difference. And I would give them two pieces of advice — make sure it is an armor-plated bus and, second, don’t say that you’re Christians.”
Presbyterian supporters of divestment analogized the action to the worldwide campaign of sanctions and boycotts against South Africa’s apartheid regime in the 1970s and 80s.
“Because we are a historical peacemaking church, what we have done is we have stood up for nonviolent means of resistance to oppression, and we have sent a clear message to a struggling society that we support their efforts to resist in a nonviolent way the oppression being thrust upon them,” the Rev. Jeffrey DeYoe of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network told The Associated Press.
The church seems to understand its vote — which reportedly will result in the divesting of about $21 million in investments — is highly controversial.
“In no way is this a reflection for our lack of love for our Jewish sisters and brothers,” moderator Heath Rada said immediately after the vote.
The church, which has about 1.8 million members and became the largest U.S. church denomination to divest itself of Israel-related holdings, also added a preamble to its motion, seeking to head off criticism that Presbyterians are abandoning Israel.
The Presbyterian Church USA “has a long-standing commitment to peace in Israel and Palestine. We recognize the complexity of the issues, the decades-long struggle, the pain suffered and inflicted by policies and practices of both the Israeli government and Palestinian entities,” the preamble says.
That defense hardly was enough for Mr. Netanyahu, who argued his nation goes out of its way to protect Christians.