Monday, April 10, 2006
Write to Presbyterian Church
Dear Reverend Doctor Kirkpatrick:
I would like to encourage the Church at its General Assembly in June to continue its important work regarding engagement with the five companies "due to their strategic involvement in Israel and Palestine, in hopes of enlisting the companies in the promotion of peace and justice in the region," to include recommendation for divestment if the companies fail to respond to dialogue. I have noted that one of the companies, Citigroup, "was selected for engagement due to the transfer of funds to Arab Bank from U.S. charities later seen to be fronts funneling money to terrorist organizations."
Although the The Presbytery of Eastern Virginia "overtures the 217th General Assembly (2006) to propose that the resolution from the 216th General Assembly (2004) regarding phased, selective divestment of stocks be suspended" citing that it directs "negative actions at only one of the involved parties," and prays that Presbyterians will seek "balanced, postive overtures for peace," I would offer that anything but balance exists when it comes to Israel and the occupied Palestinians. According to the Palestine Information Center 801 Palestinian children have been killed in the period between September 29, 2000 and February 28, 2006. In the same time period, 140 people died due to hurdles and checkpoints, there are 9200 prisoners, and houses totally or partially destroyed has reached 71,470.
Please read the full report for the concrete details of the occupation's devastating effect on Palestinian lives and property.
I am grateful to the Presbyterian Church for serving as Christian witnesses and am hopeful that the Church will not be deterred in its efforts for seeking peace with justice in Israel/Palestine.
Nancy Harb Almendras