The United Methodist annual (regional) conferences in New England, Minnesota, Pacific Northwest and Upper New York voted this month to divest from companies involved with Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land including Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, Hewlett Packard, and General Electric. They joined conferences in West Ohio, New York, Northern Illinois, California Nevada and California Pacific which have already taken similar action. This brings the total to nine regional bodies representing thousands of churches nationwide.
And one may ask where is the docile, play it safe Catholic church on this issue of Israeli oppression?
At least five other conferences — Virginia, Rocky Mountain, North Central New York, Baltimore Washington, and Detroit — have called on the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Pension and Health Benefits to divest its millions of dollars in holdings in companies that profit from the occupation. Two more conferences, Susquehanna and Eastern Pennsylvania, established official task forces to examine the issue.
In March, the Mennonite Central Committee U.S. unanimously decided that — effective immediately — it will not invest knowingly in companies involved in the Israeli occupation.” They adopted the investment screen developed by the American Friends Service Committee, which includes the aforementioned companies and more than two dozen others.
There does not appear to be one prophetic bone in the US hierarchy on this major issue of our time.
Fix Palestine, call Israel to account on its outrageous crimes and land theft, and you defuse tensions in the Arab world. But the largest religious body in America appears terrified of the Israeli lobby in Congress.
There was an old Protestant hymn whic captured this pusillanimous betrayl of the gospel.Its refrain was “No cross, no crown.”
Bravo for the courage of the United Methodists for its part in keeping Christianity relevant.
Interested in the facts on the Occupation?
and the wonderful Canadian group