Methodist Branch's Biased Divestment Report 'Borders On Anti-Semitism'
Update: On May 2, 2008, five anti-Israel divestment resolutions were defeated at the United Methodist Church's general conference. More
New York, NY, June 28, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said a new United Methodist Church report recommending divestment from 20 companies that do business with the State of Israel "borders on anti-Semitism." A report by the Divestment Task Force of the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church recommends divestment from 20 companies, "identified as supporting the Israeli occupation in Palestine." The report says that "ending the Israeli occupation is a stated goal of the United Methodist Church."
"This call for divestment by the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church borders on anti-Semitism," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The authors of the report must be living in a bubble to ignore ongoing attacks on Israel and Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza to issue such an outrageous, biased report that focuses only on Israel."
Mr. Foxman added, "While this Methodist task force has busied itself researching divestment, the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah perpetrated war against Israel, and rocket attacks targeted Israeli cities and towns in the north and the south. Yet the Methodists seem to believe that they need to teach Israel a lesson."
The ADL leader noted that the report is out of step with another mainline Protestant organization, the United Church of Christ, which recently and publicly acknowledged their unbalanced, biased policies against Israel and have moved to change them. Just this week, the UCC called for a new, balanced study of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that takes into account Palestinian suicide bombers and the continued teaching of hatred in schools and the media.
"The facts show that any decent fair-minded, spiritual, godly person would not come to a conclusion to boycott the State of Israel, the one that has been praying for peace, suing for peace, hoping for peace," said Mr. Foxman.
The Methodist divestment report follows a 2005 divestment resolution adopted by the New England Chapter. "The goal is to make all United Methodists and other Americans aware of their relationship to companies that benefit from the Israeli occupation," said a statement by the United Methodist Church. "The urgency of the humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territories cannot be overstated."
The United Methodist Church is holding its national conference next year, where divestment resolutions will be debated and acted upon.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.