February 07, 2006

C of E votes to divest from Caterpillar

There's a quirky article in the Times today about the Church of England General Synod (parliament) voting to divest from Caterpillar on account of Caterpillar suppling bulldozers that are purpose built for Israel's persistent war crimes. I say quirky because the writer, Ruth Gledhill, is an Anglican for Israel. This is apparent elsewhere in the paper but not in or after the article here.
In a surprise move, the General Synod voted to back a call from the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East for "morally responsible investment in the Palestinian occupied territories".

In particular, the Synod backed the Jerusalem church's call for the Church Commissioners to disinvest from "companies profiting from the illegal occupation", such as Caterpillar Inc. Caterpillar, a US company, manufactures bulldozers used in clearance projects in the occupied territories, and also used by Palestinians in their own rebuilding work.
Ok, that's the news. Now look:
No time was made to debate an amending motion put forward by Anglicans for Israel, the new and influential pro-Israel lobby group.
I couldn't find anything via the Times homepage or search facility to show that Ruth Gledhill is a Christian zionist but I could find her more overt opinion piece in the Times via the Anglicans for Israel site.
As an Anglican myself, this decision provokes anger and shock in me, allied with shame and embarrassment. Have 2000 years of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and the horrific death toll of suicide bombings in Israel taught us nothing?
This morning that quote was listed as the Times's "quote of the day". Check the homepage now and they've changed it for one from David Aaronovitch. I'm not suggesting anything sinister here, I just guess that they realised that such a silly quote didn't require such prominence. But then to have Aaronovitch provide the quote for the day is a bit desperate for such a major daily.

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