Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lambasted the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) decision to divest from three companies that do business with Israeli security forces in Yehudah and Shomron.
Addressing the first Jewish Media Summit in Yerushalayim, Netanyahu said the vote to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard was misguided because Israel is a bastion of freedom of religion in the Mideast, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.
“The only place where you have freedom, tolerance, protection of minorities, of Christians and all other faiths is Israel,” he said.
Netanyahu suggested that American Presbyterian leaders “take a plane, come here and let’s arrange a bus tour in the region. Let them go to Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq,” and compare it to what we have in Israel.
The church group came under attack from a number of Jewish organizations for its divestment move. The ADL said it was “out of step with the views of the majority of Presbyterians in the pews and sends a painful message to American Jews.”
“Over the past 10 years, PC (USA) leaders have fomented an atmosphere of open hostility to Israel within the church, promoted a one-sided presentation of the complex realities of the Middle East, and permitted the presentation of a grossly distorted image of the views of the Jewish community,” the ADL added.
The Jewish Media Summit, which was organized by Israel’s Government Press Office, is set to occur every two years. A hundred journalists from over 25 countries were represented at the event, according to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.