Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME) welcomes the recent decision of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to divest from several companies involved in human rights abuses and environmental degradation.
The UUA has adopted a human rights screen focusing on conflict zones that includes human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories. The UUA subsequently divested from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HP Inc., and Motorola Solutions. The UUA has also divested from Caterpillar Inc., due to concerns over its environmental and social practices. These four companies have been the target of boycott and divestment campaigns due to their complicity in violations of Palestinian human rights.
“We are pleased with this decision made by the UUA officials,” said Curtis Bell, a member of the UUJME Board of Directors. “As Unitarian Universalists we want to live by our principles, which include respect for the worth and dignity of every person, upholding justice, equity and compassion in human affairs, and seeking peace and world community. When we refuse to profit from human rights abuses and the suffering of fellow human beings, we are living our principles.”
By divesting from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HP Inc., Motorola Solutions, and Caterpillar, the UUA is joining other religious denominations such as the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ, which have voted to divest from these and other companies profiting from Israel’s abuses of Palestinian rights; and the United Methodist Church, which has voted to boycott goods produced in settlements and which recently divested from two Israeli banks and placed three others on a no investing list due to their complicity in the illegal construction of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
UUJME will be working to reinforce and solidify the UUA’s decisions with passage of a Business Resolution by delegates to the UUA General Assembly in Columbus Ohio this coming June. Adoption of this resolution will guide the UUA as it continues to include human rights concerns in the occupied Palestinian territories in its future investment decisions.