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Presbyterians Endorse Palestinian Right of Return; Avoid Divestment

The Israel-Palestinian conflict again captured the bulk of controversy at the annual conference of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Last year, a call for divestment from companies doing business with Israel was hotly debated and eventually defeated. This year, the assembly approved a resolution endorsing the Palestinian right of return – an issue vehemently objected to by Israel and its supporters. The church’s Peacemaking Committee approved a resolution calling for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel, but the measure was defeated when it reached the floor of the general assembly. Although divestment was defeated at the committee level, it was nevertheless resolved to "engage" two companies that have been targets of the pro-divestment forces: Caterpillar and Motorola.