What Is the Occupation-Free Fund?
By Melinda Thompson, PPF Development Committee Chair
As a member of PPF who spends much of my time working on Israel-Palestine issues, I am delighted that we have added a new “Occupation-Free” fund option within the endowment. As the endowment grows, all endowment donors will have an option to give to the general endowment fund or the Occupation-Free fund, or both, until the Israeli occupation ends.
What is an Occupation-Free fund and why do we want one? An occupation-free fund is one that does not invest in companies that are complicit with the Israeli settlement enterprise, i.e., that do business in, exploit, support, contribute to, or profit from the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories (OPT). While the PC(USA) has not yet acted to divest from such companies, PPF is forging ahead to show that such action is both possible and necessary. Additionally, all Presbyterians have been summoned by the General Assembly to boycott consumer products that exploit the Occupation.
This is a new approach and we do not know what the investment results will be, but we feel that it is important to take this step publically to encourage a just peace in the region and an end to the Israeli occupation. When the occupation ends, the Occupation-Free fund will be combined with the rest of the PPF endowment. Our larger endowment already has a socially-responsible focus, screening out investments with significant military, war-making corporations.
So will you join me in completing PPF’s Endowment Campaign by taking a stand for justice and peace?