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Fear of anti-semitism accusation did not stop Presbyterians from witnessing occupation

Israel/Palestine
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Supporters of divestment form an interfaith solidarity line outside the Presbyterian general assembly Friday in Detroit

The line actually was longer than a city block. This lobby is nearly two full city blocks long.

The line actually was longer than a city block. This lobby is nearly two full city blocks long.

 

(photo: Barbara Harvey)

All photos by Barbara Harvey

In the U.S. movement for justice in Palestine, the Presbyterian General Assembly vote Friday to divest is a major turning point.  It represents the first time that a large mainstream U.S. church took a formal step to do what it’s able to do to end the Israeli Occupation.  Perhaps even more important in assessing the impact of this event for the U.S. public, it reflects recognition by the rank-and-file church representatives — its General Assembly, comprised mostly of rank-and-file church members — that the conservative and militant Zionist U.S. opposition to the BDS movement relies only on name-calling and guilt-tripping, rather than fair and reasoned argument on the merits of their position.

Opponents of the divestment proposal wore t-shirts bearing the slogan: “Love us, don’t leave us!”  The opposition arguments heard again and again at the plenary were threats that the adoption of the allegedly “anti-Semitic” proposal would anger and alienate the U.S. Jewish community from the Church.  Not one argument was heard in defense of the merits of their position.  Proponents of the proposal, in response, appealed to the Assembly to do justice, to have the courage to place their values above their fears of being accused of anti-Semitism.  These appeals by proponents to the conscience of the voting rank-and-file Church membership were what carried the day.

The victory was for this reason far more significant than it appeared to be, as reported in mainstream media.  It showed not only that rank-and-file Church members recognized the bankruptcy of the opposition, but that they also understood the facts on the ground and knew that these facts compelled Church divestment from the Occupation.

About Barbara Harvey

Barbara Harvey has long advocated for human rights with such organizations as the National Lawyers Guild and the Center for Constitutional Rights. She is active with Jewish Voice for Peace.

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84 Responses

  1. unverified__5ilf90kd
    June 22, 2014, 9:59 am

    Thanks for a great article – this sentence of yours is a magnificent summary “the conservative and militant Zionist U.S. opposition to the BDS movement relies only on name-calling and guilt-tripping, rather than fair and reasoned argument on the merits of their position.”

  2. just
    June 22, 2014, 10:50 am

    Bravo! Thank you for your coverage of this, and your activism for justice.

    I sincerely hope that others will join you, including the US government. The threats were ineffective, thank goodness. That one group of people tried to intimidate and actually threaten peacemakers is so revealing of their fear and hubris that combined, are not invincible (as PCUSA has proven), but are dangerous in any form when allowed to prevail.

  3. Pat
    June 22, 2014, 10:53 am

    You are kidding yourself if you feel that this weak move will influence any sort of policy or start a trend. It was a last gasp. And no, it was not anti-Semitic but it made anti-Semites very happy with themselves.

    • George Smith
      June 22, 2014, 7:56 pm

      “You are kidding yourself if you feel that this weak move will influence any sort of policy or start a trend. It was a last gasp.”–Pat

      How right you are! That’s why the Zionists made no effort to counter the weak move. No, wait. They DID make an effort. A HUGE effort. I wonder why that was.

      “[I]t made anti-Semites very happy with themselves.”–Pat

      Perhaps. I wouldn’t know. But for sure those anti-Semites are WAY happier when the IDF kills unarmed Palestinian teenage protesters in their own land, while the Zionists claim that the IDF is “fighting” on behalf of Jews everywhere.

    • pjdude
      June 22, 2014, 9:37 pm

      one micron in the right direction is better than a lightyear in the wrong

    • Talkback
      June 23, 2014, 10:09 am

      And no, it was not anti-Semitic but it made anti-Semites very happy with themselves.

      Yeah, the Goyim haters will hate it and probably kill some in Palestine.

      • Shmuel
        June 23, 2014, 10:18 am

        And no, it was not anti-Semitic but it made anti-Semites very happy with themselves.

        Really? I would have thought they’d be burning with rage and sickened to their racist stomachs at the pro-Jewish wording of the motion and tone of the debate. If anything, I’d say this is an extreme setback for the anti-Semitic cause (despite the best efforts of the URJ, AJC and ADL).

  4. ritzl
    June 22, 2014, 11:10 am

    …These appeals by proponents to the conscience of the voting rank-and-file Church membership were what carried the day.

    The victory was for this reason far more significant than it appeared to be…

    Amen.

  5. seafoid
    June 22, 2014, 11:38 am

    I think the days of using the anti Semitism slur to defend systematic evil in the territories are coming to an end.

