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Success and Challenges with Churches' Fight Against BDS

Israeli flag and palm frond (Photo: flickr/ishaip)

In recent years, a troubling trend has been the Protestant churches who have taken a stand against Israel, instead siding with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. JNS' Sean Savage looks at this problem, as well as the Christians who still stand for Israel:

As support for Israel erodes in many Western countries, especially among liberals and the millennial generation, American-Christian backing for the Jewish state is considered one of the bulwarks against such trends. But not all Christians feel warmly about Israel. During the past several years, a number of leading mainline Protestant churches—including the United Church of Christ, Presbyterian Church USA, the Episcopal Church, and most recently the United Methodist Church (UMC)—have considered or voted on resolutions supporting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. 

In May, at the Church’s quadrennial general conference in Portland, Ore., UMC committees rejected four resolutions that called for divestment from companies doing business in Israel, such as Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett Packard.

“What happened at the UMC’s general conference is a miracle,” Dexter Van Zile, a Christian media analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), told

Van Zile praised the Methodist delegates for going a step further in their decision by voting to encourage UMC institutions “to disaffiliate with the U.S. Committee to End the Occupation, a far-left anti-Israel agitprop organization that includes ISM (International Solidarity Movement) groups that condone violence against Israel and others that agitate for Israel’s destruction.”

“These decisions place the UMC on a separate planet when it comes to dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Van Zile said. “On this planet, the adults are firmly in charge. These days, that’s pretty rare..."

Tags: BDS

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