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Presbyterians Divest! Now, They Need Your Support!

by Anna Baltzer, National Organizer
June 24th, 2014

I will never forget the moment the Presbyterian General Assembly vote count arose on the screen, 310-303, in favor of divestment! Watching on the plenary floor -- Presbyterians, Palestinians, Jews, and other allies -- we hugged one another crying, still in disbelief. Thousands watching from around the world were doing the same.

Send us your thank-you selfie! membership@endtheoccupation.org

After ten years of careful deliberation, engagement, and debate, the Presbyterian Church (USA) became the largest U.S. institution to vote to divest from the Israeli occupation, indicating a watershed moment in the mainstreaming of divestment as a nonviolent tool to oppose Israel's oppressive policies.

Amidst Israel's ongoing, calculated, deadly collective punishment of Palestinians following the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers two weeks ago, the need has never been greater to take concrete action to end U.S. complicity in Israeli aggression.

Congratulations to every single person who played a role, large or small, in this groundbreaking vote. Whether you reached out or mailed Palestinian letters to commissioners or testified on the committee floor or donated to help the US Campaign get to Detroit and play a critical role in organizing, with a seven vote gap -- meaning just four voting the other way would have swung the vote -- every little thing you did may have made the difference.

But it's not over yet. Our Presbyterian friends have come under attack from the Israel Lobby to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, confirming fears I heard in Detroit from those wary of divestment for fear of intimidation. We need to show Presbyterians that we have their back and that their righteous move places them squarely on the right side of history.

The Presbyterians had the resolve to take action, and now they need action from you. Please take 2 or more concrete actions to thank them today:

Send us a photo of yourself or meme saying Thank You to Presbyterians! We will make a photo album and deliver it to Presbyterian leaders and churches nationwide. Email your photos to membership@endtheoccupation.org or Tweet them using #churchdivest. The more creative your photo, the better! We will post them to this Tumblr, which already has some examples for inspiration. 

Sign up to deliver a Palestinian letter and photos to a Presbyterian church near you! RSVP and we'll send you a thank you letter along with photos to hand-deliver. Show your gratitude in person and lift up the voices of Palestinians to break the shameful monotony of those attempting to intimidate the church.

Thank PC(USA) on Twitter. Click "Tweet Now" to send the tweets below.

  • CONGRATULATIONS @Presbyterian #GA221 for standing on the right side of history by aligning words with action & divesting from occupation! (Tweet Now
  • THANK YOU @Presbyterian #GA221 for listening to Palestinians calling for an end to profiting from occupation. We support you PCUSA! (Tweet Now
  • KUDOS @Presbyterian #GA221 for removing PCUSA complicity in violence against Palestinians so you can be true peacemakers! (Tweet Now
  • BRAVO @Presbyterian #GA221 for following your conscience & hearing voices of the oppressed calling for justice (Tweet Now
  • THANK YOU @Presbyterian #GA221 for following your process faithfully with the nonviolent act of love: divestment from military occupation. (Tweet Now)

On Facebook, click here to post this thank you meme to your profile.

You can also send a message or leave a comment on the church's official Facebook page -- and email organizer@endtheoccupation.org a copy.

Sign the thank-you letter
to the Presbyterian Church from member group Jewish Voice for Peace by clicking here, or if you have a Facebook account, by clicking here.

Please TAKE ACTION TODAY to support the Presbyterians now, when they need it most, so that they may savor, as we do, this pivotal moment in the struggle for human rights, freedom, justice, and equality for all.

P.S. A hearty shout-out to member groups with whom the US Campaign worked in Detroit, including the Israel Palestine Mission Network, American Muslims for Palestine, Students for Justice in Palestine, Muslim Students Association, Students Allied for Freedom and Equality, Palestine Office, Jewish Voice for Peace, Friends of Sabeel - North America, American Friends Service Committee, and Kairos - USA, along with the U.S. Palestinian Community Network and others. It was an honor to work with you.

P.P.S. With these and other great wins behind us, we know there is still much work to be done. Have you registered for the US Campaign National Conference September 19-21 in San Diego to join with other like-minded activists in trading wisdom and joining together to take the next steps? Click here for more info!