    We have to stand with decent Jews/of conscience and show them that it is in everyone’s interest to end the occupation and free Judaism from YESHA.

    • American
      June 22, 2014, 2:23 pm

      The anti semitic slur is used to provoke a negative response from people that they can then also call anti semitic, just much as it is used to try and silence people or make them kowtow to their definition of anti semitism.
      The best policy is probably to ignore the slurs entirely.

    • Pat Nguyen
      June 22, 2014, 5:32 pm

      Sorry, but you are not the arbiter of which Jews are good and which ones are not.

      • Cliff
        June 22, 2014, 7:26 pm

        @’Pat Nguyen’

        Jews who support apartheid and colonialism because they feel their identity is at stake are indeed ‘bad Jews’.

        This political issue is about identity.

        Pathetic attempt at point-scoring.

      • seafoid
        June 23, 2014, 2:02 am

        I just think they are nuts. The decent ones see the bigger picture and where this is headed.

      • RoHa
        June 22, 2014, 7:44 pm

        Seafood has a much right to make moral judgements as anyone else. The contents of his many posts shows he has given the topic a reasonable amount of study and thought, so he is entitled to declare some Jews good and some not.

      • RoHa
        June 23, 2014, 1:43 am

        Sorry, seafoid. The software keeps changing your name without my permission.

      • Citizen
        June 23, 2014, 5:01 am

        @ RoHa
        My software thinks it always knows what I really mean too. Imagine if those who wrote the biblical text had automatic spellcheck.

      • Joe Catron
        June 22, 2014, 7:55 pm

        We’re all entitled to an opinion about which are good people and not. “Good Jews” is most easily understood as a subset of the latter group, which does not include advocates and defenders of racism.

        If you mean “good Jews” in some other sense – like which are observing the religion correctly – then yes, that’s their business.

        And we all know how strongly Zionists feel about people minding their own business. Oh, wait. They do the opposite:

        http://urj.org/about/union/pr/?syspage=article&item_id=112700

      • Pat Nguyen
        June 22, 2014, 8:41 pm

        You are dividing good people vs. bad people based on a single criteria for which you define as right or wrong along with all the nuances. By using your algorithm, one would classify Jerry Sandusky as a good person if he were on what you decided what the correct view on the I/P conflict. So yes, you do have that right but the outcome is meaningless.

      • Cliff
        June 23, 2014, 1:08 am

        @’Pat Nguyen’

        There is no ‘criteria’ being proposed here.

        Why don’t you apply your idiotic and absurd expectations to every single other debate on the Internet?

        Do you honestly think that the commentator you are applying your BS hypocritical Zionist standards to, would think Charles Manson was a swell guy if he was anti-Zionist – in spite of being a psychopath?

        Are you a child? What is wrong with you? Is this how you talk to people in-person? You hear them say something and insinuate that there is an infinite number of scenarios where they are wrong?

        It’s called benefit of the doubt, you clown. Meaning, people can be expected not to approve of a serial killer even if he shares their view on ONE political issue.

        Dear G-d, Hasbara Central is sending all their losers/rejects/basement dwelling, mouth-breathing, Debbie Downers here without a single iota of self-awareness.

      • RoHa
        June 23, 2014, 1:46 am

        “You are dividing good people vs. bad people based on a single criteria”

        A single criterion. “Criteria” is plural.

      • Citizen
        June 23, 2014, 5:06 am

        @ Pat Nguyen
        So, what do you think of Kant’s moral imperative? How does Zionism fit there?

      • Hostage
        June 23, 2014, 5:39 am

        By using your algorithm, one would classify Jerry Sandusky as a good person if he were on what you decided what the correct view on the I/P conflict.

        No because seafoid was only talking about taking a stand together with people of good conscience and you were engaging in sophistry. It’s deceptive and fallacious to suggest that Jewish people of good conscience include child molesters.

      • Joe Catron
        June 23, 2014, 9:20 am

        “does not include” =/= “includes all who are not.” That’s just basic logic, regardless of cause or context.

  6. seanmcbride
    June 22, 2014, 11:44 am

    Opponents of the divestment proposal wore t-shirts bearing the slogan: “Love us, don’t leave us!”

    Why do so many Jewish Zionists demand lavish expressions of “love,” devotion and adoration from the rest of the world? One sees this pattern pop up all the time in Zionist rhetoric.

    It is not enough for them for others to express support for Israel — one must express that support with hot passion and weepy sentimentality.

    Sometimes it almost seems like they are insisting upon being worshipped — as if they collectively constituted the mystical body of God Himself. One would not be surprised to learn that some religious Zionists do in fact subscribe to this belief literally.

