United Methodists reject resolutions calling for divestment from Israel

United Methodists twice rejected resolutions on Wednesday (May 2) that called for the denomination to divest from companies accused of … Continued

United Methodists twice rejected resolutions on Wednesday (May 2) that called for the denomination to divest from companies accused of contributing to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Neither vote was particularly close, with about two-thirds of the 1,000 delegates gathered in Tampa, Fla., through May 4 rejecting the calls for divestment.

The UMC rejected similar resolutions at its last General Conference in 2008.

“Of course we care about the Palestinians, and what they’ve been through,” the Rev. Bob Long, a delegate from Oklahoma, said during Wednesday’s debate. “But we also care about the Israelis and what they’ve been through.”

Don House, a lay delegate from Texas, warned the UMC against setting an unwelcome precedent. “We’d be targeting the companies that make the products, instead of the people who use the products,” he argued on Wednesday.

This year, high-profile activists, such as Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, had lobbied in favor of divestment.

“Such action made an enormous difference in apartheid South Africa,” the Nobel Peace Prize laureate wrote this week in the Tampa Bay Times. “It can make an enormous difference in creating a future of justice and equality for Palestinians and Jews in the Holy Land.”

But many American Jews had strongly opposed the divestment resolutions, calling them unfair and politically naive.

“A one-sided approach damages the relationship between Jews and Christians that has been nurtured for decades,” about 1,200 North American rabbis wrote in an open letter. “It promotes a lopsided assessment of the causes of and solutions to the conflict, disregarding the complex history and geopolitics. Furthermore, it shamefully paints Israel as a pariah nation, solely responsible for frustrating peace.”

One of the rejected resolutions called out heavy machinery manufacturer Caterpillar Inc., Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard, which have been accused of contributing to, and even profiting from, the destruction of Palestinian homes and construction of Israel settlements.

Earlier on Wednesday, UMC delegates did approve, by a vote of 60-40, a resolution voicing opposition to Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Universal Uclick.

  • RCMather

    At last, common sense and moral decency prevails. The rejection of a boycott is clear message that at least some people realise that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a simple case of the Israelis oppressing the Palestinians. The latter have made virtually no attempt to create a peaceful independent state of their own, preferring instead to resort to terrorism, anti-Semitic diatribes and rejectionism. If there is ever to be peace in the holy land, the Palestinians – and the wider Arab world – need to focus on nation-building rather than trying to destroy the so-called Zionist entity. The boycott movement is simply making things worse as it leaves the Israelis feeling there is no option but to go it alone in a hostile world and it lets the Palestinians off the hook, who, after all, are guilty of terrible crimes against the Jewish people.

  • XVIIHailSkins

    While this is all more or less true, and it’s also true that a two state solution is the only feasible outcome at this point, let’s not lose sight of the fact that zionism was a terribly, terribly stupid idea in the first place.

  • jay2drummer

    yes, the idea that the Jews deserve a homeland where they are a majority and are not being persecuted is a stupid idea, right?

Read More Articles

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

987_00
An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

shutterstock_134310734
Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.