Divestment from Israel
Dr. Michael L. Ford
11 August 2005

	Since early in 2004 I have been watching a growing
movement toward divestment from investment in Israel.
It is happening among some of the more liberal
elements of some denominations who have so compromised
themselves that little they have to say has meaning
among faithful Christian organizations. In fact, each
of these groups are experiencing decline in
membership. Their incomes from the tithing of the
faithful are in decline. The enormous wealth at their
disposal originates in the legacies of past believers,
invested or received from trusts that were set up to
support them long term.
	Nearly a year ago Eugene Kontorovich asked the
question “What do the Presbyterian Church and the
Syrian Baathist dictatorship have in common?” The
answer was of course that both had pledged themselves
to cutting off ties with American firms doing business
in Israel. Syria began its economic warfare against
Israel in 1948. Last year, just a month after Syria
added Caterpillar, the American construction equipment
company to its list, the 216th General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to divest.
Caterpillar was noted as a particular focus of
Presbyterian ire.
In addition to Caterpillar; Motorola, ITT Industries
and United Technologies - were selected this year from
a list of several dozen possibilities by a church
investment committee. The Presbyterians accused these
companies of selling helicopters, cellphones, night
vision equipment and other items Israel uses to
enforce its occupation. What occupation? They are in
territory they were basically forced to go into and
win in the course of war. It is not occupied territory
it is land that should be annexed to Israel as the
spoils of war.
	Knowing that they are hypocrites and in an effort to
appear evenhanded in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
the church committee included Citigroup on its list of
targets, alleging it had a connection to a bank
accused of having a role in funneling money from
Islamic charities to the families of Palestinian
suicide bombers. The church said it included Citigroup
because it was mentioned in an article in The Wall
Street Journal.
	The Episcopal Church U.S.A., the United Church of
Christ, two regions of the United Methodist Church, as
well as international groups such as the apostate
World Council of Churches and the Anglican
Consultative Council have urged consideration of
divestment or economic pressure on Israel. The
Disciples of Christ passed a resolution in July 2005
calling on Israel to tear down the barrier it has
built to wall off the occupied territories, and other
churches are considering similar resolutions. Amongst
all the divestment rhetoric has been a continual
calling for Israel to tear down the wall it has been
building to separate areas ceded to the Palestinians.
The churchmen ignore that the wall has helped decrease
terrorism and consequently has saved lives.
	Since the creation of Israel, a change has taken
place that affects Christianity. That is, Christians
can worship there unmolested and without fear.
Contrary to the attitudes of the Palestinians, Israel
shares American values of religious freedom. The
choosing to weigh in on the side of Palestinians is to
side with people who have slaughtered Christians and
defiled their holy places. Yasser Arafat, the former
head of the PLO was responsible for the massacre of
Christian civilians in Lebanon when his Fatah movement
was based there. There is more that could be told
about recent anti-Christian activities if space
	When you listen to the rhetoric coming from some of
these people there are two things apparent. Many of
the leaders in this movement are plainly anti-Semitic
and there is a theological issue of Replacement
Theology involved as well.  That is the false belief
held by some people that Israel is no longer the true
Israel, but that the promises of God made to Israel
has been passed over to the church. 
	One other thing we might observe is that the leaders
in this movement do not appear to represent the rank
and file within the denominations. But they have
grabbed control of the denominations and are bent on
ramming it down the throats of the membership. For the
Presbyterians alone we are talking about a 60 million
dollar divestment. It is shortsighted and will cost
them in the long run, a consequence that will gain no
sympathy from this observer.
	One passing note was the divesters had the audacity
to be critical of those in Israel who have protested
their attitude. To me that was the height of
insolence. If a person tries to damage your Nation,
have you no right to protest? Apparently not if you
are a Jew. Divestment is plainly anti- Israel and
anti-Jewish and just plain stupid.

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