    For most us, of course, these emotional demands are incredibly suffocating and alienating — and we would consider it indecent to make such demands on others. Most of us are quite satisfied with giving one another enough space to go quietly about our business. We don’t need the melodrama.

    So: what are the psychological and cultural factors driving this behavior?

    • Citizen
      June 23, 2014, 5:12 am

      @ seanmcbride

      Those t-shirts emblazoned with “Love us or leave us.” Algemeiner downplays the Presby vote, says Presybys are a tiny percentage of Christians compared to Evangelical Christians, and Presybies have been losing members drastically; insinuation is this is because rank and file Presbyies love Israel, are dropping off as don’t agree with small fraction of Presby management that favors BDS, described as the movement to delegitimize, bring an end to Israel.

  7. Blownaway
    June 22, 2014, 12:17 pm

    If anyone thinks to try and minimize the impact of this just realize that as this grows more and more funds and money managers will have to drop these companies from their portfolios. Once an analyst lists BDS exposure as a risk, then these companies will start paying attention. PS so will a lot of others that are part of the occupation. We can’t let up. Now is the time to double down on these three companies

    • Pat
      June 22, 2014, 3:17 pm

      Please. To do what BDS wants there will hardly be a company left to do invest in.

      • James North
        June 22, 2014, 6:56 pm

        Hasbara Central sends over a new recruit.

      • just
        June 22, 2014, 7:25 pm

        Which Pat is which?

      • gamal
        June 23, 2014, 12:51 am

        There is only One Pat, please report for decapitation.

      • Kay24
        June 22, 2014, 10:10 pm

        But like others before, they will try, but no minds will change, so they will fade away.

      • Rusty Pipes
        June 23, 2014, 8:20 pm

        Or maybe one of those recent Israeli high school grads fluent (enough) in English to perform alternative service through the Foreign Ministry. They may have set this one loose before the training was completed.

  8. James Canning
    June 22, 2014, 1:51 pm

    Bravo, Presbyterians. Intimidation programme of ADL et al. is weakening, possibly?

  9. American
    June 22, 2014, 2:47 pm

    ”“Love us, don’t leave us!”

    Give me a reason to love you. Supporting killing and stealing doesnt do it for me.

  10. just
    June 22, 2014, 3:46 pm

    PM of Hasbara/Violence/Incitement aka How To Lose Any Friends That You Might Have Left:

    “Asked on the NBC-TV interview program if he was “troubled” by the Presbyterian Church USA’s move on Friday, when it voted to withdraw its $21 million in investments from Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard, Netanyahu said, “It should trouble all people of conscience and morality because it’s so disgraceful.”

    Seeming to address his remarks to American Christians, he went on to hold up Israel as “a beacon of civilization and moderation” that “protects Christians – Christians are persecuted throughout the Middle East,” and contrasted it to the rest of Middle East, which he characterized as being riddled “by religious hatred, by savagery of unimaginable proportions.”

    He continued, “You know, I would suggest to this Presbyterian organization to fly to the Middle East, come and see Israel for the embattled democracy that it is, and then take a bus tour, go to Libya, go to Syria, go to Iraq, see the difference.” Then he advised them to “first make sure it’s an armor-plated bus, and second, don’t say that you’re Christian.”

    (On CNN, Heath Rada, the Presbyterian elder who moderated the church assembly’s 310-303 vote for divestment, said the decision was “not against the Jewish people,” but rather against Israeli government actions that “harm the Palestinian people.”) ”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.600437

    • seafoid
      June 22, 2014, 4:52 pm

      They never compare Israel to Denmark or Sweden. I wonder why.

      • Pat Nguyen
        June 22, 2014, 5:31 pm

        For starters, it is not an even playing field. You selected two nations which do not have others who advocate their destruction (either militarily socially, or demographically). Let’s see how those nations would respond.

      • Joe Catron
        June 22, 2014, 8:02 pm

        Maybe their mainstream political discourses and policies aren’t racist, so the idea of “demographic destruction” would have no meaning to them.

        Do many Danes or Swedes spend their time obsessing over the ethnic composition of their countries in the way that defines Israeli politics?

      • just
        June 22, 2014, 8:53 pm

        No, they don’t. In rankings of happiness and democracy, they are in the tippy- top.

        Israel— an ethno- religious Apartheid ‘democracy’?
        Not in the tippy- top.

      • Citizen
        June 23, 2014, 5:19 am

        @ Pat Nguyen
        And Bibi selected three countries that have been subjected to immense damage by the only superpower in the world. Enhanced chaos is not helpful to democracy.

