Faith, Caterpillar and the Israeli Occupation

Welcome to Roger’s Take On Religion: An Inclusive Perspective

The United Methodist Church is struggling with ways to put teeth in its opposition to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. An increasing number of regions within the church have called for eliminating church investments in businesses such as Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions for their lack of “willingness to change their involvement in Israel’s occupation.”

The United Church of Christ is also wrestling with this issue of divestment. A group of UCC clergy, however, has called for a less aggressive approach. They argue that boycotts are counter-productive and do not allow the Israelis to tell their side of the story.

Both groups want a solution to ending the Israeli presence in Palestine. The question is one of strategy.

Here’s My Take

Actions like divestments and economic boycotts are necessary and justifiable forms of resistance where injustices such as the Israeli occupation of Palestine are being perpetuated. (The Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina state house for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the boycott of the state by the NAACP and other groups.) These are bold moves by the United Methodists, the United Church of Christ and other faith groups including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Mennonite Church. Their actions should not be viewed as anti-Jewish.

An Added Note

Keep the always compromising, anti-conflict-oriented, word-oriented clergy away from the decision making and let the aggressive lay leadership of the church continue to press for Israeli withdrawal.

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