ADL: United Church of Christ’s Divestment Vote a “Counterproductive Maneuver to Demonize Israel”

New York, NY, July 1, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed deep disappointment with the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) vote in favor of divesting from companies conducting business with Israel in the West Bank, and the Church’s call for a boycott of Israeli companies with a West Bank presence.

On June 30, the UCC’s General Synod endorsed the divestment resolution by a vote of 508-124 with 38 abstentions, which calls on UCC-affiliated entities to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, G4S and Veolia. The resolution also promotes the study of the discredited anti-Israel Kairos Palestine document, which endorses the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, and rejects the Jewish historical and theological connection to the land of Israel.

“The UCC’s endorsement of this one-sided resolution is a misguided and counterproductive maneuver to demonize Israel under religious pretenses,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “We call on responsible members of the UCC to reject the substance of this anti-Israel initiative, and refrain from supporting or engaging in any BDS or other anti-Israel activism.”

“It pains us that the UCC has turned its back on engaging in constructive, good-faith efforts to address the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and joined the list of church groups promoting BDS and other anti-Israel measures,” said Rabbi David Sandmel, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs. “Passage of this hostile resolution threatens to create distance between the Jewish community and the UCC movement.”

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.

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Rafael López