The USA Presbyterian Church is going to vote on whether to divest from certain companies doing business with the Israeli government. Stephen Bainbridge, a highly respected Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles has posted that this is:
Anti-semitic, bad economics and politics, and a breach of fiduciary duty.
Quite an achievement: a hat trick of badness. (Bainbridge’s complete post is here.)
And although the following quote (from Jay Lefkovitz) in Bainbridge’s piece is from the failed divestment attempt of 2004, it is still relevant:
The church has singled out Israel, alone among all the nations of the world, for divestment.
It has demonized Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and it has delegitimized Israel’s right to self- defense.
The church is not calling for divestment of its $7 billion portfolio from China, despite China’s denial of the most basic political and religious rights and its particularly harsh treatment of followers of Falun Gong.
It is not condemning Russia, even though Russia’s policies in Chechnya are by any human-rights standard atrocious.
It is not even calling for economic sanctions against Syria or Iran, whose human-rights records for their own people are egregious and whose Jewish citizens are denied the basic civil rights and liberties afforded to all Israelis, including its Arab citizens, some of whom even serve in the Knesset.
The strong smell of pure, unbridled hate is wafting its way over from this Church. It stinks.
Bainbridge and Lefkovitz are correct. Will it matter?