J Street Denounces Presbyterian Vote to Divest

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Jeremy Ben-Ami speaks at the J Street summit in San Francisco, June 2014.Credit: YouTube

The dovish pro-Israel lobby J Street issued a statement on Monday condemning the Presbyterian Church's decision to divest its stocks from three North Americans companies whose products Israel uses in the West Bank. The Presbyterian Church-USA biennial General Assembly approved the measure 310-303 late Friday evening after hours of at times emotional debate.

J Street advocates a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and opposes settlement construction. It is explicitly against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

At its recent annual summit in San Francisco, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami vowed the organization would never advocate for a boycott of Israel, but warned that it presents a "real and serious threat."

In its statement, J Street also noted that the church's vote to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard is "far from a victory for the Global BDS Movement, which fails to recognize Israel’s right to exist and rejects Israel’s role as a national home for the Jewish people."

The Presbyterian Church stated in its resolution that it does not align itself with the BDS movement and supports a two-state solution.

J Street urged the church to find "positive and constructive forms of engagement" that take the concerns and narratives of both Israelis and Palestinians into account.

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