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Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb spearheaded the failed effort to boycott three U.S. companies doing business with Israel.

Surprising everyone, but mostly its own rank and file, the largest Presbyterian group in the United States on Thursday rejected by only a razor-thin margin a proposal to divest from three companies that do business with Israel. (IUpdate: As we go into Shabbat in Israel, there are rumors about a motion to reconsider).

The official announcement of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church reads:

“After two hours of debate and presentations Thursday night (July 5), the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) said no to divestment as part of its position on peace in the Middle East.”


After the second vote on Monday, in which Resolution 15-10 to divest from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions had easily passed , anti-Israel advocates were certain that the divestment (BDS) proposal, Resolution 15-10, was going to easily pass in the third and final vote, and took a major hit when the proposal failed in a 333-331 vote with 2 abstentions.

On Thursday, one Caterpillar employee “choked up”during the debates as he defended his company from the calls to divest from it.

Electronic Initifada , an anti-Israeli advocacy site had previously announced:

[Divestment by the Presbyterian Church] would be a historic and valuable victory for the growing global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

But the crown jewel of the BDS drive organizers, the Israel Palestine Mission Network, is their proud list of bone fida Jewish organizations and individuals who have made the economic strangling of Israel their highest goal.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, writing for Jewish Voice for Peace, celebrated the “biggest U.S. victory yet for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement,” as “over the objection of Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), pension giant TIAA-CREF’s Social Choice Funds have divested from Caterpillar.”

Except that their claim of BDS success at TIAA-CREF is a false boast. IAA-CREF decision was based on a downgraded rating given by MSCI ESG Research.

MSCI ESG Research stated:

“[They have] assessed this [Israel-Palestinian] human rights controversy since 2004. This controversy has been incorporated in the rating since then and, as such, did not trigger the ratings downgrade in February 2012.”

Meanwhile, so-called Rabbis Margaret Holub, Brant Rosen, Alissa Wise, Julie Greenberg, Michael Feinberg, Michael Davis, Rachel Barenblatt, Lynn Gottleib, Laurie Zimmerman, Rebecca Alpert, Joseph Berman, David Mivasair, Borukh Goldberg, Meryl Crean, Howard A Cohen, Mordechai Liebling, Elizabeth Bolton, Everett Gendler, Michael Lerner, and Leonard Beerman, sent an “Open Letter to the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA)”:

We are aware that the Jewish Council on Public Affairs (JCPA) has unleashed a powerful campaign to dissuade you, and consequently dissuade the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA) from moving forward with their well-considered divestment campaign…

As Jewish leaders, we believe the JCPA’s stance against church divestment does not represent the broader consensus of the American Jewish community. There is in fact a growing desire within the North American Jewish community to end our silence over Israel’s oppressive occupation of Palestine…

…However, even if the American Jewish community were unanimously opposed to such phased selective divestment by your Church – which is not at all the case – we believe it is still important that you move forward with the thoughtful multi-year process which your Church has begun.

And Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, also from the Jewish Voice for Peace, wrote in June that the reason for supporting the boycott on companies doing business in Israel is because:

Most Jews and Christians are not willing to go to Palestine to personally resist Israeli policies of land confiscation, home demolition, destruction of trees and property, military invasion, denial of freedom of movement, administrative detention or the arrest of children through nonviolent protest. Most Jews and Christians do not travel to Israel to work for an end to the blockade of Gaza and are not shot when they try to harvest their wheat or fish in the sea.

The list of Jews willing to distort history, reality, facts, and context, in service of the enemies of Israel is astonishingly long, and, not surprisingly, there is no discernible difference in style or approach between the anti-Israeli statements made by Arabs and by these Jews.

Except that, once again, like in the divestment battle in the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church, the BDS movement did not have a victory to claim.

But the battle is not over in the Presbyterian’s Middle East committee:

“The Assembly’s work continues on Middle East issues on Friday. The committee’s recommendations to boycott all products that are made in occupied Palestinian territory and sold by Israeli companies and to not use the word “apartheid” to describe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are two of the items that will be considered.”

In the meantime, a more bland and unbiased proposal replaced the BDS proposal, and it easily passed by 369-290 with 8 abstentions, recognizing “the tragedy of the situation in Israel and calls for engagement at all levels of society for a solution (to the Israel-Palestine conflict).”

Incidentally,  the Assembly voted 572-127 to approve a recommendation on the “peaceful engagement of Iran regarding the potential of nuclear weapons.”

We assume they’ll send them flowers.

