Bucking the trend of many Protestant churches in recent times, one Protestant organisation in North America has gone against the trend of divesting from Israel.
A mainstream Protestant church has won kudos from Jewish community leaders for urging its national governing body to invest in Israel.The resolution responds to Jewish concerns over the divestment strategy passed in July 2004 by the Presbyterian Church USA.
This week, the Presbytery of the Western Reserve, an umbrella organization of 52 Presbyterian churches in Northeast Ohio, passed an “overture” asking its parent organization to invest in businesses and nonprofit groups in Israel that promote peace, justice and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.The overture also encourages Presbyterian congregations to develop projects locally and in the Middle East that foster dialogue between Jewish and Palestinian American communities and promote peace, says the Rev. Louise Westfall of Fairmount Presbyterian Church. While not unanimous, the approximately 150 voting representatives passed the overture by a “substantial” margin, adds Westfall.