In 2015, the general synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC)—one of America’s major mainline Protestant denominations—voted overwhelmingly in favor of divestment of church funds from corporations doing business with Israel, deeming the Jewish state the sole nation whose violations of human rights justified such a measure. Dexter Van Zile notes that this resolution was purely an exercise in moral posturing:
The vote generated a lot of publicity for the denomination, but it didn’t have the impact its supporters said it was going to have. The denomination’s $3.2-billion retirement fund is still invested in three of the companies named by the resolution—Caterpillar ($1.7 million), Hewlett-Packard ($437,000), and Motorola ($342,000). The numbers aren’t huge, but the fact is UCC’s pension boards own stock that the denomination’s general synod explicitly blacklisted for profiting from Israel’s purported misdeeds in the West Bank.
If we are to believe the propaganda broadcast at the general synod in 2015, UCC retirees are profiting from human suffering in the Holy Land. The [synod] told the denomination’s local churches, parishioners, and, by way of implication, the rest of American society that they shouldn’t profit from companies that do business with Israel. But the denomination’s retirement fund does just that.
It was all a farce — a hypocritical, dishonest farce. . . . And that was how it was going to be from the very beginning, [since] UCC pension boards are not bound by the general synod’s resolutions. In other words, the UCC pension fund was free to do whatever it needed to do to achieve the 4-percent return on investment that it has promised to retirees. . .
It just goes to confirm what most people have concluded all along: anti-Israel divestment resolutions are just a charade, a put-on used to generate hostility toward the Jewish state and its supporters in the U.S. The whole point of the divestment resolutions was not to get church institutions to sell stock, but to use divestment motions to turn the floor of church-wide assemblies into venues for anti-Israel witch trials.