      • john h
        June 24, 2014, 2:33 am

        For starters, Pat, how many other nations are there that have people advocating their destruction?

    • Giles
      June 22, 2014, 6:04 pm

      Hell. Go to the West Bank and Gaza. Compare those places with life in Iran.

      Bibi left out the part about how it is Libya, Syria, and Iraq got to be so messed up.

      • just
        June 22, 2014, 8:55 pm

        Well stated, Giles.

        Thanks.

    • Kay24
      June 22, 2014, 10:20 pm

      Ah that crazy Bibi. It must be nice to live such a delusional life, and imagine that the world will believe the lies, and the rosy picture he paints of the “beacon of light in the Middle East”. He is delusional enough to think ALL those crimes like land theft, illegal settlements, and the kidnapping and killing of Palestinians, is normal, and that the rest of the world should admire and imitate Israel.

      Here is how Israel “protects” and loves Christians:
      “HAIFA Israel (Reuters) – The top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land said on Sunday a spate of attacks against the Church had poisoned the atmosphere ahead of this month’s visit by Pope Francis, and urged Israel to crack down on the perpetrators.
      Fourteen attacks by suspected far-right Israelis have been reported in the past year. Several have been carried out over the last month, including a death threat daubed in Hebrew at the Assembly of Bishops at the Notre Dame Center in East Jerusalem.
      The attacks have become known as “price tags” – a reference by ultranationalist Jews to making the Israeli government “pay” for any curbs on Jewish settlement on Palestinian land.
      “There has been a marked increase of ‘price tag’ provocations within Israel,” Fouad Twal, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, told reporters at a post-Easter procession in the city of Haifa, home to thousands of Israeli Arab church faithful.
      “This wave of extremist actions of terror are surely of grave concern to all reasonable persons.” – Reuters.

      This may have been another reason why Churches of many denominations are deciding to divest.

      Did I mention Bibi is delusional (apart from being a liar)?

  11. seafoid
    June 22, 2014, 5:22 pm

    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/in-turning-point-vote-presbyterians-divest-from-occupation-linked-corporations.html

    “The American Jewish Committee was not assuaged. In a tweet, it called the vote “a setback for Israeli-Palestinian peace & a breach w/ Jewish community”

    “You can chose partnership and engagement or you can choose separation and divestment,” Jacobs said. “We should be partners in leading the interfaith world”

    This weekend’s violence is a vindication of the Presbyterian vote.

    • Pat Nguyen
      June 22, 2014, 5:30 pm

      How so? The church is on-board with the TSS and distanced itself from BDS. In fact, the church still has many investments with Israeli companies. Seems like you are making a mountain out of a molehill.

      • Frankie P
        June 22, 2014, 8:58 pm

        Could it be a new Hasbara strategy? Take the name of a well-known, well-respected Palestine solidarity activist who does brilliant research and writes excellent articles for Mondoweiss (sorry Phan Nguyen if I’m laying it on too thick, but it’s true!), change a few letters in the first name, and voila, a new commenter appears to defend the apartheid state and attack the regulars here, perhaps leaving some wondering if it really is that P. Nguyen. Well, I’m here to tell you that it ain’t! As to whether it is or isn’t a new strategy, well I’m sure most of the folks here wouldn’t be surprised in the least…

        Frankie P.

      • Donald
        June 22, 2014, 11:52 pm

        It’s not a new strategy–it’s bog standard trolling. Come into a hostile blog and happily type BS and wait for the reaction. It’s as old as the internet. All you need to know about “Pat Nguyen” you can derive from this comment–

        “As a supporter of Israel, her policies, and elected officials, I am happy that this is the argument of those who wish harm on Israel.”

        Would you waste time arguing with someone who said he was the supporter of 1980’s South Africa, her policies, and elected officials? He’s not even on the liberal Zionist side if he says that. Though I don’t doubt he’ll pretend to be one if it gets more attention.

      • tree
        June 23, 2014, 4:10 am

        Seems like you are making a mountain out of a molehill.

        Another tactic illustrated. Presbyterian divestment is not only the scourge of anti-semitism, and a cataclysmic disruption of interfaith dialogue, its also really no big deal. Makes you wonder why Rabbi Jacobs made such a great effort to forestall it.

      • James Canning
        June 23, 2014, 1:48 pm

        A number of people who thought that “whites” could maintain control of South Africa even though badly outnumbered, simply changed their minds. Different times called for different policies.

  12. eGuard
    June 22, 2014, 5:32 pm

    Fear of anti-semitism accusation did not … the title says.

