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Heebie-Jeebies [ECUSA and Israel Disinvestment]
Midwest Conservative Journal ^ | 7/21/2005 | Christopher Johnson

Posted on 07/22/2005 7:02:45 AM PDT by sionnsar

A surprising amount of trepidation is emerging among some ECUSA liberals over divestment from Israel:

Joined earlier today by a Jewish rabbi at the entrance to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Manhattan, the Rt. Rev. Mark Sisk, Bishop of New York, rejected calls for divestment in Israel, saying “now is the time to invest” among those who “support peace in the Middle East.”

Bishop Sisk and Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the NY Board of Rabbis, said the Episcopal Church must adopt “an even-handed policy that condemns violence wherever it originates. “Any attempt to punish, or appear to punish, one side, as I believe divestment would, is the worst possible course of action,” Bishop Sisk said.

Forget the fact that the Anglican Consultative Council resolution doesn't mention divestment, says Fisk.  That is likely to be precisely the course of action ECUSA's "peace and justice" crowd recommends.

Bishop Sisk stated he “strongly oppose[d]” any interpretation of the June Anglican Consultative Council resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would give carte blanche to supporters of divestment.

“While this resolution doesn’t use the word ‘divestment’,” he said, “it does applaud the actions taken by our national church to study the use of economic leverage in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In New York, many of our Jewish friends believe that those actions place the Episcopal Church on a steep and slippery slope toward divestment. I agree.”

Other bishops have expressed similar misgivings.

Bishop Sisk’s support for Israel echoes recent statements by the Bishops of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Northern Indiana. The Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw III, SSJE, Bishop of Massachusetts, stated recently he did not “support proposals for divestment in Israel” as the economies of Israel and Palestine “are so closely intertwined, divestment is actually counterproductive for the Palestinian people.”

The Rt. Rev. Edward S. Little, Bishop of Northern Indiana, and the Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, Bishop of Rhode Island, in June began an internet petition drive “to reject all proposals which seek to remove church investments from companies” doing business in Israel.

Will this opposition have any effect?  Maybe not.

Pressure within the Executive Council is mounting however, for the Episcopal Church to follow the example of the Presbyterian Church and the United Church of Christ which both voted recently to divest their endowment portfolios of assets in companies doing business with the State of Israel. Last March, the staff at the Episcopal Church Center began an examination of its stock portfolio, seeking information on a wide range of issues, including business relationships in Israel and “Palestine.”

At its November meeting in Las Vegas, Executive Council is scheduled to study proposals for a modified form of divestment. If approved, the resolution would be forwarded to the 2006 General Convention.

Although you should never ever place your Anglican bets based on what you read here, I think it's safe to say that the idea of ECUSA divestment from Israel has been severely slowed down if not completely stopped.  Even if the proposal passes the Executive Council, which it may not, I can't see it going anywhere at General Convention.  With the public opposition of bishops like Sisk, Shaw, Wolf, Little and no doubt others, I don't think any divestment proposal would ever get through the House of Bishops.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 07/22/2005 7:02:46 AM PDT by sionnsar
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