A deeply divided
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Thursday became the latest American
church to shy away from divesting in companies that supply equipment to
Israel to enforce its control in the occupied territories, after a
passionate debate that stretched late into the evening and a vote that
was nearly a tie.
The decision not to
divest, the culmination of an eight-year process, was watched intensely
by Christians, Jews and Palestinians in the United States and in the
Middle East. It is likely to bring a sigh of relief to Jewish groups in
Israel and the United States that lobbied Presbyterians against
divestment, and to dismay the international movement known as B.D.S. --
Boycott, Divest and Sanctions -- which advocates using economic leverage
to pressure Israel to return occupied land to the Palestinians.
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