The PCUSA and Israel (Part 4)

I can reasonably suggest that the “On Supporting Middle East Peacemaking” vote was close for other reasons than a pro/anti Israel split in the GA because there were other votes on the divestment issue.  One of the most revealing was on the Overture titled “On Divestment from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions—From the Presbytery of San Francisco.”  Clearly, as did the other Overture, the practical result was divestment.  However, the San Francisco Overture (“On Divestment) excluded any criticism of the BDS movement and placed virtually all criticism on the State of Israel.  It thus was a straight-up anti-Israel divestment Overture.  It also earned support from the PCUSA’s Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy  (ACSWP, pro-BDS), which had vehemently opposed the “On Supporting” Overture (see The PCUSA and Israel (Part 3)).

The results of these votes are revealing, and troubling.  Whereas the “On Supporting” vote was very close, the “On Divestment” vote was lopsided (see the following figure).

The number of Yes votes increased by 159 for the Overture that is more anti-Israel

The number of Yes votes increased by 159 for the Overture that is more anti-Israel

Note that while almost 51% of GA commissioners voted Yes to the “On Supporting” Overture, almost 83% voted Yes for the extreme anti-Israel “On Divestment” Overture.   Thus, the GA commissioners were far more supportive of the extreme anti-Israel Overture.  For this result to occur many of the No votes for “On Supporting” had to convert to Yes votes on “On Divestment.” Thus, it is clear that the “On Supporting” vote was close primarily because it wasn’t extreme enough in its anti-Israel position.

There is no way to sugar-coat this situation.  When more than 4 out of 5 GA commissioners observed that Israel is successfully defending itself against the murderous onslaught by its neighbors, their reaction was to attack the morale, economic vitality and defenses of Israel.  If this result isn’t a moral catastrophe, representing the victory of willful ignorance and inhumane ideology over the Christian virtues of prudence, temperance and justice then I don’t know what is.

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