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Message to Methodists: ‘Vote for Divestment. Vote for Human Rights.’

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The above video was produced by The Palestine Solidarity Committee in St. Louis, MO. Three PSC members also have an an Op-Ed in today’s Tampa Bay Times:

The United Methodist Church is holding its General Conference in Tampa. One of the most important, and unfortunately controversial, resolutions to be taken up is the Palestinians’ request for the world community to help them end the 44-year Israeli occupation.

We, a Jewish American, a Palestinian Muslim and a Palestinian Christian, support the Palestinians in their struggle for justice and freedom. We believe the Methodist Church’s proposed resolution to divest from multinational companies profiting from the Israeli occupation will aid in ending Palestinian suffering.

Tragically, the Israeli occupation continues to strangle Palestinian society. Israeli political and religious leaders threaten Palestinians with transfer out of their homeland, enforce the occupation of the West Bank with incredible violence, and continue the naval blockade of Gaza which keeps the people there in dangerous deprivation. In the last 20 years, illegal Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank have increased from 241,500 inhabitants to some 500,000, including East Jerusalem.

Israel’s occupation practices impose severe hardships on residents. Palestinians routinely find themselves trapped by barriers and the Israeli separation wall — unable to visit family members, friends, schools, businesses and places of worship. Death, injury or arrest is a distinct possibility, even for nonviolent protesters demonstrating against home demolitions or land confiscation.

Palestinians, long denied freedom through negotiations with the Israeli government, have asked for the world to intervene in a humane and moral way to ensure that equality and justice are honored. Palestinian Christians issued the Kairos Palestine Document, “A Moment of Truth,” in 2009 (Read the document in full at

We, a group of Christian Palestinians, after prayer, reflection and an exchange of opinion, cry out from within the suffering in our country, under the Israeli occupation. … The cruel circumstances in which the Palestinian Church has lived and continues to live have required the Church to clarify her faith and to identify her vocation. … Today, we bear the strength of love rather than that of revenge, a culture of life rather than a culture of death.

The document asks the international community to implement nonviolent tactics, such as divestment, to end the occupation.

Similarly, we urge the Methodist Church to divest from multinational companies that support the Israeli occupation. Divestment is required if we are to press Israel to uphold equality for all people in Israel and Palestine. Such pressure is long overdue and urgently needed for Palestinians. In fact, we believe that pushing for an end to the occupation and equal rights for Palestinians is fully consistent with securing a safer and better region for Jewish Israelis as well.

Forty years ago most of the land in and around Bethlehem was owned and inhabited by Christians. Today, the majority of the land is held, patrolled and settled by Israelis. For thousands of years people traveled freely between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, located just 5 miles away. Now there is a wall separating the two holy cities. Thousands of people are separated from family, friends, work and religious sites on the other side. Under these conditions of occupation, Christians by the thousands are making the painful decision to leave the site of Jesus’ birth and make a life elsewhere. (See a 60 Minutes report from Sunday at

Read the entire article here.

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23 Responses

  1. seafoid
    April 25, 2012, 10:25 am

    Vote for human rights. Help Judaism find its way out of the darkness.

    • Kathleen
      April 25, 2012, 11:43 am

      Love Rabbi Weiss and the other RAbbi’s against Zionism that I have had the honor of talking with and learning from. Their deep beliefs remind me so much of Art Gish. Message so your neighbor

      Rabbi Weiss

      Art Gish

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 25, 2012, 6:34 pm

      RE: “Vote for human rights. . . ” ~ seafoid

      Endorse the Resolution
      Aligning United Methodist Investments with Resolutions
      on Israel/Palestine

      • Read the resolution here.
      This is a endorsement form for individuals, both United Methodists and all others. We welcome endorsements by everyone who would like to support this action for justice and peace in the Holy Land.

  2. Kathleen
    April 25, 2012, 10:42 am

    Beautiful and truthful message.
    Had the honor of spending time with Hedy Epstein at Move over Aipac in DC last year. What a powerhouse. Am always amazed by people who have suffered so deeply from the cruelty of others and still apply compassion and justice to the oppression of others. Remarkable.

    The Methodist are collectively doing the right thing. And have been on the front lines of pushing for divestment and justice in the I/P conflict. When will MSNBC, CNN, Fox , NPR touch this story?

    • seafoid
      April 25, 2012, 11:17 am


      If people are not indoctrinated into a militaristic society then presumably the proportion of them who would turn away from the suffering of their own people and express empathy towards others would be much higher.

      Look at the Sephardim in Israel. They never suffered the Shoah yet they are as emotionally cold as the Ashkenazim. That is the indoctrination process.

      I’d love to see how Israeli donations to overseas charities compare to those from normal countries.

      • Kathleen
        April 25, 2012, 11:38 am

        “That is the indoctrination process.” So much of who and what people turn out to be I believe is “indoctrination” Tough to change but can happen.

  3. HarryLaw
    April 25, 2012, 11:38 am

    Every Human being knows that ethnic cleansing and Apartheid are wrong and cannot be allowed to continue, these crimes are now taking place in Occupied Palestinian Territory without a peep from the so called indispensable Nation, no I will rephrase that,they are taking place with the encouragement of the US. The US with its constructive engagement policies was the last country to sanction South Africa, It was only recently that the US took Nelson Mandela off the Terrorist list to enable him to visit the US. The US leadership are a bunch of hypocrites either that or they just love right wing goons who are prepared to follow the US script.

  4. dimadok
    April 25, 2012, 12:20 pm

    By all means divest! Please I’m asking you to- maybe then all the pretence of “mutual peace” loving Methodist christians can be droped and you’ll align yourself with an anti-Israel coalition.