    I think this does not right to the attitude of BDS proponents. I think a proponent now has a stronger attitude in this than being lead by fear. A better title would be like: “Threats of accusations of anti-Semitism did not …”. Or shorter: “Accusations of anti-Semitism did not …”.

    We should not forget who is actually mongering fear & threats.

  13. wes
    June 22, 2014, 6:20 pm

    seafoid says:
    June 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    “This weekend’s violence is a vindication of the Presbyterian vote.”

    what violence ?

  14. richb
    June 22, 2014, 10:16 pm

    Permit me to go into the weeds of Presbyterian polity. The opponents of justice had two goals both of which failed. The one that attracted all the attention was the divestment motion. This was a teaching moment in that it taught us it is impossible to be moderate enough to escape the false charges of anti-Semitism. Two years from now we will remember this. The second item that failed was to marginalize the Israel Palestine Missionary Network (IPMN) whose purpose is to advocate on the behalf of justice for the Palestinians. This was established by the the 2004 GA and it was to talk to and not for the church. A motion to get Zionism Unsettled off our web site was modified by the ME Committee to just say that ZU does not represent the PCUSA which merely re-iterates IPMN’s charter. This passed on the consent calendar because people in the know knew that this meant nothing thus was uncontroversial.

    After divestment passed there was much flailing to strike back at IPMN. So they removed their council on a report on the rights of children. They had to do it twice since they missed one reference in 04-12 on the floor.

    But 04-01 had already passed which was reconsideration of the so-called two state solution. A report that looks at the viability of the two state solution and provides commissioners with information about the facts on the ground will be prepared for our next GA in two years. In this resolution is this language:

    d. Consult also with appropriate, official PC(USA) General Assembly entities in the preparation of this report, including staffing teams, mission networks, and national caucuses.

    IPMN is an official PCUSA GA mission network. So, Zionism Unsettled will still be sold on our denominational web site and IPMN will contribute to a report on whether the PCUSA continues to support a two state solution AND Rabbi Jacobs “offer”/emotional blackmail royally pissed us off. So when the report hits in two years what we will be contemplating will be much more radical than a limited divestment of three companies. Note another dynamic: many of those who support Israel under any and all circumstances will probably be gone over the gay marriage issue.

    What happened on Friday is just the beginning. Stay tuned.

    • Pat Nguyen
      June 22, 2014, 10:41 pm

      By listening to more responsible members and leaders of your organization, I merrily disagree with your prognosis. Seems like you will need to join a more radical group that is more inline with your proclivities. Keep us updated on your progress!

    • ritzl
      June 22, 2014, 11:37 pm

      Thanks, richb.

    • tree
      June 23, 2014, 2:32 am

      This was a teaching moment in that it taught us it is impossible to be moderate enough to escape the false charges of anti-Semitism.

      A most important lesson to learn.

  15. Mayhem
    June 22, 2014, 10:36 pm

    How many of these Presbyterian dissemblers will personally sacrifice using Caterpillar tractors on their private property, Motorola-based mobile phones devices or HP computer products and printers?
    This only goes to highlight that BDS is a political strategy based on hypocrisy and insincerity.
    A church spokeswoman estimated the value of Presbyterian holdings in the companies at $21m. Wow, this is really going to slug Israel economically! It will make absolutely NO difference.
    Has the Presbyterian Church made any resolutions to condemn the widespread demise of Christian communities across the Arab world? Do they pay anything more than lipservice to the ruthless, slaughtering of Christian minorities by ISIS, which is sacking churches, dispatching suicide-bombers to market-places, and has no regard for civilian casualties. Do they bother with the horrendous persecution of Christians in Pakistan or are they more concerned not to ruffle the feathers of their Muslim friends whom they have lured into inter-faith charades?
    This disproportionate attitude, reeking of anti-semitism, reflects a campaign aiming to delegitimise the Jewish state – a campaign which has its priorities totally skew-whiff.

    • Ron Edwards
      June 22, 2014, 11:28 pm

      Mayhem, you shoot less straight than John Hinckley Jr.

      Can anyone imagine anything more disingenuous than referencing ISIS as a representative of the “Arab world,” bankrolled as it is, originated as it is, ultimately and absurdly serving the purposes it does? Do you not grasp why and how those you reference Pakistan came to power and who keeps them there? Or does Hasbara 101 simply fail to teach that?

      Oh, and newsflash: Pakistani aren’t Arabs. Unlike a ton of Jewish Israelis who are.

      As for what individual Presbyterians do with their personal finances, why don’t you ask them, individually, instead of making up your own answer and trumpeting it as evidence?

