Activists who seek to enroll the church in demonizing Israel serve neither peace nor justice for anybody” – UM Action Director John Lomperis
By John Lomperis, Juicy Ecumenism.
United Methodists have voted to encourage church boards and agencies to end their affiliation with an organization that promotes boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Delegates from across the 12.1 million-member denomination adopted a proposal asking to conclude agency affiliation with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation on a vote of 478 to 319 (60 percent to 40 percent) during their quadrennial General Conference meeting in Portland, Oregon.
The General Conference was asked by its public policy arm, the General Board on Church and Society (GBCS), to divest its financial holdings from companies that do business with Israel. Instead, the conference voted to encourage the United Methodist mission board, the General Board on Global Ministries (GBGM) to divest from the anti-Israel coalition, one that GBGM itself was heavily involved in helping establish.
Further votes are expected this week addressing denominational policy towards Israel, including a measure pushed by GBCS that would require church agencies to divest themselves of holdings in Motorola Solutions, Hewlett Packard and Caterpillar, which all sell non-lethal equipment to the Israeli military. The measure was defeated in committee, but may still be considered by the full conference.
Good to see that the Methodists realize that the BDS movement wants nothing so much as the elimination of the Israeli state.
The Methodist general conference makes much sense. Our nation has been trying to work with both the Palestinians and the Israelis to gain joint cooperation and positive relationships between these two states. It is counter to our goal. The Lord shows us better ways than bds.
I feel both comments above indicated that the writers have never witnessed the illegal, 5th decade occupation of Palestine’s West Bank by Israel or the “outdoor prison” atmosphere of blockaded Gaza which Israel attacked again in July 2014. These are not two equal nations. Look at the death statistics! Israel is a state and Palestine has been prevented from being one since 1948! The occupation was to be temporary! I’m embarrassed to stay that the USA and Israel are the only two countries in the UN that regularly vote against establishing a Palestinian state. Then, the USA pretends to be a non-biased leader of peace talks! Israel is the one who has not complied with the Oslo Accord requirements. Check the facts. The USA sends 10 million USA tax dollars a day to Israel and none to Palestine. Israel has the 4th largest army in the world, while Palestinians have only rocks and home-made rockets with which to defend themselves from aggressive IDF soldiers. An occupier is required to protect the health and safety of an occupied people, not bomb their hospitals or allow Jewish settlers to steal Palestinian land. An occupied people have the right to defend themselves when attacked. Palestinian civil society and Palestinian Christians have begged for help from the world in 2005 and 2009 Kairos documents similar to South Africa’s pleas for help in 1985.
BDS is a non-violent way the church, companies, and governments can remind Israel that it is not exempt from denying human rights to Palestinians. A successful reminder that the world gave to South Africa in the 1980s.
Having been a victim of horrid human rights violations does not give those who suffered the Holocaust the right to victimize others under the guise of protecting a homeland. Please vote for divestment so Israel will stop human rights violations, the occupation and illegal settlements will end, and both Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side again with security.
You many take out the sentence about the Holocaust for it is my opinion, but the rest is factual and can be verified by Israeli historians now that the State of Israel’s records were opened in 1998. International law as well as watchdog organization, NGOs both Jewish and Palestinian, support what I have written.
The BDS movement does not have eliminating the State of Israel as an objective, check its mission statement. Why did that not need to be moderated? Or the statement by Etta that incorrectly names both Israel and Palestine as states? Please check my facts. They are correct and as moderate as I can state them. Take out the explanation marks if that makes it more moderate. The quote at the top of this page by UM Director Lomperis is certainly not moderate. I am not demonizing Israel. I am telling what the State of Israel’s policies doe.
You are asking for a simplistic, one-sided view of the Israeli/Palestinian situation. Israel is a state. Palestine is not, due to a 5-decade long Israeli occupation and land confiscation by Jewish settlers. My heart aches for the United Methodist as it did for the Episcopalian Church last year when they refused to hear the Kairos plea from Palestinian Christians for help.
Palestinian Christians have begged people to come see the facts on the ground. I have done that and see BDS as the only way to get Israel’s attention — economically. Then, Jewish values will again be followed by Israel leaders toward fellow human beings, the Palestinians. Security won’t come for either until both people are treated with those values which are also Christian values.
Clarification: The encouragements of the Methodist’s GC can serve more positive USA goals. There are more than 9 million USA Methodists.