    • Walid
      April 25, 2012, 12:51 pm

      “By all means divest! Please I’m asking you to- maybe then all the pretence of “mutual peace” loving Methodist christians can be droped and you’ll align yourself with an anti-Israel coalition.”

      dimadok, your self-pity is nauseatingly insincere.

    • Shingo
      April 25, 2012, 7:56 pm

      By all means divest! Please I’m asking you to- maybe then all the pretence of “mutual peace” loving Methodist christians can be droped and you’ll align yourself with an anti-Israel coalition.

      SOS to all hasbrats: When all else fails and you have nowhere to run – renwmber the Holocaust.

  5. Boycott Israel on Campus
    Boycott Israel on Campus
    April 25, 2012, 12:30 pm

    Don’t forget the total divestment resolution that the Wayne State University Student Council approved:

    It demanded total divestment against Israel.

    Aim high.

    • Fredblogs
      April 25, 2012, 4:44 pm

      Actually, it requested total divestment, since that was all they had the power to do, request. Request was swiftly denied. Like I have said before BDS is so weak they have to crow about it whenever anyone thinks about divesting, even if they don’t actually divest. It’s nine years later and you are still crowing over winning (9-7) a fight that you then lost unanimously when the people whose decision actually mattered voted.

      “The Wayne State University Board of Governors unanimously voted down last week Student Council’s resolution recommending the university divest funding from companies giving financing support to Israel.”

      So you managed to get a 9-7 majority on a powerless student counsel board.

  6. seafoid
    April 25, 2012, 3:52 pm

    New York Times ad says accusing Israel of killing Palestinian children is a BLOOD LIBEL and implies it is no better than being a NAZI

    The endgame of Zionism will be absolutely vicious

    BTW it’s about time some honest, dignified, decent non hysterical movement took over on the keeping of the flame of those murdered in the Shoah

  7. CitizenC
    April 25, 2012, 4:36 pm

    Why is there such vast ado about next to nothing? Divestment from “companies profiting from the occupation” is a joke. The resistance doesn’t come from companies clamoring for their vast profits from “the occupation”, which are irrelevant. Resistance comes from organized Jewry, like the 1200 rabbis, like the Israeli diplomats who intimidate the UC Berkeley student govt etc etc.

    In 2002, when divestment first came up, on a few campuses in the US, there was no talk of “divesting from the occupation”. The Palestinian call for BDS did not specify “the occupation”. It was understood that Israel must be sanctioned. “Divestment from occupation” is a US left Jewish invention, designed to protect Zionism and those who support it from scrutiny, in the name of “practicality” and “realism”.

    P&R begin with bowing to the Israel lobby of the left. Two decades ago these forces were striving to keep Israel’s atrocities and US funding off the agenda.

    Proposition W and The Pacification of the U.S. Middle East Movement

    A new generation, new terms.

  8. seafoid
    April 25, 2012, 4:40 pm

    The video is powerful. Hedi Epstein is a megastar

    She has more balls than the entire Knesset.

    • Kathleen
      April 25, 2012, 5:19 pm

      Love that little Jewish Gandhi lady. She is so adorable, feisty and compassionate. Set up a seat for her at the Move over Aipac conference in 2012 and kept bringing people over to talk with her. A student from I think a university in South Dakota who had had their tripped paid by Aipac, some other young women attending the Aipac conference, some media folks. She just rocks the world of anyone she speaks with.

  9. CitizenC
    April 25, 2012, 8:13 pm

    Hedy Epstein is a rara avis. I once took part in a vigil outside a Conservative synagogue over Palestine. The vigil was the height of scandal to polite liberal society. Hedy Epstein came and stood with us, and spoke; she tried to contact the rabbi of the synagogue, who hid from her. She tried to get a letter into the local paper, to no avail. She has no illusions about Zionism, in Palestine, or in “anti-occupation” divestment circles.

  10. CitizenC
    April 25, 2012, 9:49 pm

    Hedy got a rock-star welcome at Move Over AIPAC in 2011. “Hed-Y! Hed-Y! Hed-Y!” She still considers herself an anti-Zionist despite what happened to her family. That is how her parents raised her. But their fate hasn’t changed her convictions, which have remained steadfast all her life.

    • Kathleen
      April 26, 2012, 9:12 am

      Her stamina blows me away. As we were protesting outside of the Aipac conference in DC I kept bringing her water, muffins, asking her if she needed to rest (she is close to my mothers age) . She would accept the water, and arm through hers as the crowd would get bigger. I always worry about older folks in crowds because people just seem so unaware that they may have almost just knocked an 80 year old person over (drive me nuts) But she is just basically a compassionate power house, a Gandhian whipper snapper. She is an incredible example of compassion, love for humanity and for justice… for us all!

      The Methodist are also clearly setting a strong example for others by their efforts

  11. Fredblogs
    April 26, 2012, 4:17 pm

    Vote for Divestment, vote to destroy Israel. Since the “right” the BDS is about is the “right” of the Palestinians to take over Israel.

    • Shingo
      April 26, 2012, 4:39 pm

      Vote for Divestment, vote to destroy Israel.

      No it isn’t. The boycott of apartheid South Africa didn’t destroy South Africa.

      And secondly, Israel could put a stop to BDS tomorrow simply by obeying international law.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      April 26, 2012, 4:41 pm

      “Since the “right” the BDS is about is the “right” of the Palestinians to take over Israel.”

      False. The israelis could simply pull all of their people, and army back behind the green line.

      The ‘israel’ you’re fighting so despiarately for is a judeo-supremacist Apartheid state, something every thinking person should be against.

    • Kathleen
      April 27, 2012, 10:08 am

      Fredblogs…total hooey

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