Action Items
Things you can do to advocate for a just peace
in Israel & Palestine
__________________
 
Sign a statement supporting the human rights of children in Palestine, from Action for Palestinian Children, in the UK. Add the endorsemnt of your organization or congregation if possible. Sign it»
Learn more about Defence for Children International-Palestine
and the vital work they do on illegal abuse of Palestinian children.
Learn more »

Sign the United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR) Petition
for the UMC to cut financial ties to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine
.
learn more, take action »

Save Wadi Foquin
Join with United Methodists who are working to save this Palestinian village surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements. Advocates are asking Congress to look at the human rights violations threatening the survival of Wadi Foquin.
   Learn more about the village and efforts to save it! take action »


Sign the JVP divestment petition to TIAA-CREF,
one of the largest financial services in the US. Support this nationwide campaign by Jewish Voice for Peace
learn more, take action »


Support the Stolen Beauty Campaign

Boycott Israeli cosmetics company Ahava.   Ahava's operations are located in two of Israel's illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian land.
learn more, take action »


 

Occupation-Free Faith Community Network
Learn how your congregation can become part of this network: churches and other faith groups taking a stand for justice in Palestine and Israel. 
learn more, take action »



Christian Peacemaker Teams ask you to support the BDS movement (Boycott Divestment Sanctions, and ask for your online response about how and why you support BDS
See their alert »

Learn about BDS »




The time is
always right to
do what is right.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
A task force of the California-Pacific
Justice and Compassion Essential Ministries Team (JCEMT),
United Methodist Church

A member organization of US Campaign
to End the Israeli Occupation

Share
 
Pray and Act
Connect
  


Download a flyer »  See more materials below.

In this season of Easter and Pentecost, when our minds are fixed on the world-changing events 2000 years ago in ancient Israel... when better to learn about the current events and people in this place that still impacts the whole world? Gain an understanding of the modern history and the prospects for peace in this holy land, the cradle of our faith.  If you have ever thought “that place and that conflict are too complicated to understand,” join us and find out that isn’t true!

    

May 7, 14, 21, 28 and June 4

5 Wednesday evenings, 7:00-9:00 pm with a break and refreshments every session

In one session, we will have a special guest from Palestine: a UM missionary who has lived there for 20 years.

 

Culver-Palms United Methodist Church

4464 Sepulveda Blvd   Culver City, CA 90230

    This class will help newcomers to the subject learn the basics about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: some history and geography, the major parties including the role of the US, the crucial issues and obstacles to peace, current prospects for peace, the role of the church today and how people of faith can support a peaceful tomorrow.

     Our class will provide a safe environment to ask any questions and discuss our views in a respectful, supportive circle of participants.  Each session will include a video and discussion time, with small reading assignments between sessions.

    Join us to learn, share, and gain hope for achieving peace in the Holy Land, a peace that can change dramatically the world we live in.

 

Register for the class soon!

Contact the instructor for information and to register:
Theresa Basile, chair of our task force, co-founder and Steering Committee member of United Methodist Kairos Response

Cell: 323-253-9087     Email: basilenow@aol.com

Donation for materials & supplies: $15

Download materials to share the news of this class - offered for the first time in the Cal-Pac conference - with your congregation and your friends!
Flyer 1 (no margins) »
Flyer 2 (with white margins, easier for printing) »
Insert for smaller church bulletins »
Banner for web or email »
Text for articles or email »
Graphic image for articles or email »

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Support the FOSNA Letter to Pope Francis

On Ash Wednesday 2014, Friends of Sabeel-North America (FOSNA) delivered an Open Letter to Pope Francis, signed by over 200 bishops, clergy, members of religious orders, and theologians asking the Pope to speak out against the targeting and systematic abuse of Palestinian children by the Israeli military.

Add your name in support of the Letter to Pope Francis!  take action

UMHLTF Supports the Letter to Congress from Fifteen Christian Leaders  
In October 2012, fifteen leaders of Christian churches and organizations - including Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, President of the UMC Council of Bishops - sent a ground-breaking letter to the US Congress.  Read it, sign the letter of Thanks to these courageous leaders and see the many responses - pro and con - to their action. Learn more »
The Essentials
To begin learning - or learn more - about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, be sure to look in the menu under "Background." In this column are a few featured items we recommend to help you get started.
The Kairos Palestine Document

"A moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering"
A statement of faith and a call to action - Encourage others to read and discuss this history-making document from the Christians of Palestine.  read and download »


Get a good basic overview of the history of the conflict and the issues today. 
Read an eleven-page history from the Middle East Research & Information Project (MERIP)  read it »


Rather than reading you can watch an excellent video that will introduce you to the history and current issues in Palestine/Israel: "Occupation 101, Voices of the Silenced Majority."

