Completing another lap in its race to irrelevance, the Presbyterian Church USA (one of dozens of Presbyterian denominations in the U.S.) has voted to divest itself from three corporations it perceives as helpful to the Israeli “occupation” of Palestinian lands.
Mind you, this vote merely broadcasts the church’s yearning for peace. The measure, approved by a narrow margin (310-303), also called for interfaith dialogue, a two-state solution and positive investment alternatives for the $21 million which the church had invested in Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard.
The divestment resolution, fabricated by a 65-member committee, also reaffirmed Israel’s right to exist — which is simply going too far, in the eyes of the Palestinians with whom the church empathizes.
Jesus, whom these Presbyterians profess to follow, invested much of his preaching against hypocrites in the organized religion of His day. This action by His purported disciples would have the Master declaiming, “You brood of vipers. You whitewashed tombs” — and perhaps, “You’ve got HOW MUCH MONEY invested in just three companies!?”
Heath Rada, the church’s moderator, who was leading the proceedings, said immediately after the electronic vote count was posted, “In no way is this a reflection of our lack of love for our Jewish sisters and brothers.”
No, I suppose their lack of love for the Jews is expressed in other, more substantive, ways than this symbolic portfolio shuffling. The only thing missing from Mr. Rada’s statement is the obligatory “Some of our best friends are Jews.”
Mr. Rada, the church’s moderator, said at a news conference after the vote, “I don’t believe you could talk to a single commissioner and have any of them say they were doing this as an anti-Jewish issue.
Certainly not. No commissioner would say that…even if she felt it, she wouldn’t say it.
The leader of the Presbyterian Church USA then moves from insincerity and hypocrisy to moral equivalency.
“I think there is a lot of emotion about the unjust treatment on the part of the Israeli government toward the Palestinians, but there is equal upset,” he said, about “terrorist activity that has been undertaken by the Palestinians.”
Mr. Rada, would you prefer that I move into your neighborhood and build houses — all the while employing your family members at wages three times what your own people would pay? Or would you prefer that I send my teenage son strapped with a bomb to do the chicken dance at your daughter’s wedding reception?
There is “a lot of emotion” but not a lot of wisdom among your convention delegates — or rather, among the slightly more than half who voted for this pathetic, posturing, pandering resolution.