Mennonite Church to divest in protest of Israeli policies

Source: Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Mennonite Church USA voted Thursday to sell its holdings in companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, the latest American Christian group to do so.

The decision was made at a national Mennonite convention in Orlando, Florida. Although the economic impact is expected to be minimal, such votes are closely watched as a measure of views on Israel and the Palestinians from within the U.S., the Jewish state’s closest and most important ally.

The resolution directs managers of the $3 billion Everence church fund to regularly screen holdings to avoid any economic support for Israeli policies in the occupied territories.

Mennonites had rejected a divestment proposal at their last national meeting two years ago amid fears that the resolution would be considered anti-Jewish. The statement adopted Thursday condemns anti-Semitism, encourages stronger ties between church members and Jews, and endorses a review of how Mennonites responded to the Holocaust. The Mennonite Church has just over 75,000 members.

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