Economic Leverage Toward Peace in the Middle East

Economic leverage for social transformation has been the goal of the Pension Boards’ corporate social responsibility ministry for more than 42 years, and continues to make a difference through multiple strategies called for by General Synod resolutions.

A resolution was passed in 2005 at the Twenty-Fifth General Synod of the United Church of Christ entitled, Concerning Use of Economic Leverage in Promoting Peace in the Middle East. One of the provisions of the resolution calls upon the church to “make positive contributions to groups and partners committed to the non-violent resolution of the conflict.”

PBUCC has been engaged in this call through its investment in the private equity fund, Siraj Palestinian Fund LP1, in which PBUCC holds a 0.67% interest. PBUCC’s investment in Siraj does not include pension or benefit plan funds.

The Siraj Palestinian Fund consists of direct equity investments in viable start-up, distressed, and relatively large enterprises in Palestine. Siraj was named the “Best Asset Manager in Palestine” in 2013, and has created more than 2,100 new Palestinian jobs since 2011, spurring economic growth and innovation in Palestine.

PBUCC also works with other activists and UCC mission partners in a comprehensive witness to peace in the Middle East.