The duplicity of the British Methodist Church

This institution, professing love, truth and justice, now pursues hate and hypocrisy, while peace talks are being conducted between Israel and the Palestinian leadership.

By
October 16, 2013 22:05
4 minute read.
A Palestinian youth gestures in front of the Dome of the Rock t in Jerusalem's Old City.

Palestinian youth peace sign outside Dome of Rock, 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Marko Djurica)

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.

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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 timing.

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.

METHODIST READERS 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 honest answer.

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 oppose Israel.

Local pastors, who speak up for Israel, put themselves at risk.

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 Israel.

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.

The biased 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 cult.”

Like their BDS partners, the British Methodist Church is dishonest.

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 questionnaire.

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 exist.

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 rights.

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 Israel.

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.


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