Robin Rowan for Church4Israel – Updated January 2016
At the very time the Presbyterian Church USA joined the global anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement there were 3 separate rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza. The warning system blew loudly as the rockets fell on southern Israeli Jewish communities.
Are they also siding with Palestinian terrorists?
Also at the same time, ‘West Bank’ Palestinians celebrated the kidnapping of three teenagers, one with US dual citizenship, in Judea Samaria. The teenagers were kidnapped and still missing 10 days at the time of this writing. (Later to be found dead with Palestinian terrorist claiming responsibility.)
While this is happening, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest $23 Million from companies that
- provide security cameras to the Judea/Samaria are known as the West bank
- the security systems reducing suicide bombers from Gaza
- build roads and infrastructure around Arab and Jewish communities, employing Palestinians.
- They also missed calling Israel an “Apartheid state” but by only one vote.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, the only country with complete freedom of religion and non-discrimination. It is the only place in the Middle East where Christians are safe and free to worship. Arabs serve on the Israeli Supreme Court and in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament. Unlike many of its Arab neighbors, women are strongly protected against discrimination or harassment, homosexuality is protected, and they pride themselves on freedom of religion. They are the only Democracy in the Middle East and a strong ally, friend and partner.
Israel is constantly under threat from within, protecting its residents from acts of terrorism by an Arab people living within the Jewish homeland, but keeping themselves separate. This land God gave to Abraham for his descendants and has been defended by God throughout scripture. It is a history proven by archaeological evidence of the 4000 years of Jews in their land, long before there was any such thing as a territory called Palestine. The UN has even declared that the Jews are indigenous to Israel.
Presbyterian USA not only needs a history lesson outside of politics, but they need to read their Bible.
On June 20, 2014, by a vote of 310-303, the General Assembly of PCUSA approved divestment from Motorola Solutions, Hewlett-Packard, and Caterpillar Inc. The church says it “has tried for many years to convey its concerns that the companies are profiting from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories by selling it bulldozers, surveillance technology and other equipment.”
Who exactly are these American companies that the PC(USA) is divesting from? And what do they do?
In addition to communication systems for national emergency and rescue organizations, Motorola Solutions supplies cameras and surveillance equipment in Judea Samaria (West Bank) to keep the Jewish communities safe from terrorism.
(Pictured here is Efrat, one of the Jewish communities in Judea Samria also known as the ‘West Bank”.)
In April 2014 I was in the “West Bank” (actually Judea Samaria) and learned firsthand about this amazing system. I would have never known it was there if not pointed out to me.
Unseen by the public, camera surveillance was established in place of large security fencing. It allows Israeli security to see all movement in the area and provides a quick response in case of an attack against Israeli families. It gives a sense of normalcy while providing safety.
The Palestinian Arab and Jewish neighborhoods are in close proximity and interact with each other. Called a ‘Safe City” system, it is invisible to the eye but allows security to keep an eye on movement to protect the Jewish residents.
I was shopping at the Palestinian hardware store, pictured below, with my Rabbi friend. Much of the business to the Palestinian hardware owner was from Jewish residents nearby. The restaurants in the Palestinian neighborhoods are frequented by Jewish customers. It’s easier to get along with no fencing and walls, thanks to the virtually invisible Motorola camera system. Unfortunately, these security cameras were unable to stop the kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers by Palestinian terrorists. But there would be much more violence, and a lessened sense of safety, if the camera system was not there.
Pictured here is the Palestinian owned hardware store where we bought a propane tank for the BBQ for the Israel Independence Day celebration.
The Motorola Company is what the Presbyterian Church USA divested from in protest. They Boycotted the company that makes the security camera system used so that a fence doesn’t have to be built and keeps Jewish communities safe, allowing the Jewish and Arab communities to live in harmony with each other.
The PC(USA) bought the argument that Hewlett Packard should be boycotted because they provide technology for checkpoints throughout Israel. The development of the biometric identification cards that screens out known terrorists from entering public areas is somehow offensive to the Presbyterians. These ID cards are presented at checkpoints so the Israeli police can prevent suicide bombers or known terrorists from moving freely throughout Jewish populated areas.
After hundreds of suicide and car bombings in the last 2 decades on Israeli people from Palestinians, the HP technology allows law-abiding Palestinians to go to their jobs while keeping Israel safe. HP Information Technology infrastructure is also used by the Israeli Navy and Israeli Defense Forces. If there was no terrorism, it wouldn’t be a necessity.
– Caterpillar Inc.
Caterpillar equipment is used to build new roads and clear land for housing for Palestinians and Jews. While shopping at the Palestinian hardware store in Judea Samaria (West Bank) in April 2014, I took note of all the piping, sheet-rock, construction supplies. I saw Palestine contractors picking up these building supplies to finish their projects and learned they were in fact working in the Jewish neighborhoods. The construction in Jewish neighborhoods is how the Palestinian contractors and workers feed their families. The supplies bought for this construction feeds the families of the Palestinian hardware store owner. The Palestinians are the workers operating the heavy equipment supplied by Caterpillar.
The Presbyterian Church divested in protest from Caterpillar because the equipment is used to build Jewish roads and homes. They ignored the fact that the equipment also builds roads to Palestinian homes and businesses and employs the Palestinians or Arab Israelis.
Take out the construction equipment that builds Arab as well as Jewish communities, and you have now lost hundreds if not thousands of Palestinian jobs. But that is in fact what the PC(USA) is protesting to do. The church said the heavy Caterpillar equipment is used to destroy Palestinian homes when it fact it builds their homes and provides a livelihood for their families.
The Presbyterian USA website distributes a study guide for congregations called “Zionism Unsettled,” which challenges the history and theological basis of the Zionist movement. According to the New York Times, Jewish leaders denounced it as “hateful, racist and willfully ignorant of the role of the Holocaust and violence toward Israel by the Palestinians and Arab countries in explaining the region’s history.”
The propaganda pushed and actions taken by the Presbyterian USA church leadership is racist and ignorant, and unfortunately represents over 10,000 churches and 1.7 million members. It is unfortunate that these members are standing in agreement by attending and supporting the church. Divesting from companies that provide safety to the Jewish people from terrorism is not only anti-Semitic, but it is taking the side of the terrorists. They are taking the side of the same ideology that is persecuting Christians in the Palestinian controlled areas of Israel, blowing up buses with women and children, and forcing Jewish children to spend their lives diving into bomb shelters.
Following this divestiture from Israel by the Presbyterian Church America (PCUSA) there began a split in the church as they continued to move away from scripture and follow far-left political ideologies. In March 2015 they changed their constitution to accept gay marriage and had previously started performing same-sex weddings.
This has caused the denomination to split en mass losing over 37% of its membership as of March 2015. Presbyterian Church America (PCA) picked up much of the fleeing flock. PCA had separated from the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUSA) in 1973 “in opposition to the long-developing theological liberalism which denied the deity of Jesus Christ and the inerrancy and authority of Scripture.”
The Presbyterian Church America (PCA), grounded in scriptural foundations, supports Israel and should not be confused with PCUSA.
Robin Rowan 6/22/2014, updated Jan. 2016
8/16/2019 – The author and founder of Church4israel, Robin Rowan, has been invited to attend the Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem. It is an honor to be recognized as a top journalist on Israel issues. She is requesting donations to assist with airfare and extra expenses. Would you consider a donation for this special trip? Thank you!