OK, I know I promised (at least to myself) that I wouldn’t provide blow-by-blow on the current PCUSA divestment debate. But a couple of stories that have emerged in the last few days need some dissemination (and contextualization) which I’d like to provide (hopefully briefly).
First, believe it or not, the BDSers have decided to get back into the divestment hoax game by declaring that simple business decisions or investment choices based on non-financial issues having nothing to do with Israel are actually successes for their “movement.”
This was a favorite technique the boycotters used years ago which was dropped once people caught onto them, leading to fraudulent stories related to organizations like TIAA-CREF, Blackrock and other financial firms being exposed within hours.
But recent claims that Bill Gates has turned on Israel by divesting from the security company G4S at the behest of the BDSers seems at odds with the massive investments he and Microsoft continue to make in the Israeli economy. And the existence of a perfectly reasonable explanation for Gates’ sale of G4S stock (that he bought it when the price was low and sold it soon afterwards when the price rose) means it is the boycotters’ responsibility to prove that a politically motivated divestment decision took place (by following the same guidelines used for every other divestment project in history, save theirs, described here), rather than our job to prove that it did not.
G4S was involved in a second recent hoax, this one involving the Methodist Church selling off shares in the company due to their general involvement in the management of prisons. And, once again, the BDSers were firing off their press releases declaring the Methodists to now be in their camp, despite the fact that the church has explicitly said their decision had nothing to do with Israel.
While I’ve come to believe that many BDS hoaxes are designed to fuel the Israel haters delusions of potency and effectiveness (even at the cost of being exposed as liars to those who do not share their fantasies), the obvious political motivation for pushing fraudulent stories about the Methodists onto the front pages now is to influence upcoming PCUSA votes via lies that say “The Methodists have joined our movement and so should you!”
Given the sheer number of lies that are being fed to members of the Presbyterian General Assembly: lies about who has divested and who has not, lies about previous church decisions on the matter, and lies about the Middle East itself, it’s clear that the BDSers are going into battle assuming that the people they plan to convince are a bunch of ignoramuses. And while I expect many Presbyterians are unaware of how much pap they are being fed by church leaders working in collusion with internal and external groups like the Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) committee and Sabeel, I’m hoping GA voters maintain enough awareness (and self-respect) to realize the degree to which others are taking advantage of their good nature.
In a second story, here’s a taste of what the church can expect if they decide to undo decisions made by previous General Assemblies in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 and return the church to bad old days of 2004 when divestment was official church policy.
That 2004 decision nearly shattered interfaith relations between Jews and Presbyterians, relations that continue to be strained by the church’s incessant attacks on the Jewish state, culminating this year in their ghastly Zionism Unsettled document produced by the aforementioned IPMN and happily distributed by the church itself (to the cheers of David Duke).
Well one Jewish group – The Wiesenthal Center – has finally had it, declaring that relations with PCUSA to be at an end. And if the church decides in the coming days that its true constituency is the BDS movement, they can expect the rest of the Jewish world to deliver a similar message, demonstrating that even the Jewish community is not ready to be slapped in the face for one more decade.
Now in a normal political debate, those pushing for a decision that will unquestionably have such long-term negative results for the church should at least be explaining why those consequences are worth it to participate in the glorious divestment project. But, sadly, those who are BDS activists first and Presbyterians second (working in collusion with a thoroughly corrupted church leadership) are doing all they can to ensure that the voters they hope will rubber stamp their propaganda campaign remain in the dark about where such a move will unquestionably lead.