Friday, May 4, 2012

United Methodists Urge Boycott of Certain Israelis Products

Dear Friend, Thank you for your prayers for our congregation's classes on Kairos Palestine. We concluded last Sunday but many have asked for follow up work with "Christian" Zionism, which will begin this Sunday. (Rm 169, viewing WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE, and discussion) Last Sunday's class included a brief statement by retired RCA General Secretary the Rev. Ed Mulder, who gave a brief history of the General Synod (RCA) calling for divesting from companies profiting from the South African Apartheid government. Although the United Methodists voted against divesting from Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Motorola, they did go on record calling for a boycott of Israeli products generated on (stolen) land in the West Bank. I'm including the opening paragraphs from James Wall weekly blog, giving us the story. For the complete blog go to: Methodists Boycott Settlement Products by James M. Wall A strong majority of lay and clerical delegates to the United Methodist General Conference called this week for a boycott of Israeli companies operating in Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The resolution denounces the Israeli occupation and the settlements in a sweeping indictment. It calls for “all nations to prohibit the import of products made by companies in Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.” That was not an easy vote. It also was an important victory for anti-occupation forces in Tampa since it calls attention to one of three actions in the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that Palestinians have adopted as a non-violent way to attack the occupation. The vote on a resolution calling for the UMC to divest its pension funds from three US Corporations, Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Motorola Systems, was brought to the floor on Wednesday afternoon. That resolution was a long shot from the outset. It lost after a series of votes that ended in a final 685 to 246 decision that the UMC would continue to finance the occupation. One loss and one victory will prepare the United Methodist Church to take the next step in ending United Methodist support for the occupation. Like the segregated church it was until 1964, the United Methodist church can change. -- John