Public Witness

Demands for Divestment

Allison Tanner

May 10, 2024

Interfaith 4 Palestine in support of the UC Berkeley encampment

Dear Lakeshore,

There is much in the news these days about divestment from Israeli’s human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Students and alumni across the globe are demanding divestment of their universities’ investments. The cities of Hayward and Richmond have voted in favor of divestment. Denominations have worked on divestment for years and the Methodists passed a significant resolution to divest from Israeli bonds at their recent General Conference.

The Alliance of Baptists, one of Lakeshore’s denominational partners, recently endorsed a call from Christian Organizations for Boycott and Divestment of of Companies Supporting Israel’s Military Oppression of Palestinians. Below is an excerpt from this call:

As Christian organizations, we urge a robust boycott and divestment of the companies
supporting the Israeli military system directly engaged in Israel’s ‘plausible genocide’ of
As Christians, we seek to illuminate the sacred dignity of all people. We have tirelessly
advocated for our U.S. government to stop the mass slaughter in Palestine. We have
persistently engaged in a broad range of nonviolent resistance actions and risk-taking toward
this end. Yet, more leverage is needed. A core practice of nonviolent resistance, including within
our tradition, is economic non-cooperation with injustice. Jesus literally turned over the tables of
economic exploitation in the Temple. Also, during the apartheid regime in South Africa, this
strategy of boycott and divestment was critical to shifting the power dynamics and ending
apartheid. This strategy of nonviolent non-cooperation is not against the existence of the state
of Israel, but is for the sacred dignity, well-being, security, and human rights of all Palestinians
as well as Israelis.

Divestment is a form of economic non-cooperation with injustice and human rights violations. It is part of a clear Palestinian call to the international community to support their quest for freedom, justice and equality through engaging in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until it allows for their human rights. This call has also gone out from Palestinian Christians to the international Christian community, and Lakeshore has responded through our commitment to boycott Hewlett Packard products.

We are living in historic times. People are rising up to demand justice on many fronts, and divestment from Israeli human rights abuses is another wave of collective resistance to injustice and inhumanity in the world. As we continue to watch history unfold, may we continue to find ways to participate in the prophetic work of demanding justice, seeking peace, and aligning our actions and investments in the values of our faith.

Onward together,

Pastor Allison

P.S. – Here is a good primer on what it means to divest for Palestinian rights, and how begin this process.