The chief policy body of the Presbyterian Church agreed in a narrow vote Thursday to retain the church’s investments in three major companies that pro-Palestinian groups contend aid Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, reports The New York Times.
Meeting in Pittsburgh, the church’s General Assembly voted 333 to 331 against a proposal to divest in Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard, which supply equipment used by Israel in maintaining control of the territories. A replacement measure encouraging “positive investment” in the occupied territories passed by a 369-290 tally.
The closely watched vote came after an eight-year effort by the church, which represents 2 million American Presbyterians, to convince the firms to change their policies. It follows similar decisions recently by the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and marks a setback for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement, which calls for economic pressure on Israel to end the occupation.