Mennonite Church to divest in protest of Israeli policies

The Mennonite Church USA plans to sell its holdings in companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

A national Mennonite convention in Orlando, Florida, approved the move with a vote Thursday. The economic impact is expected to be minimal. But such votes are closely watched as a measure of views on Israel and the Palestinians from within the U.S., the Jewish state's closest and most important ally.

The resolution directs managers of the $3 billion Everence church fund to regularly screen holdings to avoid any economic support for Israeli policies in the occupied territories.

Other Christian groups that have taken similar steps toward divestment include the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Church of Christ.

Israeli officials condemn divestment as an attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state.