Anti-Israel Coalition

United Methodists Vote to Encourage Disaffiliation from Anti-Israel Coalition

on May 17, 2016

Institute on Religion & Democracy Press Release
May 17, 2016
Contact: Jeff Walton cell: 202-413-5639, e-mail:

“Activists who seek to enroll the church in demonizing Israel serve neither peace nor justice for anybody”
-UM Action Director John Lomperis

Portland, OR—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.

The United Methodist Church previously rejected a policy of divestment by a 2-1 margin in 2012, while the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Church of Christ adopted divestment policies at their respective governing conventions.

UM Action Director and Elected General Conference Delegate John Lomperis commented:

“In this surprising move to decisively reject affiliation with this anti-Israel coalition, the United Methodist Church is charting a different path than the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Church of Christ.

“United Methodists can seek to be fair brokers between Israelis and Palestinians, or they can immediately marginalize our voice by solely blaming one side.

“The decision to encourage ending our denomination’s affiliation with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is an appropriate rejection of a movement that simplistically ignores the numerous complexities of this troubled region while disturbingly singling out the world’s lone Jewish state for demonization.

“Activists who seek to enroll the church in demonizing Israel serve neither peace nor justice for anybody.”

  1. Comment by Wayne D. Worsham on May 17, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Bravo!!!! To not only vote against divestment but to also tell UMC General Boards to divest themselves of the very anti-Israel organization they were pushing….. WOW!!

  2. Comment by pmw on May 17, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Way to go UMC General conference!!

  3. Comment by JohnPaulGettelman on May 18, 2016 at 12:49 am

    I was raised in the Lutheran World Federation, affiliated with my mother’s Danish Lutheran Church! Denmark was one of few nations, saving most of their Jews ,in WWII! My mom was very pro Israel! My dad & her would debate, during my very early youth! My dad was of JudaeoArabic patrilineal roots! My father & I had vigorous debates, after I learned about the Kurd Muslim non Arabs & the ethnic Fur Muslim non Arabs, before Darfur was infamous for the SudanArab rape, enslaving displacement & genocide of Darfur! My father said “Muslims” of his grandfather’s ancestral neighboring Turks & Persian subcultures, treated my Great grandfather hospitably & were socially accommodating to “their Jews”! I had learned similar truths about the golden ages of the Islamic civil social environs of middle ages Arabist empire successor states! But, you see, the Arab empire state-ism of the post WWI era & especially the post WWII era, is not the same golden ages Islamic tolerant state of social accommodation to marginal peoples! The Kurdish Muslim non Arab & Darfur Muslim non Arab ethnic nations, are first nations, just like native American, first nations! But, the world of STATE-ISM, defines the human race, by the borders of political states! State-ism disregards ethno-linguistic social cultures of an anthropologic nature! So, ethnic Kurdish Muslim non Arab or ethnic nation of Fur country, the meaning of Darfur is Fur country, are Muslim non Arab social worlds! these are ARABIST EMPIRE OCCUPIED NATIONS! But the elites of state-ism,pat themselves on their smart heads, while saying, there is NO ARABIST EMPIRE! The Arab empire & it’s successor states, the Arabist empire states, are NOT UNITED INTO ONE ARAB EMPIRE of Arabist empire! But, try asking the ethnic Fur people, if they feel Arabist empire colonial occupation is practiced? Ask ethnic Kurdish Muslim non Arab people,if they feel Arabist empire colonial racism is practiced? Those two ethnic African & Mideast Muslim non Arab ethnic nations are interchange-able, in their victimhood under Arabist empire colonial states! The illusion of radical Islamism, just keeps challenging the west’s experts’ smart set advice professional insider cartels of state-ism! The Koran bans racism, so then I do not get the reason for not just calling the SudanArab state, a racist Arab empire centric state? Is there a reason for western smart set elite state-ism, not calling ISIS & or Assad & Saddam’s genocidal state regimes ,racist Arabism? So the Progressive left’s state-ism pats itself on it’s collective(ist) head! Progressives like to recite the idea that Islam teaches peace! But Progressives cannot say racist Arabism’s empire of confederates, are violating Islam’s anti racism? Progressives teach, that conservatives are cavemen, anyways! So ,we do not need to dwell on the Christian right’s attacks on Islam, covering up racist Arab empire state-ism’s wars on Darfur Muslim non Arabs! But, The United Church is “Progressive”, anyways! But, is there a reason for the World Council of Churches ,including The United Church, not identifying racist Arabism’s invisible empire of hooded Arabist klansmen, riding horses in their attacks on Darfur Muslim non Arabs? So,this is relevant to the PalestineArab issue, because the PalestineArab ethnic heritage is genographicly about 1/2 PeninsulaArab rooted! That makes sense! The Arab empire colonial settlers called PalestineArab people,do not speak Canaanite! But JudaeanHebrews do speak Canaanite! The closets living kin to the Canaanite language of Hebrew, is Aramaic,spoken by more first nation ethnic cultures! These ethnic first nations are Arab emp[ire occupied ,just like the Kurdish Muslim non Arabs & Darfur Muslim non Arabs! The so called mid east Christians are mostly Lebanese Maronites, Assyrians or Syriac Aramaic speaking first nations! Aramaic is about 2/3-3/5 mutually intelligible with Cannanite! The Lebanes Maronites are the heirs of the Punic-Phonecian Canaanite kin of the Judaean Hebrews of Zion, Israel! The Hebrew dialect of Canaanite ,is 90% mutually intelligible with common Canaanite! So,you still thing the Arab street & the Arab fighters are not an invisible Arabist empire? THe PalestineArab pro Israel ethnic kin in the Israeli Defense Forces, are swearing into the IDF, on their Korans! The Koran is 100% pro Zionist! But, racist Arabism ,must claim modern Jews are not ethnic Judaean Hebrew heirs of classical Israel! That is the only way racist Arabism ,can rationalize their violating THE KORAN’S100% pro Zionist recital! This does not even touch the EgyptoanArab destruction of Nubian muslim non Arab environs! This does not touch Arabist empire enslaving North African Muslim non Arabs, in total violating of the Koran’s central defining deeds of Islam! The Tamazight language of the Berber first nations across north Africa, has been suppressed along with the EgyptiCoptic language of the first nation of Egypt’s pre Arab empire roots! Meanwhile we are supposed to just worry that the JordanianArab state, occupation of 2/3 of PalestineArab environs, is not enough?

  4. Comment by Steve on May 18, 2016 at 1:12 am

    Bravo. We must proclaim the truth. The only places that are “occupied” in the areas of Judea and Samaria are A) the Arab villages that are west of the Jordan River and B) the Temple Mount itself. Israel gave Gaza to the Arabs and all it got back in return has been rockets and terror tunnels.

  5. Comment by Joan Watson on May 18, 2016 at 11:02 am

    What a major ray of hope!

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