Disinvestment from Israel
ChurchesPresbyterian Church (USA)
Main article: Current controversies regarding the Presbyterian Church (USA)
In July 2004, the 2.4-million-member Presbyterian Church (USA), voted 431 to 62 in July to "initiate a process of phased selective divestment in multinational corporations operating in Israel.". The Church manages a set of investment funds totaling approximately $7 billion USD.
According to the Church's highest elected official, Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, there is no plan for a "blanket divestment" from Israeli companies, but instead the Church will "target businesses that it believes bear particular responsibility for the suffering of Palestinians and will give them a chance to change their behavior before selling their shares." Church officials, according to the Washington Post, mentioned Caterpillar Inc. as a possible target of the selective divestment campaign because the company "manufactures bulldozers used by Israel to demolish Palestinian homes that are built without permits or belong to families of suicide bombers."
There was significant opposition in the American Jewish community to the Church's decision. The Washington Post reported in September 2004 that "Jewish-Presbyterian relations have been in turmoil" and that "the heads of several major U.S. Jewish organizations condemned the Presbyterian Church's decision to begin selective divestiture in companies operating in Israel." The executive vice president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Rabbi Paul Menitoff, said the resolution was "lopsided" and that it unfairly blamed only one side in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
In response to the criticism, Church official Kirkpatrick said that the Church would also "pull its money out of any companies that are complicit in supporting terrorism."
On June 29, 2006, the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly by a vote of 483-28 adopted a balanced resolution that replaced language adopted in 2004 mandating a process of divestment focused on Israel and endorsed instead a corporate engagement process. Instead of using the word "divestment", the resolution calls for the Church to invest only in companies who are involved in "peaceful pursuits" in Israel and Palestinian territories.
 World Council of Churches
In February 2005, the Geneva-based World Council of Churches followed suit. The resolution passed by WCC's 150-member Central Committee commended the selective divestment resolution passed by the Presbyterian Church (USA) saying that the previous resolution "in both method and manner, uses criteria rooted in faith and calls members to do the things that make for peace." The WCC planned to focus "on companies that assist the Israeli government in demolishing Palestinian homes, constructing settlements, and erecting a controversial 'dividing wall' within the Palestinian territories."
"The unexpected resolution", according to a BeliefNet report, "caught many American Jewish groups off guard and confirmed fears among some that the Presbyterians opened a Pandora's box last summer that now has the tacit approval of global Protestant and Orthodox leaders. Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, interfaith director for the Anti-Defamation League, dismissed the WCC as 'irrelevant' but was nonetheless concerned that the divestment campaign has taken on a life of its own."
 United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ also followed suit, endorsing a range of economic leverages that included divestment, but church leaders did not commit their pension or foundation assets to a divestment plan.
 New England Conference of the United Methodist Church
The New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, at its Annual Conference session held June 8–11, 2005, voted to urge the divesting of funds from companies that support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories. The resolution stated:
"Whereas the United Methodist Church should not profit from the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land or the destruction of Palestinian homes, orchards, and lives,"
"Whereas we are committed to ensuring that our denomination’s money is used in a manner consistent with our beliefs, with international law, and with Christ’s teaching."
Other mainline churches have debated the subject of divestment. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America rejected a pro-divestment resolution during the summer of 2005. The Episcopal Church USA ruled out the possibility of an Israel divestment later that year, and the United Methodist Church has also avoided divestment.
Many Muslim Student Union organizations sponsor a "Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction Campaign" on campus mostly targeting Israel, often in cooperation with other progressive campus groups.
On March 17, 2010 a UC Berkeley Student Senate resolution asked that the university divest itself of companies that conduct business with Israel, especially targeting General Electric and United Technologies which supplies arms and technology to Israel, but it was vetoed on March 24 by the Student Body President who called it "a symbolic attack on a specific community", with the final decision being to not divest was established.
 United Kingdom
The Church of England synod has voted for disinvestment from Israel, which was criticised by George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury as "inappropriate, offensive and highly damaging".
Britain's National Union of Journalists called for boycott April 14, 2007. By a 66-54 vote, the annual delegate's meeting of Britain's largest trade union for journalists called for "a boycott of Israeli goods similar to those boycotts in the struggles against apartheid South Africa led by trade unions, and [for] the [Trades Union Congress] to demand sanctions be imposed on Israel by the British government."
