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July 01, 2013
Four United Methodist conferences (New England, Minnesota, Pacific Northwest and Upper New York) voted this month to divest or have their funds divested from companies involved with Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land. They join five other conferences (West Ohio, New York, Northern Illinois, California Nevada and California Pacific) that had already taken similar action.
Companies targeted in the recent resolutions include Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, Hewlett Packard and, in one case, General Electric. All make products that play significant roles in the Israeli occupation. At least five other conferences have asked the denomination’s General Board of Pension & Health Benefits to divest its holdings in companies that profit from the occupation. Three more conferences, Susquehanna, Eastern Pennsylvania and Oregon-Idaho, established task forces this month to examine the issue.
Palestinian Christians call for help
Palestinian Christians have called on churches around the world to help end the occupation of their land.
As United Methodists learn about Israel’s land confiscation, home demolitions and the segregated systems of transportation, water and laws that discriminate against Christians and Muslims, there is a strong sense that the church must act, according to John Wagner of United Methodist Kairos Response.