Anna Baltzer gave the following testimony to the Presbyterian Church (USA) Middle East Peacemaking Committee on Monday, July 2, 2012: Friends, I am not up here as a Jew to tell that it’s okay for you to divest. Because you do not need my permission to do whatever you think is the righteous thing to do. You don’t need anybody’s permission.
I realize that divestment is controversial. That’s okay. Slavery was controversial. The Church was divided. Desegregation was controversial. Especially in the South, people were afraid of damaging relationships if they spoke out for desegregation. But the Presbyterian Church supported an end to segregation before it was common. I urge you to honor that legacy by acting today out of love and compassion rather than fear of what others will say.
You are being told that action against the occupation will estrange you from the Jewish people. But the occupation is fundamentally contrary to our shared values of equality and justice.
There is nothing Jewish about racial profiling with Hewlett Packard bioscanners.
There is nothing Jewish about protecting stolen land with Motorola technology.
There is nothing Jewish about demolishing Palestinian homes with Caterpillar bulldozers.
And to claim that ending cooperation with these human rights violations means ending cooperation with Judaism, or Jews, draws a very dangerous parallel. There is a sea change happening. Jews are divided on this issue. You have to follow your own conscience.