      This is too easy. You’re played out. Leave the field to the newcomers like this afire-with-smarm Pat Nguyen person, and go wherever it is bots go when their rhetoric limps this badly.

    • ritzl
      June 22, 2014, 11:34 pm

      You don’t get it, do you Mayhem? Not even a little bit.

    • Pat Nguyen
      June 22, 2014, 11:52 pm

      I have not read a posting that correctly identifies that Motorola was bought by Google.

      • tree
        June 23, 2014, 2:14 am

        That’s because your info is not correct. Motorola split itself into two companies in 2011, Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility. It sold off Motorola Mobility (which made consumer cellphones and cable set-top boxes) to Google in August 2013. Motorola Solutions, the other half of the split, is the company that is a target of BDS, and the subject of the Presbyterian divestment.

        And BTW, Google sold off Motorola Mobility to Lenovo in January of this year, retaining only the Motorola patent potfolio which appears to be the only real interest Google had the acquisition. So your information is faulty all around.

    • talknic
      June 23, 2014, 4:46 am

      @ Mayhem “How many of these Presbyterian dissemblers will personally sacrifice using Caterpillar tractors on their private property”

      Would they be creating illegal facts on the ground in someone elses territory? Illegally razing someone elses home, orchard, farm, olive grove, cistern, animal shelters, destroying someone elses livelihood? And finally, once machinery and office equpiment has already been purchased … well, go figure … you can still think…yes?

      “This only goes to highlight that BDS is a political strategy based on hypocrisy and insincerity”

      No it goes to show how little thought you’ve actually given the subject.

      “A church spokeswoman estimated the value of Presbyterian holdings in the companies at $21m. Wow, this is really going to slug Israel economically!”

      You don’t get it because you’re utterly stupid or because you’re not allowed or because your ziocaine addled world will fall apart? The point is, it will effect Caterpillar.

      “Has the Presbyterian Church made any resolutions to condemn the widespread demise of Christian communities across the Arab world?”

      Let’s look… https://www.google.com/search?q=Presbyterian%20Christian%20communities%20in%20the%20Arab%20world

      “anything more than lipservice to the ruthless, slaughtering of Christian minorities by ISIS, which is sacking churches, dispatching suicide-bombers to market-places, and has no regard for civilian casualties”

      Er .. what other than lipservice can anyone do in a civil war? You gonna arm up and go play super hero?

      “Do they bother with the horrendous persecution of Christians in Pakistan”

      Do you ever check before opening that ol’ wail gob? https://www.google.com/search?q=Presbyterian persecution of Christians in Pakistan

      “This disproportionate attitude, reeking of anti-semitism”

      Caterpillar is semitic? Jewish? WOW!!!!

      “reflects a campaign aiming to delegitimise the Jewish state”

      Uh? Israel being in breach of the UN Charter and International Law already does that pal!

    • Shingo
      June 23, 2014, 5:07 am

      Do they pay anything more than lipservice to the ruthless, slaughtering of Christian minorities by ISIS, which is sacking churches, dispatching suicide-bombers to market-places, and has no regard for civilian casualties.

      You mean the same ISIS that Washington is arming to the teeth and turning a blind eye while Saudi Arabia finances them – with Israeli agreement?

  16. Kay24
    June 22, 2014, 11:19 pm

    Looks like AIPAC (or some other Israeli agency) organized a protest in New York bringing attention to the so called kidnapped Israel kids. It is time pro Palestinian supporters did the same, and protested the killing of the two kids during the Nakba anniversary, and the other brutal killings afterwards. Time Americans got the real story. Placards showing names and faces of the latest victims of Israel’s military occupation, might open a few minds, and show exactly who the real victim are in this horrible situation.

    • Pat Nguyen
      June 23, 2014, 12:27 am

      Sorry Kay. The rallies were not sponsored by AIPAC. There are organizations that care for the well being of children; odd that you would think that the event was associated with AIPAC. Are you familiar with their objectives? Why would it irk you if it was an AIPAC inspired event?

      Americans are aware of the facts as they are publicly available. You are just bothered that there is not sufficient sympathy for the cause that you support.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 23, 2014, 1:10 am

        Americans are aware of the facts as they are publicly available.

        what’s your definition of “publicly available”? the msm is not reflective of reality.

      • Kay24
        June 23, 2014, 8:40 am

        Your defense of AIPAC is noted. I did mention that it may be some other Israeli agency (check again above) whoever it was, obviously was keeping with other zionist supporters, and “protesting” what is becoming a convenient nightmare for Israel.

