Presbyterians to divest as protest against Israeli treatment of Palestinians

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has narrowly voted to divest from three companies in protest over Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

The church’s General Assembly passed the resolution Friday night by just seven votes. The final tally was 310-303.

The move makes the denomination the most prominent U.S. religious group to endorse divestment in protest of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. The church reaffirmed Israel’s right to exist even as it voted to sell stock in three companies. They are Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions.

The vote at the national meeting in Detroit was the subject of intense lobbying within and outside the church. Opponents argued divestment was not a peaceful strategy and would alienate Jewish groups. Supporters of divestment insisted the action was not anti-Jewish.

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