The United Church of Christ will vote in July on whether to pull invested church money from U.S. companies involved in constructing Israeli settlements and assisting with security measures in Palestinian territories.
If approved, the 1.4-million-member church (with a $3 billion portfolio) would become the second U.S. Protestant body to explore pulling investments from Israel in protest of what they call Israel’s harsh treatment of the Palestinians.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted last year to begin divesting from U.S. companies profiting from Israeli construction in the West Bank and Gaza. The United Methodist Church and the Presbyterians have used shareholder actions to protest use of the Illinois-based Caterpillar’s bulldozers to demolish Palestinian homes.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).