Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Reflecting on PCUSA Divestment Vote

In view of the vote at the recent Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (PCUSA) gathering in favor of divestment from certain companies involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, the Working Group on the Middle East decided at its June 25 meeting to revisit questions related to divestment:

(a) can the posture of WGME be to simply "stand aside" from the question of divestment?

(b) should our posture be one of actively investigating the pros and cons of divestment?

(c) do we feel consensus around a pro-BDS position?

(d) what should our role be in providing education around issues relating to divestment?

We note, in particular, that two of the firms affected by the PCUSA vote are Illinois companies: Caterpillar and Motorola Solutions. (See "By slim margin, Assembly approves divestment from three companies doing business in Israel/Palestine" on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) website.)

We have scheduled further study at upcoming meetings of the Working Group:

July Meeting (Wednesday, July 30, 2 p.m., 6850 W Addison): Lessons from the PCUSA divestment debate and decision.

August Meeting (Wednesday, August 27, 2 p.m., 6850 W Addison ): Presentation by Ed Thompson on "positive investment" and his recent trip developing a new group, Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy.

Interested people are encouraged to attend these presentations/discussions.