSO TO THE GREEK” 3. AS A VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS AGAIN WE ASK WHY IS THE (GAMC) NOT REFERANCING SCRIPTURE AND ADVISING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY WHAT THE JEWISH NATION IS UP AGAINST WHEN INCOUNTERING THE PALISTINIAN NATION WHICH IN IT’S “HADITH”,”QURAN”,”KORAN” AS MUHAMMAD SAID “ THERE IS A JEW BEHIND ME , COME AND KILL HIM” 4. WHEN WE VOTE WILL WE BE ARROGANT AND VOTE TO SUPPORT THE ISLAM PALESTIAN BROTHERS ALLAH NATION OR WILL WE REMEMBER THE ROOT WHICH SUPPORTS THE TREE OF LIFE WHICH WE HAVE BEEN GRAFTED AND SUPPORT THE JEWISH NATION?

    by TOM HYDE

    June 24, 2012

  9. My husband and I are very active in the life of our church and community. You, as our General Assembly, need to stay away from these harmful, destructive issues. I realize everyone has there opinions, but whether we agree or disagree we have to stay working together. We can't possibly work together if we are forced into choosing sides. We need to focus on God and the good we can do through Him. Please prayfully consider your votes.

    by Cindy Wightman

    June 23, 2012

  10. The missiles that fly across the border and kill innocent civilians (Israeli and Palestinian alike) are coming from Gaza. Why is there no call for boycott of Gaza products? Suicide bombers and other terrorists come across the border and kill innocent civilians (Israeli and Palestinian alike), Israel builds a fence to keep them out, and the PCUSA wants to sanction Israel for trying to protect themselves. Why is this? Which countries have both Palestinians and Israelis in their parliament and which countries do not allow non-Muslims in their governments? Who are the real apartheidists? By trying to tie the hands of the Israelis the PCUSA is helping those who strap bombs to women and children, those who hide their military operations in hospitals, those who shoot at Israel from behind rows of school children, those who attack school busses full of children and those who promise to destroy Israel. Those are the "peacemakers" the PCUSA is enabling.

    by Robert Easton

    June 23, 2012

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