        An organization that cares of the well being of children eh? Would that be ONLY Israeli children? How about these caring organization taking up a bigger cause, like the vicious killing of Palestinian kids during the Nakba protests, video taped and witnessed, and talking about kidnapping, how about the HUNDREDS kids who are kidnapped in the middle of the night, terrified, from their beds, and as documented by human rights agencies, abused in Israeli prisons, given no legal representation and no family visits? That sounds good to you Pat Nguyen?
        AIPAC is a devious controlling body, that has poured in millions into the campaigns of spineless congresspeople, who we vote for, and it is well documented that they keep voting constantly to protect a brutal occupier that keeps killing Palestinians and treating them like dirt.
        So do not try to sell the virtues to those who KNOW all about AIPAC here. If you stop buying the narrative from the zionist media in the US and did some independent research, you may re-think your love for AIPAC.

      • Pat Nguyen
        June 23, 2014, 11:23 am

        Kay, all I need to do is read your posting and I understand why AIPAC is important. I also support your right to oppose it.

  17. shalom
    June 23, 2014, 8:01 am

    There’s lots to consider, but I’m afraid JVP has got it wrong because the end of the Occupation will not come as a result of the Presbyterian divestment or its general call for BDS. The victory will result in a heightened campaign of resistance by the State of Israel and mainstream international Jewish organizations which include many liberals. The reason is that if you read the manifesto of the BDS Movement on its Website; http://www.bdsmovement.net/, it includes the following policy: “3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”

    • Hostage
      June 23, 2014, 9:05 am

      The reason is that if you read the manifesto of the BDS Movement on its Website; link to bdsmovement.net, it includes the following policy: “3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”

      JVP endorses all of the aims of the BDS Movement, including that one. Our Mission statement calls for “a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law” and endorses the right of refugees to opt for any of the solutions outlined in resolution 194:
      * The plight of Palestinian refugees needs to be resolved equitably and in a manner that promotes peace and is consistent with international law. Within the framework of an equitable agreement, the refugees should have a role in determining their future, whether pursuing return, resettlement, or financial compensation. Israel should recognize its share of responsibility for the ongoing refugee crisis and for its resolution.

      http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/content/jvp-mission-statement

    • Shingo
      June 23, 2014, 9:01 pm

      There’s lots to consider, but I’m afraid JVP has got it wrong because the end of the Occupation will not come as a result of the Presbyterian divestment or its general call for BDS.

      Not from e Presbyterian divestment but with sufficient support for BDS, yes it would, as the economy would collapse and thus the state itself.

      “3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”

      I know Zionists are opposed to human rights and international law, but the return of the refugees in their right.

      • Pat Nguyen
        June 23, 2014, 9:37 pm

        Is this some sort of Poe’s law?
        How would the Israeli economy collapse without impacting the global economy? Not going to happen. People with stake in INTC, MSFT, FB, GOOG, CSCO, biotech, materials science, agriculture.

        Enough playing lord of the flies.

      • Shingo
        June 24, 2014, 4:06 am

        Is this some sort of Poe’s law?

        No, it’s simple cause and effect. They might not have taught you that at Hasbara school.

        How would the Israeli economy collapse without impacting the global economy?

        Easy. Israel’s economy, which is tiny, is not worth a zit on the ass of the global economy.

        People with stake in INTC, MSFT, FB, GOOG, CSCO, biotech, materials science, agriculture can get what they need elsewhere – after all, most of the tech is stolen or reverse engineered from other countries anyway.

        Sorry to burst your bubble about your inflated notion of Israel’s significance, but if it were to disappear tomorrow, it probably wouldn’t even be noticed on the stock exchange.

        Enough anti intellectualism.

      • Hostage
        June 24, 2014, 4:50 am

        How would the Israeli economy collapse without impacting the global economy? Not going to happen. People with stake in INTC, MSFT, FB, GOOG, CSCO, biotech, materials science, agriculture.

        Enough playing lord of the flies.

        Israel has gladly played Lord of the Flies with the economies of Iran and Palestine. The global economy hasn’t collapsed because crippling sanctions were imposed on Iraq and Iran. The multinational companies you named would just shift their operations to other countries. None them were or are Israeli to begin with.

        FYI, top tier economies are measured in trillions of dollars of GDP, while Israel is measured in hundreds of billions. Even at that, it’s half of the GDP of Iran. See Here’s a List of Countries With a Higher GDP Per Capita Than Israel http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/heres-a-list-of-countries-with-a-higher-gdp-per-capita-than-israel/260546/

      • Shingo
        June 24, 2014, 5:06 am

        The multinational companies you named would just shift their operations to other countries. None them were or are Israeli to begin with.

