BDS Resolutions Shot Down by United Methodist Church

Hillary Clinton criticized the boycott movement last week, in comments believed to be directed at the church.

An Egyptian boycott activist holds a BDS pin (illustrative).
AP

The United Methodist Church rejected four resolutions calling for the church to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s control of the West Bank.

The votes took place over the weekend at the quadrennial United Methodist Church General Conference that began May 10 in Portland, Oregon.

The resolutions called for divesting from three companies that pro-Palestinian activists have accused of working with Israeli security forces to sustain Israel’s West Bank settlement enterprise. They are Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola.

Similar boycott, divestment and sanctions petitions failed at general conferences in 2008 and 2012.

Last week Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination who was raised and remains a practicing Methodist, criticized the BDS movement in a statement that was believed to be directed at the church, though it did not specifically mention the church.

In January, the Methodists’ pension fund  removed  five Israeli banks from its portfolio, saying the investments were counter to its policies against investing in “high risk countries” and to remain committed to human rights.

BDS activists have scored a series of successes in recent years in advancing similar resolutions, most prominently the United Church of Christ in  2015  and the Presbyterian Church (USA) a year  earlier.