PCUSA Divestment – This Just In

I’m kind of stunned to be typing these words, but with regard to this year’s Presbyterian General Assembly (drum roll please): BDS Loses Again!

As many of you know, I’ve been fairly resigned to the likelihood that the Presbyterians would do to themselves what they did in 2004 and drag the denomination into another two years of internal and external strife, all so a few BDSers could brag to their friends that they finally got the church to vote the “right way,” after having had divestment rejected in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

But once again, sense that was nowhere to been seen in the leadership of the Church, or the partisan-packed committees they enabled, seems to still exist within the membership of the organization.  While church members can’t quite bring themselves to fully understand that, far from being a “peace movement,” BDS is the propaganda arm of a war movement that will quote scripture and subvert the vocabulary of human rights to get its way, the saner wing of the Presbyterian Church seems to know enough to avoid handing their name and reputation over to a third party that shares none of their interests.

I’m a bit blurry eyed from starting at Twitter feeds all night, but expect more commentary in the AM.

And in case you’re wondering what hashtag you want to use tonight, I believe that #BDSFail is starting to trend.

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13 Responses to PCUSA Divestment – This Just In

  1. Anonymous July 6, 2012 at 2:44 am #

    If two people had changed their minds and voted for divestment instead of investment (the final vote was 333-331), would sense still exist within the membership of the organization?

  2. fizziks July 6, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    I can't believe I actually watched the live video feed of the debate and vote. I guess it was pretty interesting to see how these things work.

    As I mentioned in my other comment, it was notable how many of the people speaking in favor of divestment were rather moderate, expressing support for a two state solution and for Israel to exist. I don't know if they were being liars ala BDS, or whether they truly believe in that and are being misled by BDS into believing that supporting BDS will advance that. Either way, it was interesting. There was only one mouth breather who launched into “Apartheid” and all of that.

    I feel that those speaking against divestment could have done a better job. Why did nobody mention the 2004 debacle, or what the true goals of BDS are?

    In any case, a win is a win, even a close one, and I guess they'll hash it out again in 2 years.

    In the meantime, I think we should get started with some outreach to the Presbyterians. I for one would love to have a meeting with a church in my area where I could present the case against BDS, the case for Israel, and the case for good relations with the Jewish community. I don't know how to set that up, but it would be a good thing if it could happen.

  3. DrMike July 6, 2012 at 3:13 am #

    Fizziks– you do it through a rabbi who already has a relationship with their Pastor. I'm working on this now in our area via a close friend who is a rabbi and has a good relationship with his Presbyterian neighbor church. I might be able to get in and talk to them about the problems with BDS (I already have a BDS talk which I have given several times). Send me your e-mail (you can get mine from our mutual friend at PZ) and I'll keep you posted– you can probably come to see what I do.

    • fizziks July 6, 2012 at 3:20 am #

      Alright, I'll send you an e-mail once I have the address.

      I think I could do a good job making a concise and intuitive case against BDS. I don't know any rabbis but maybe your guy knows a guy down here, or knows some Presbyterians down here directly, or something like that.

  4. will spotts July 6, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    They weren't lying – that is what they believe or intend. It is hard to explain, but quite of few of those who favor divestment within PC(USA) at something like a GA really do support a 2-state solution and the right of Israel to exist.
    They just fail to see exactly how divestment works, the nature of the BDS movement, and even the nature of the activities of much of the leadership of the PC(USA).

    NONETHELESS – Until the end of GA this is no where near a done deal.

    • fizziks July 6, 2012 at 3:23 am #

      very interesting.

      This is why I think some reaching out to local churches about what BDS is really all about, and what the local Jewish community is all about, would be beneficial.

    • Anonymous July 6, 2012 at 3:25 am #

      “NONETHELESS – Until the end of GA this is no where near a done deal.”

      Does this mean that the divestment resolution can still be passed? I thought it was already stricken down? What is the procedure?

  5. Chelm Wiseman July 6, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Jon, you have done a great job covering this. Thanks for the effort.

    Fizziks – I know it sounds weird to say, but I bet the live video feed was really interesting. I believe that most who were speaking were probably sincere. But this is what happens when radicalism meets the uninformed and only partially interested. Bad things can happen.

    • Anonymous July 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

      And what happens when the uninformed and only partially interested meet with lots of lobbying?

  6. Chelm Wiseman July 6, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Jon, the vote was pretty close… do you know how close it was in years passed?

    • Sylvia July 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

      My understanding is that the vote was on investment in the PA which was changed from minority motion to main motion – not on divestment from the companies which has failed.

  7. Jon July 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Still waiting for the last chapter to be written, but some preliminary analysis appears here: http://www.divestthis.com/2012/07/pcusa-divestment-results.html

  8. will spotts July 6, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    Just as a matter of passing interest – divestment was not defeated by two votes. That was a motion to basically substitute one overture for another. Either result on that motion would have still required action on divestment. The actual vote on the substitution was the vote on divestment. It was not close. Neither were votes on whether to answer divestment overtures with that action.

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