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5 Israeli Banks Blacklisted by US United Methodist Church

Posted by on Jan 19th, 2016 and filed under FEATURED, Recent Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Daily Muslims News
united methodist church-bannerTHE US United Methodist Church’s Board of Pensions declared the five largest Israeli banks off limits for investment and has divested from the two that it held in its portfolios, due to their deep involvement with financing illegal settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories.

This is a huge advance for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, especially because it acknowledges the deep connections between Israeli banks and the settlement enterprise. In effect, it is an acknowledgment that responsibility for ongoing abuses of Palestinian rights does not stop at the Green Line.

The Church is sure to face intense backlash for this decision - especially given that in just 5 months, the Church will consider divestment from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett Packard at their General Conference.

United Methodist Church’s Board of Pensions declared the five largest Israeli banks off limits for investment and has divested from the two that it held in its portfolios, due to their deep involvement with financing illegal settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories.

This is a huge advance for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, especially because it acknowledges the deep connections between Israeli banks and the settlement enterprise. In effect, it is an acknowledgment that responsibility for ongoing abuses of Palestinian rights does not stop at the Green Line.

The Church is sure to face intense backlash for this decision - especially given that in just 5 months, the Church will consider divestment from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett Packard at their General Conference.

Last year, the United Church of Christ voted to divest from companies with business in the Israeli-occupied territories. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) took a similar vote in 2014.

Rabbi Alissa Wise, Deputy Director of Jewish Voice for Peace said that this decision was momentous on at least two other levels. First, it was made by the Church’s Pension and Health Benefits Fund (the body responsible for managing the Church’s investments) using their existing criteria for ensuring that the Church’s investments meet their own ethical threshold. And that’s huge because it shows that moving toward justice for all Palestinians and Israelis, while difficult, isn’t complicated: it’s about applying our political and spiritual values to Israeli policies just as we do to any other situation where human rights abuses occur.

And second, the United Methodist Church is a global institution, representing over 12 million people all over the world. So this decision also shows again that standing together for justice in Palestine and Israel builds unity across all kinds of differences, and offers people in every community an opportunity to stand together for justice. She said “I can also guarantee you that the backlash will be fierce. And in all likelihood, the pushback that comes behind closed doors will be more forceful and dangerous. So let’s make our voices heard, and show that we support this historic decision of our friends in the UMC.”

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