The best 90 minutes you could spend to find out what is happening today and the history behind it
watch Occupation 101 online in High Definition >
read about it and order the dvd »



Counter-Rhetoric: Challenging Conventional Wisdom & Reframing the Conflict   It would be hard to find a better way to learn what is wrong with the story of the Mid East conflict most Americans have heard, and to get an alternative view, based on international law and historical honesty. From an American-Israeli professor-  download it (228K) »


Why are Israeli Settlements 
such an important issue?  
Watch a very helpful short video from the Presbyterian Church:
click here or photo below

See and use the Steadfast Hope videos and booklet at your church, an excellent resource for a study group. learn more, watch the videos, order the set »


JERUSALEM
Another pivotal issue often in the news, especially East Jerusalem and the replacement of Palestinians by Israelis there.

Whose is it legally? When and how has it changed hands? Who lives there and what has been happening to it over the last few decades? An excellent short study on Jerusalem from AFSC. 
read it »

Plan a Holy Land event or class at your church using our guide and resources 
learn more »


Contact our Task Force for help in planning an event or a class, finding a knowledgable speaker, getting materials you need or any other
help we can provide:
info@umhltf.org

Perspectives
Uri Avnery
Excellent,
cutting-edge commentary, from a veteran of the Israeli military and parliament, one of Israel's leading activists for peace.
Read it »

Gideon Levy
A great source for news of the Occupation including Levy's insightful commentary on current events.

Read it »

Jim Wall
Editor and publisher of The Christian Century Magazine for 27 years, Wall is a Contributing Editor today. Read his wallwritings, thought-provoking commentary on Israel-Palestine, US Policy, and the challenges facing peace advocates in faith communities.  Read it »


   
Our vision
The United Methodists of the Holy Land Task Force envision the day when Palestine and Israel will become:  a land that reflects the highest ideals of the three Abrahamic faiths, a place where Muslims, Jews, and Christians achieve reconciliation and live side by side in security and freedom, an example for the world of peaceful coexistence grounded in justice and compassion.
Read our Mission Statement
In the News
Check here for recent news and commentary on Israel-Palestine: our partners have advocacy news and action alerts, CMEP Bulletins provide a summary of the week's events, IMEU gathers news and analysis from around the world..and more.
_________________________________

NEWS FROM PARTNERS

United Methodist Kairos Response is an international peace movement in the UMC, responding to the urgent call from Palestinian Christians (in Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth) for effective action supporting a just peace in Israel/Palestine. read their news »


US Campaign
to End the Occupation

is a coalition of over 350 organizations including two General Boards of the UMC, Jewish Voice for Peace, Codepink, our own task force, and many other faith and secular groups across the US. 
read their newsblasts and action alerts »
see their major campaigns
 
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)

is a leading grassroots organization in the US that many United Methodists are working with, including our task force.
  read their news »
_____________________________________

GENERAL NEWS
on Israel-Palestine


Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
, a coalition of 24 Christian churches and organizations, publishes weekly bulletins that summarize the latest developments concerning the Middle East. Read their bulletins »

IMEU:  Institute for Middle East Understanding is a news service for journalists and everyone else, gathering news on Israel-Palestine from across the internet and around the world.
Read their news and analysis »
See also their Fact Sheets - facts behind many of the latest major stories

The Electronic Intifada  News, blogs, and more - a good destination for those wanting to know what justice activists around the world are discussing.
read their news and analysis »

__________________________________

ON HUMAN & CIVIL RIGHTS

B'Tselem  See reports regarding human rights and violations, in Israel and the occupied territories, from a respected Israeli human rights organization
read their news feed »

The Only Democracy?
A JVP-affiliated website, this blog questions the common belief that Israel is a true democracy and reports on the struggle for civil and human rights in Israel and Palestine. 
read their news feed » 
  
CHURCH NEWS
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
 
See a list of all United Methodist legislative action
related to divestment from the Israeli occupation read it »

June 2013: UMKR press release - More United Methodists divest
In 2013, several UMC regional bodies voted to divest from the Israeli occupation or to form divestment task forces.
read it »

