Mennonites delay divestment vote over Israeli occupation

AP News
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Posted: Jul 02, 2015 3:32 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A leading Mennonite group has delayed a decision on divesting from companies with business tied to Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The Mennonite Church USA was set to vote this week on whether they should sell off stock in companies "known to be profiting from the occupation" and from "destruction of life and property" in the territories. But delegates at a national meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, voted 418-336 to table the resolution until their next assembly two years from now, a church spokeswoman said Thursday. Twenty-eight delegates abstained.

Separately Thursday, Episcopal Church bishops, gathered for the denomination's General Convention in Salt Lake City, rejected a divestment proposal that asked the church to exclude corporations "that provide goods and services that support the infrastructure of Israel's occupation."

Earlier this week, the United Church of Christ voted to divest from any company the church considered complicit in human rights abuses by Israel.

The Mennonite Church USA has about 95,000 members and is one of about 40 U.S. Mennonite groups.