Church's Divestment Policies Strain Relationships with Jewish Groups, Present Opportunities

December 6, 2004

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On December 6, 2004 The Christian Science Monitor reported, "A vote by the Presbyterian Church (USA) to use economic sanctions against certain companies doing business with Israel - namely those that profit from the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza - has set off a quiet firestorm within the American religious community. The Presbyterians' decision to consider divesting such businesses from its $8 billion portfolio, coupled with the prospect that the Episcopal Church and other churches might do the same, is adding to tensions that have risen over recent years between mainline Protestant churches and the American Jewish community over their differing views of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. It is also stirring Jewish groups to try to head off divestment - and to rebuild a rapport with these churches, with whom they have long worked to further civil rights and social justice."