Rami Khouri on the Presbyterian Church and the Middle East

A Mixed Presbyterian Position in Pittsburgh
Agence Global
July 6, 2012
Commentary by: Rami Khouri, senior fellow with the Belfer Center’s Middle East Initiative and director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut
Topic: The Presbyterian Church and the Middle East

“PITTSBURGH, PA — I have spent the last three days in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania participating in the Presbyterian Church-USA’s consideration of resolutions on Middle East and peacemaking issues, most notably the call for the church to divest its shares in three American companies (Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard) whose products are used for ‘non-peaceful pursuits’ that aid the Israeli occupation of Palestinians. The bottom line is that the church did not vote for divestment, by a razor thin margin of 333 for, 331 against and 2 abstentions; instead it voted to invest ‘constructively’ and ‘positively’ in both Palestine and Israel, and engage both people in activities that could promote peacemaking and improve the lives of Palestinians living under occupation. It also voted overwhelmingly to boycott all products made in Israeli settlements, which is a major gain for those battling for justice, given that the Presbyterians are the largest Protestant denomination in the USA.”

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