The British Methodist Church, with the BDS movement, is distributing a
questionnaire calling for a boycott of Israel.
This is a significant step
against Israel. It extends their 2010 partial boycott of “settlement” products.
Now they are hitting all of Israel.
This institution, professing love,
truth and justice, now pursues hate and hypocrisy, while peace talks are being
conducted between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. Strange
If “occupation” is the issue, why aren’t they boycotting other
countries practicing occupation? Turkey displaced 400,000 Cypriots and occupies
Northern Cyprus, China occupies Tibet and Morocco occupies Western Sahara. Not a
peep from the Methodists. It’s only Israel they beat up on, with the
Palestinians as their poster child.
These BDS supporting Methodists have
no concern for Israel’s security needs in protecting its people after decades of
Palestinian terror against innocent Israeli civilians. They fail to appreciate
the numerous failed peace gestures of successive Israeli governments, all
rejected by Palestinian leaders. In short, Israel’s position is conspicuously
absent in Methodist deliberations. It lacks even-handedness, fairness and is
devoid of love, truth and balanced justice.
More puzzling is members of
the Methodist branch of the Christian religion siding with an entity that hates
and abuses Christians.
Bethlehem, perhaps the most holy place in
Christendom, that when Israel was established the Christian population was in
excess of 70%, under Jordanian and Palestinian control their population has
fallen to 15%.
Christians have fled both the West Bank and Gaza. They are
now less than 1.7% of the total Palestinian population. If you are a Palestinian
Christian, you move to Israel. Just ask the Christian population of east
Jerusalem if they prefer to be Israeli or Palestinian.
need answer one question: Who do you prefer as guardians of the Christian holy
places in Jerusalem? Israel, or Hamas? With hand on heart, give yourself an
But why is the Methodist Church going out of its way to
boycott Israel while ignoring massive crimes against humanity, many of which
involve the slaughter of fellow Christians? Why, in their eyes, is the Jewish
State of Israel more evil than all others? Quite simply, it is because the
Methodist Church is founded on “replacement theology” a traditional Christian
ideology of anti-Judaism that has been replaced with a modern cloak of
anti-Zionism. The BDS supporters would side with the devil, as they have in the
past, to remove this perceived blot on the face of Christianity. As such, they
share an agenda with Islamists, such as Palestinian Hamas (who they support)
whose Charter still calls to kill Jews.
What is so distasteful about the
British Methodist faction is that their hierarchy has been hijacked by a radical
minority that constantly places anti-Israel resolutions on its agenda which are
not supported by rank-and-file priests. There is a battle going on in the
British church between those who bravely support Israel, and their leaders who
Local pastors, who speak up for Israel, put themselves at
By upsetting their leadership they could find themselves out of a
job. That could also mean homelessness as they live in property owned by the
church. Such is the threat they endure in their love and support for
One such Methodist priest is David Hallam, who in 2011, said,
“What I object to is money being used to fund a political campaign against the
Jewish state. This is both discriminatory and a misuse of a charity’s funds. I
object to the one-sided and bigoted approach.”
On 12 October 2011, he
reported on anti-Semitic views expressed by people attending a Methodist meeting
in West London earlier that month.
THE OFFICIAL Methodist position has
always been one-sided and anti-Israel. While constantly questioning Israeli
policies, it makes no statements about Palestinian anti-Semitic ideologies and
incitement promoting violence and terror against Israelis and denying Israel’s
right to exist. On the contrary, it actively supports this agenda, based on
their theological denial of land for Jews while actively supporting land for
Arabs. It constantly calls disputed territories “Palestinian land.” Their
actions and theology firmly indicate that they consider all of Israel
Palestinian land, in line with the agenda of the BDS Movement.
leaders of the Methodist Church know the BDS movement advocates the elimination
of the Jewish State of Israel.
They are aware that Norman Finkelstein
chastised the basic dishonesty of the BDS movement, calling them a “no-Israel
Like their BDS partners, the British Methodist Church is
Instead of coming out publicly and saying that Israel
shouldn’t exist, as they do theologically behind closed doors, they try to wrap
themselves with a cloak of public opinion support for their consumer
They think they are being clever by implementing such
tactics, but they are not talking about rights, they are talking about
destroying Israel. Their claim to be agnostic about Israel is a lie, told
because they know their support would dwindle if they were to openly say that
according to their religious beliefs, Israel has no right to
Israel demands to hear what they have to say about Israel’s
legitimacy, and Israel’s rights. It is not accidental that the BDS movement, and
now the Methodist Church, chokes at the mere mention of Israel’s
The Methodist Church has failed to work for mutual peace and
reconciliation in the Middle East. On the contrary, it has taken a strongly
biased position against Israel.
The release of the Methodist Church
questionnaire confirms their fatal drift into the arms of the BDS movement and,
ultimately, into the radical claws of a Palestinian movement bent on eliminating
The author is the special consultant on delegitimization issues
to The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College. He is the author
of Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.