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madison2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-04 12:13 PM
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Mainline Protestants Challenge Israel Lobby
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The Presbyterian Church recently came under fire for its decision to employ a human rights tactic on behalf of Palestinians that it once used to encourage racial reform in apartheid South Africa: the process of divestment in this case, from companies that profit from Israel's brutal occupation of Palestinian territories.

The divestment process was set in motion by the PC-USA's 216th General Assembly last summer. In early November, the Church's committee on socially responsible investment set criteria to guide the "phased selective divestment" from corporations that profit from Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

"It is a modest attempt by one small denomination to say a word of peace and justice and hope in the middle of continuing mind-numbing violence and human suffering," the Rev. John Buchanan, senior pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, recently told the Chicago Tribune.

The response was immediate and extreme. An anonymous letter postmarked in Queens, N.Y., was sent to the Louisville, Ky., headquarters of the Presbyterian Church USA threatening arson against Presbyterian churches in retaliation for "your anti-Israel and anti-Jewish attitudes."

According to an account of the incident issued by the Presbyterian News Service, the handwritten letter read, "I promise violence against Presbyterian Churches They will go up in flames, bet your ass that's a terrorist threat."
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