Some five months after its General Assembly decided to “begin a process of phased, selective divestment” of companies profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian areas, a recently released survey found that Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) laity and clergy differed on whether the economic-political strategy is a good idea.
I like to think of the Christian Century as offering a lively conversation about faith and the issues of our time. This issue contains a four-part exchange, and each of the writers—Vernon Broyles, Barbara Wheeler and Ira Youdovin—is a respected friend of mine.
The prophet Isaiah, whose words we read in Advent, gives us wonderful images of peace and of the restoration of Zion—images of the wolf living with the lamb, of waters breaking forth out of the wilderness, of a land where there shall be “no lion, nor any ravenous beast.”
If mainline Protestant church groups divest from businesses operating in Israel, as some say they might, it could actually harden rather than soften Israel’s stance toward Palestinians, warn prominent pro-Palestinian groups in Israel.