Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Methodist Board Targets Israel with Latest Resolutions

Jeff Walton, March 8, 2011

Three resolutions taking critical positions towards Israel were adopted by the United Methodist Church’s public policy arm during its recent meeting. Members of the General Board on Church and Society (GBCS) voted in favor of resolutions seeking boycotts and divestment directed against companies regarded as complicit in the Israeli presence in the West Bank.

Meeting February 9-13 at a United Methodist retreat center outside Orlando, Florida, the 63-member board also voted to affiliate the church agency with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

GBCS has a history of adopting anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian resolutions. While the church agency seeks to portray itself as a fair broker in Middle East matters, it has adopted no resolutions that are critical of Palestinian groups such as Hamas, or of neighboring Arab dictatorships like Syria. In 2009 GBCS hosted an event at its Capitol Hill headquarters in which speakers portrayed Israel’s founding as a disaster.