Finally, these young Jews, at least one of them baptized Christian, advocate the BDS message with a cheerfulness and self assurance (as many of them read from a script to the side of the camera) that must keep their grandparents in excellent physical shape as they roll over in their graves…


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  1. History is full of ignoramuses with boundless energy. It really can't be much in the way of nachas to be the king lemming. What disturbs me more than the young and naive, for they are always with us, is that there are numerous groups that have aged without obtaining any wisdom. When I was young and surrounded by the naivete set, at least there was no one ready to heed their more blatantly ignorant outpourings. These were mostly misguided idealists. Today they are full of intentional lies and cunning to advance an agenda that has no explicable element beyond propaganda. These self-proclaimed rabbis and their followers can't have a cogent thought in their hierarchy of verklempt.

    It isn't likely that this has anything to do with intermarriage or goy faces, as one commentator opined, when many of these are strong supporters of Israel. Do we know who these people in the video actual are? They don't even have a satisfying indoctrination into the stupidity, since they have to read from idiot cards. I am all for Tikkun Olam, pe'ah, and tzedakah, a theme suggested by one young person in the video as a reason for her involvement in divestment, and I am set against that political machination.

    Divestment is about withholding pe'ah. Boaz did not inspect the poor to see if they were worthy of gleanings. It is because of pe'ah that King David was born. Right now the entire world is struggling and in debt, except, that is, for a few notable oil rich countries who have rejected and refused to help the Palestinians themselves. Now, as always, Israel is fighting against much larger forces arrayed against it. From Psalm 56:
    ה בֵּאלֹהִים, אֲהַלֵּל דְּבָרוֹ:
    בֵּאלֹהִים בָּטַחְתִּי, לֹא אִירָא; מַה-יַּעֲשֶׂה בָשָׂר לִי.

  2. As I understand, the 'Word,' only through 'Blessing' Israel is one blessed, and any other attitude, or action in the neutral, or negative is a 'Curse' to Israel, reaping a Curse in return to the person, 'Divestment' in a company, to punish Israel, real or imagined, is a form of 'curse,' that even someone 'Jewish' (by blood), or Jew, by Faith, can do to reap their very own, private, curse, on themselves. I stand for Blessing Israel, and allowing God to handle the Judging, and Wrath, part. His word does not change. Only man's insanity changes, usually for the worse.
    (Anyone notice that all those youngsters were reading from a Cue-card, or teleprompter?)



  4. If the "fake arguments" given by all those who campaign and promote anti-Israel boycotts were the real reasons they should at least also boycott some 150 other countries in the word like China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and every single Arab and Muslim countries, scores of African countries etc. All with an infinitely worse "human right" record than Israel..and without the existencial threats and permanent aggressions Israel has to face…vicious hypocrits!

  5. Some of the Jews supporting BDS are motivated by naive desires to offer any and all peaceful gestures in hopes of peace. But some Jews understand the actual agenda of BDS.

    If you read Nadia Hijab and others on the BDS website it is very clear that they do not agree that the Jews have any political right to self-determination.

    What they expect to accomplish is:

    1 First abolish the English version of UN Resolution 242 so that Israel has no right to gain any territory after being attacked in 1967. This means complete withdrawal from the Western Wall, back to the 67 armistice line without anything in return.

    2-Then the complete elimination of Israel.

    Even Norman Finkelstein thinks BDS is unjust because it does not accept the right of Israel to exist.

    It is very much in the interest of Israel to make other reasonable peaceful gestures to the Palestinians. BDS is part of the public relations war and just being against BDS is not enough. Jewish Press readers should not only sigh about matters that are "not good for the Jews" They need to help influence public opinion.

    Foremost would be pressure to invest some more time and money to infiltrate the "'price-tag" fanatics and enforce the law by jailing them. They are worth a hundred BDS movements in influencing public opinion here.

    Another gesture would be to pay attention to some of the cases raised by Rabbis for Human Rights.

    The Torah is very concerned with human dignity. Even vicious criminals in prison should get toilet paper. Israel has done many acts to benefit the Palestinian Arab population. The world should understand and see on the internet and TV that that the Israeli way is always respectful of human dignity. This should include letting people harvest their trees and never hitting non violent protesters..

  6. Freedom House ranked Israel as a free country, albeit not with a perfect record, in its most recent report. The only other countries in the region ranked as free were Cypus and Greece. The only free Muslim-majority countries were Indonesia (by far the largest Muslim country in the world) and Mali (which unfortunately had a recent military coup and now faces civil war from a secessionist movement in the country's northeast).

  7. One word sums up these know nothing kids and those so called "rabbis." MORONS. As a US military vet during Vietnam we had these, remember Hanoi Jane. What these kids and those BDS rabbis need is to be dropped off in a hezbollah or hamas territory or maybe Iran or Pakistan and told we will pick you back up in 48 hours.That way they could visit their nice friends. Only thing is they wouldn't be there because they would all be dead.

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