        Don’t confuse Pat with reality and facts hostage. He’s undoubtedly convinced that Israel invented the mobile phone, PCs, ICQ, and drip water irrigation.

      • Walid
        June 24, 2014, 5:42 am

        “… Israel invented the mobile phone, PCs, ICQ, and drip water irrigation.”

        I don’t know about the other 2 inventions, Shingo, but drip water irrigation is reputed to be the invention in the 1950s of Simcha Blass, an Israeli of Polish origin. Subsequent technological improvements and innovations in that field are attributed to Ben Gurion University.

        The one that intrigues me that’s often talked about here is the cherry tomato.

      • Shingo
        June 24, 2014, 6:23 am

        I don’t know about the other 2 inventions, Shingo, but drip water irrigation is reputed to be the invention in the 1950s of Simcha Blass, an Israeli of Polish origin.

        It was around long before then Walid. Drip water irrigation was used in China in the first century BCE.

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drip_irrigation

      • tree
        June 24, 2014, 7:20 am

        I don’t know about the other 2 inventions, Shingo, but drip water irrigation is reputed to be the invention in the 1950s of Simcha Blass, an Israeli of Polish origin.

        No, that’s not correct. Blass is credited with the development of the first plastic drip emitter in 1959, but drip irrigation preceded the development of the drip emitter going as far back as ancient times with the use of buried clay pots.

        Modern drip irrigation began its development in Germany in 1860 when researchers began experimenting with subsurface irrigation using clay pipe to create combination irrigation and drainage systems.[2] Research was later expanded in the 1920s to include the application of perforated pipe systems.[3] The usage of plastic to hold and distribute water in drip irrigation was later developed in Australia by Hannis Thill.[4]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drip_irrigation

        Drip irrigation has since expanded into micro-sprayers, bubblers, misters and drip tape which deliver water in different ways than drip emitters (Blass’ invention). And Subsurface Drip Irrigation(SDI) is yet another type of drip irrigation. Blass was an important innovator in the field of drip irrigation, but he did not “invent” it.

        As for fruits and vegetables, no person can claim to have “invented” them, but they can be bred for specific traits. Cherry tomatoes existed long before Israel existed as a State, and are believed to have originated in Peru. Israeli plant breeders did develop a specific cultivar of cherry tomato, called the Tomaccio tomato, which was bred for sweetness, early ripening and long shelf life. There are other cherry tomato cultivars, some much older (the Santorini, bred in Greece in the 1800s) and others more recent, such as Super Sweet 100, which is popular in the US. Chances are, if you bought cherry tomatoes in the US, they weren’t Tomaccios, although they are apparently popular in Europe.

        And, no, Israelis did not invent the mobile phone or computers.

      • Walid
        June 24, 2014, 7:42 am

        Shingo and tree, thanks for the corrected history; I guess after having heard it repeated so many times like the drip drip of the water, it registered although I’d like to hear an Israeli refuting the drip story here.

        As to the tomato, I knew of its origin but the emphasis on the cherry tomato perplexed me because I didn’t know how this argument developed. Now I can argue about the cherry tomato. As we used to say back home, je me coucherai moins bête ce soir.

      • Shingo
        June 24, 2014, 7:49 am

        Yes Walid,

        Don’t mention it Walid – I only came across this fact when I was debating this topic with a Ziobot and did a Google search. Pretty much every thing Israel claims was invented in Israel was not.

        It’s hard for even us to avoid being influenced by the hasbara. May I ask Walid, where home is or used to be as a French speaker? In spite of spending 5 years in Montreal, my French has always been appalling.

      • Walid
        June 24, 2014, 7:58 am

        Same city in La Belle Province; BTW today is St Jean Baptiste Day, the province’s holiday named for its patron saint.

    • seafoid
      June 24, 2014, 12:08 am

      “The victory will result in a heightened campaign of resistance by the State of Israel and mainstream international Jewish organizations which include many liberals. ”

      Thanks for the laugh

    • Shingo
      June 24, 2014, 12:24 am

      The victory will result in a heightened campaign of resistance by the State of Israel and mainstream international Jewish organizations which include many liberals.

      In which case, those liberals are not liberals but PEPs (progressive except for Palestine).

  18. edding
    June 23, 2014, 8:27 am

    I might have advised cutting it just a bit finer and divesting of all but a single share of each of these corporations so that the Presbyterian Church could have introduced shareholder resolutions at every shareholder meeting. Still, this is a very important symbolic step, and hopefully will inspire other churches, and the National Council of Churches to be more proactive in the movement for a just resolution and permanent peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and an anti-war peace policy for the Middle East and elsewhere, since it is all connected.

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