A vote for divestment will define the PCUSA as extreme, irresponsible, and part of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) Movement
Major religious denominations, including the United Methodist Church, the Lutherans, and the Episcopal Church have rejected divestment, as have Presbyterian general assemblies in 2006, 2008, and 2010. No responsible world leader supports divestment. Support for divestment will define the PCUSA as extreme and irresponsible. PCUSA will stand alone with BDS.
Divestment is a radical departure from long-established church policy
Long-standing PCUSA policy supports creation of a Palestinian state committed to peace with Israel. Divestment deviates from this, demanding that Israel “ends the occupation” regardless of whether Palestinians are peaceful or violent.
Divestment ignores critical realities
Divestment recklessly ignores the reality of the threats Israel faces. Israel voluntarily ended the occupation of Southern Lebanon. Hezbollah took over and has over 50,000 rockets aimed at Israeli cities. Hezbollah calls for the complete destruction of Israel. Israel voluntarily ended the occupation of the Gaza Strip. Gaza is now controlled by Hamas, which openly calls for the annihilation of Israel. If Israel is successfully pressured by divestment tactics to unilaterally end the occupation of the West Bank, and armed groups like Hamas were to take over, Israel would be in an indefensible position. Millions of lives would be at risk.
Divestment hinders the peace process and destroys our ability to partner for peace with the Jewish community
For proponents of a Palestinian state, divestment hinders their cause. There is substantial support among the Jewish community for creation of a Palestinian state committed to peace with Israel. Divestment deeply offends and alienates this important group and turns them away from support for a Palestinian state. It hinders the cause of peace and strengthens the hand of extremists on both sides. Divestment will destroy interfaith partnerships aimed at advancing peace.
Ending occupation has not helped Gaza Christians
Israel ended the occupation of Gaza in 2005. Under Hamas rule, the public celebration of Christmas has been banned. The owner of a Christian bookstore was murdered and his shop destroyed. There are only 1400 Christians left in Gaza of a total population of 1.7 million.