Mennonites Approve Divestment

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The Mennonite Church USA has voted to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s military presence in Palestine. The resolution passed by 98 percent July 6 during the denomination’s national convention in Orlando.

It directs the church’s financial agency to withdraw investments from companies that are “profiting from the occupation” and asks individual Mennonites to do the same. The resolution declares the church opposed to antisemitism.

The Episcopal Church considered but did not pass a divestment-related resolution at its 78th General Convention in 2015. The House of Bishops overwhelmingly rejected Substitute Resolution D016, under which the Executive Council’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility would have developed a list of relevant U.S. and foreign corporations and then monitored its investments.

At the time, Bishop Ed Little of Northern Indiana said the text of the resolution “clearly and unmistakably advocates boycott and divestment, and we must reject it. … As Anglicans, we have the gift and ability to reach out to people on both sides in the conflict. That is what the Episcopal Church is doing in the Middle East.”

The Mennonite Church also considered a resolution in 2015, but voted to delay its decision.

Matthew Townsend


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