Friday, September 16, 2011
Presbyterian Church Accuses Companies of 'Non-Peaceful' Support of Israel

Presbyterian Church Accuses Companies of 'Non-Peaceful' Support of Israel

The Presbyterian Church USA (PC USA) has accused Caterpillar, HP and Motorola of supporting the Israeli government in a "non-peaceful way."

As a result of those claim, the Church has now indicated that it will divest of the companies' stock.

The Church has been trying to convince Caterpillar to cease its indirect engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for years, a PC USA representative wrote in a statement.

Caterpillar, a producer of mining equipment, has “profited from sales of its products to Israeli military and civilian authorities, including its D-9 bulldozers which are used to demolish Palestinian homes and construct settlements and Israeli-only roads on Palestinian land, acts deemed illegal under international law,” reads a statement by the Church's committee for dealing with investments, the Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI).

According to the committee, Motorola Solutions provided communications equipment to the Israeli military, which was then used in military operations in the West Bank. These operations include the blockade of Gaza, MRTI said.

Hewlett-Packard is accused of profiting from the sales of specialized technology used in "invasive and unjust" scanning at checkpoints in the border wall constructed on the Palestinian territory, the committee declared.

HP also sells its hardware to the Israeli Navy, which supports the ongoing naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, MRTI has claimed.

The committee's recommendation to withdraw from financial involvement with these companies has already split opinions among the Presbyterian Diaspora.

A group called Presbyterians for Middle East Peace said that it’s “saddened but not surprised” by it. The organization declared that such a move would “no doubt, increase the divisions within the PC USA” and “surely offend and hurt our brothers and sisters in the Jewish community.”

The group also suggested that the PC USA broke the instructions of the Church's General Assembly to not “over-identify with one side in this tragic [Israeli-Palestinian] struggle.”

Promoting international peace is one of the PC USA’s ongoing endeavors. In a recent online statement of purpose regarding peacekeeping, the Church declared that “God who grants peace and wholeness calls Christians to understand and address the root causes of violence and injustice so that we may share in mending the brokenness that exists in our world [sic].”


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