The Israel-Boycott Charade of the United Church of Christ

In 2015, the general synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC)—one of America’s major mainline Protestant denominations—voted overwhelmingly in favor of divestment of church funds from corporations doing business with Israel, deeming the Jewish state the sole nation whose violations of human rights justified such a measure. Dexter Van Zile notes that this resolution was purely an exercise in moral posturing:

The vote generated a lot of publicity for the denomination, but it didn’t have the impact its supporters said it was going to have. The denomination’s $3.2-billion retirement fund is still invested in three of the companies named by the resolution—Caterpillar ($1.7 million), Hewlett-Packard ($437,000), and Motorola ($342,000). The numbers aren’t huge, but the fact is UCC’s pension boards own stock that the denomination’s general synod explicitly blacklisted for profiting from Israel’s purported misdeeds in the West Bank.

If we are to believe the propaganda broadcast at the general synod in 2015, UCC retirees are profiting from human suffering in the Holy Land. The [synod] told the denomination’s local churches, parishioners, and, by way of implication, the rest of American society that they shouldn’t profit from companies that do business with Israel. But the denomination’s retirement fund does just that.

It was all a farce — a hypocritical, dishonest farce. . . . And that was how it was going to be from the very beginning, [since] UCC pension boards are not bound by the general synod’s resolutions. In other words, the UCC pension fund was free to do whatever it needed to do to achieve the 4-percent return on investment that it has promised to retirees. . .

It just goes to confirm what most people have concluded all along: anti-Israel divestment resolutions are just a charade, a put-on used to generate hostility toward the Jewish state and its supporters in the U.S. The whole point of the divestment resolutions was not to get church institutions to sell stock, but to use divestment motions to turn the floor of church-wide assemblies into venues for anti-Israel witch trials.

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More about: Anti-Zionism, BDS, Israel & Zionism, Jewish-Christian relations

 

Why Israel Pretends That Hamas Fired Rockets by Accident

March 21 2019

Israeli military and political officials have repeated Hamas’s dubious claim that the launching of two rockets at Tel Aviv last week was inadvertent. To Smadar Perry, accepting Hamas’s story rather than engaging in further retaliation is but a convenient, and perhaps necessary, way of aiding Egyptian efforts to broker a deal with the terrorist group. But even if these efforts succeed, the results will be mixed:

The [Israeli] security cabinet has met in Tel Aviv and decided that they would continue indirect negotiations with Gaza. A message was sent to Egypt, whose delegation is going back to Gaza to pass on the Israeli demands for calm. The Egyptians also have to deal with the demands from Hamas, which include, among other things, an increase in aid from $15 million to $30 million per month and an increase in the supply of electricity.

The requests are reasonable, but they do leave a sour taste in the mouth. Israel must ensure that this financial aid does not end up in the pockets of Hamas and its associates. [Israel] also knows that if it says “no” to everything, the Iranians will step in, with the help of their Gazan friends in Islamic Jihad. They are just waiting for the opportunity.

Hamas also must deal with the fallout from a series of massive handouts from Qatar. For when the citizens of the Gaza Strip saw that the money was going to the Hamas leadership, who were also enjoying a fine supply of electricity to their own houses, they took to the streets in protest—and this time it was not Israel that was the focus of their anger. . .

[But] here is the irony. With Egyptian help, Israel can reach understandings for calm with Gaza, despite the lack of a direct channel. . . . In the West Bank, where the purportedly friendlier Fatah is in charge, it is more complicated, at least until the eighty-three-year-old Mahmoud Abbas is replaced.

As evidence for that last statement, consider the murder of two Israelis in the West Bank on Sunday, and the Palestinians who threw explosives at Israeli soldiers at Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem yesterday.

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More about: Egypt, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, West Bank