Sunday, February 3, 2008

U.S. Methodist Church renews drive for divestment from Israel

Contributed by Bea

"Tensions are re-emerging between Jewish organizations and some mainline Protestant churches in the wake of a renewed drive for churches to divest from companies doing business with Israel.

The United Methodist Church opened discussions last Friday on a resolution calling for divestment from Caterpillar, the tractor manufacturer, because the company supplies Israel with bulldozers used in building the separation barrier and in demolishing Palestinian homes. The divestment resolution comes only months after the publication of a church-sponsored report referring to the creation of the State of Israel as the "original sin."

Relations with the Presbyterian Church (USA) are also strained, following remarks by church officials criticizing Israel because of the Gaza closure....

"The United Methodist Church holds $141 million of pension funds in companies that sustain the occupation," said Susan Hoder, a member of the church's Interfaith Peace Initiative. "This has to stop. We have to cut our ties to the occupation."...."

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