The Presbyterian Church USA distanced itself from its 2004 decision to divest from companies that do business in Israel.
Meeting at its General Assembly in Birmingham, the church voted 483-28, with one abstention, to replace the resolution of its last assembly that called for a “phased, selective divestment in multinational corporations operating in Israel.”
The new policy of “corporate engagement” would restrict investments in Israel, the Gaza Strip and West Bank to peaceful pursuits and alters church policy on Israel´s security barrier.
The 2004 resolution called for the barrier´s removal, but the version approved Wednesday asks that the barrier be dismantled where it extends beyond Israel’s 1967 borders.
Anti-divestment activists applauded the move.
The new resolution “puts us back in the place of being an advocate for both” sides, said the Rev. Bob Henley, from Sun Valley, Idaho.