ADL Commends Presbyterian Group for Fighting 'Flagrantly Anti-Israel' Actions in their Church

New York, NY, September 15, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended the group Presbyterians for Middle East Peace for taking a strong stand against Presbyterian activists pushing for their mainline Protestant church to divest from three American companies doing business in Israel.

A church committee of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has recommended that the church divest from three American companies -- Motorola, Hewlett-Packard and Caterpillar -- for conducting business in the State of Israel. 

But the recommendation, by PCUSA's Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment, has met with opposition from the Presbyterians for Middle East Peace, whose leaders, including Pastor John W. Wimberly Jr., have criticized the latest divestment initiative as another attempt to unfairly punish Israel.

In a letter to Pastor Wimberly, the League called the divestment effort "flagrantly anti-Israel" and commended his group's efforts to oppose it.

"We commend you and the rest of the steering committee of Presbyterians for Middle East Peace for your vigilance and good work regarding the continuing anti-Israel activities by key elements within the leadership of the Presbyterian Church," said the letter signed by Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, and Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, ADL Interfaith Director.

"The news that the PCUSA's committee in charge of investment has recommended the church divest from three American companies doing business with Israel is of deep concern to us. This action raises serious questions about the ability of the PCUSA to be an effective peacemaker in the region."

In 2004, PCUSA became the first mainline Protestant church to pass a divestment resolution against Israel. That measure was later rescinded by church leaders, in 2006.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.