At its biennial delegate conference held in May 2008, IMPACT (the Irish Municipal, Public and Civil Trade Union), Ireland's largest public sector and services trade union, passed two resolutions criticising Israeli suppression of the Palestinians and endorsing a boycott of Israeli goods and services. The motions also supported divestment from those corporations engaged in or profiting from the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
See also: CUPE Ontario and disinvestment from Israel
The Toronto assembly of the United Church of Canada supports CUPE's boycott. In 2003, the Toronto assembly voted to boycott goods produced by Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. The national umbrella UCC absolved itself of a boycott by instead choosing to support pro-peace investment.
On May 27, 2006, the Ontario section of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (which represents more than 200,000 workers) approved a resolution to "support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until that state recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination" and to protest the Israeli West Bank barrier.
Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League labelled CUPE's action as "deplorable and offensive." The Ontario regional director of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Steven Schulman, characterized the vote as "outrageous." "For a respected labour union to engage in such a vote, which is completely one-sided and based on mistruths, is shocking," he said.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions published a letter expressing their support for the CUPE boycott of Israel.
In January 2009, CUPE's Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee announced plans to introudce Resolution 50 that would ban Israeli academics from speaking, teaching or researching at Ontario universities. Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario, stated that "Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general." Ryan stated that the resolution was a reasonable response to Israel's attack on the Islamic University, which he likened to the torching of books by Nazis during the Second World War.
Janice Folk-Dawson, chairwoman of the university workers committee, stated that resolution will protect the quality of education by preventing Israeli academics from professing biased views. She also stated that "International pressure on Israel must increase to stop the massacre that is going on daily. We are proud to add CUPE voices to others from around the world saying enough is enough" and that support for the resolution "is coming from the rank-and-file members, not just the leadership." Despite the expected backlash, Folk-Dawson stated that "We believe we are doing the right thing."
The resolution was immediately criticized by the Leo Rudner of the Canadian Jewish Congress, who stated "I think it's ironic individuals who speak about freedom of speech jump to the opportunity to take that freedom away from other individuals." Emanuel Adler, chairman of Israeli Studies at the University of Toronto, also criticized the resolution, stating that "the conflict and the violence should not be brought inside the university." Jonathan Kay, a columnist for the National Post, sharply criticized the resolution, stating that "Mr. Ryan and his fellow CUPE leaders care about demonizing only one country: the Jewish state."
Michael Neumann, a philosophy professor at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario expressed support for the boycott. Neumann stated that "If people believe these are extreme circumstances and it will do some good, then I think it's reasonable and perhaps justified." He argued that a boycott is not anti-semitic, stating that "It targets Israeli, not Jewish, professors." He further stated that "People may always have bad motives underlying good motives. And it's not absolutely impossible that some of these people have anti-Semitic feelings deep down, but do I think that plays a large part? No, I certainly do not."
Costanza Musu, an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, called the boycott "wrong and maladroit in every possible way" and stated that "It is a very sad moment when someone in academia starts considering the boycott of colleagues as a valid an honourable instrument of political struggle."
The resolution will be put to vote at the committee's annual conference in February. If it passes, it will be on the agenda at CUPE Ontario's conference in May. However, some observers have questioned what practical effect the resolution could have since CUPE's 200,000 workers province-wide include some campus staff but almost no full-time faculty.
On 14 January 2009 the University of Ottawa Centre for International Policy Studies, directed by Professor Roland Paris, published the following 'Statement on Freedom of Speech': "Freedom of speech is a core value of Canadian society, especially within its universities where the expression and debate of different positions is crucial to learning. As an academic centre that promotes research and dialogue on international policy, CIPS opposes the Canadian Union of Public Employees' contemplated ban on Israeli academics from speaking, teaching or research work at Ontario universities. CIPS will not participate in such a boycott or any other attempt to silence academics, including those expressing controversial or unpopular opinions. CIPS will continue to invite academics of any nationality to participate in scholarly activities and public speaking events in Ottawa." 
 Palestinian territories
On July 9, 2005, 171 Palestinian non-governmental organizations put out a call for an international economic campaign against Israel which has come to be referred to as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) after the resolution's call "… for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights."  The three stated goals of the campaign are:
An end to Israel's "occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;"
Israeli recognition of the "fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality;" and,
Israeli respect, protection, and promotion of "the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194."
Attempts to create a similar movement focusing on divestment from Israel, such as the Palestine Solidarity Committee’s “Don’t Pay for Occupation” campaign, failed to raise similar support, largely because (1) divestment was only one part of these program agendas which also focused on US foreign aid to Israel (as one activist put it “Although the campaign achieved many political aims, it failed to present a strategy of how one should not pay for occupation.”); and (2) the notion that Israel was the natural successor to Apartheid South Africa as the next target for divestment was rejected not just by most American Jews and Jewish organizations, but also by human rights groups who had played a major role in the fight against Apartheid.