October 2012: Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, Pres. of the UMC Council of Bishops and 14 other Christian leaders send a letter to the US Congress calling for an end to unconditional US military aid to Israel.
They ask for Congressional hearings to see if Israel is complying with US laws and policies in its use of that aid. read their letter, then sign a letter of support and thanks to these leaders

read the powerful reactions - pro and con - to their letter to congress

In 2012, the General Conference of the UMC
adopted a resolution calling for all nations to prohibit the import of products produced in Israeli settlements.
They also repeated their decades-long opposition to the continuation and expansion of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. Unfortunately, the divestment resolution brought to GC2012 was not adopted. However, the General Conference called for an end to all military aid to the region.
read the resolution: Opposition to Settlements »

read the UMKR response to GC2012 »

___________________

NEWS IN OTHER CHURCHES
 

In 2012, Friends Fiduciary, a national investment service for Quakers, divested
from Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, and Veolia, due to those corporations' involvement in the Israeli occupation read the news report »

At the 2012 General Assembly, the Presbyterian Church USA supported a boycott of Israeli settlements products  read the press release »

2011 saw the birth of a new ecumenical movement, Kairos USA:
"to unify and mobilize American Christians – lay, academic and clergy – to take a prophetic stance for a just peace in Israel and Palestine."  visit their website and learn more »

At the 2010 General Assembly, the Presbyterian Church USA said: withhold US aid to Israel until settlement expansion stops

read the news report »


Read a summary of all Presbyterian Church (USA) actions on Israel-Palestine at the 219th General Assembly in 2010 »

In 2010, the Methodist Church of Great Britain supported a boycott of products from Israeli settlements
read the news report »
read excerpts of the church report »

 
Noteworthy
Special items and recently added features. If you don't have time to browse our entire website, find some great highlights here.

"The Two-State Illusion"
from the front page of the New York Times Sunday Review by
Ian S. Lustnick
This September 2014 editorial has made waves around the world. Prof. Lustnick provides an intelligent overview of the peace process and some cogent suggestions about what needs to happen now and what the future might hold. read it »


An American Rabbi speaks out on Israel-Palestine, support for divestment and boycott and more!  Read an excerpt of his book »
Brant Rosen is co-chair of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council and a congregational rabbi at Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston IL.  A long-time human rights advocate, and a contributor to the Chigago Tribune, Huffington Post, and other news outlets, in 2010 Rabbi Rosen was awarded the “Inspiration for Hope Award” by American Friends Service Committee for his activism for peace and justice in the Middle East. 
Read an excerpt of his book, "Wrestling in the Dark" »


Change without Progress in the Middle East 
by Chas Freeman
Insightful, cutting-edge analysis of US Middle East policy, in a keynote address to policy-makers by Charles W. Freeman, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
read it »

Why I Refuse
by Moriel Rothman
A heartfelt, profound statement from one young man in the growing ranks of Israeli "Refuseniks." Rothman received more than one prison sentence for refusing to serve in the Israeli military and help to enforce the Occupation. Read his reasons choosing prison over military service.
read it »

The US as Israel's Enabler in the Middle East by Kathleen Christison, former CIA political analyst
"...Israel is at the center of virtually every move the United States makes in the region.  There has long been a taboo on talking about these realities....People do not mention Israel because they might be called anti-Semitic, they might be attacked as “singling out” Israel for criticism; the media fail to discuss Israel and what it does around the Middle East and, most directly, to the Palestinians.... Congressmen will not endanger campaign funds by talking honestly about Israel.  And so Israel is taken off everyone’s radar screen." 
Read the article »

Apartheid today?
Are there people still suffering under an apartheid government today?  The South African government funded an investigation by an international team of legal analysts. Read their conclusions: a vivid snapshot of what the 45-year-old Israeli occupation has become. An excellent and easy-to-read summary from ICAHD-USA: read the summary »

Why Divestment? And Why Now?
David Wildman, Exec. Secretary for Human Rights, Racial and Global Justice (UMC) wrote this prophetic article several years ago; every part of it is even more relevant today. The history of divestment advocacy, the moral imperative for churches to participate  - and the top ten arguments against it!   read it »

Letters and Statements of Support for Divestment
See what many Israelis and Americans in the Jewish community had to say when Berkeley students advocated for divestment
read it »    
Read the support for United Methodist divestment efforts 

read it »

Archbishop Desmond Tutu's simple and profound op-ed on the same subject  read it »

Goldstone's Legacy for Israel
by Naomi Klein
Award-winning journalist describes the irrefutable integrity of The Goldstone Report (the findings of the UN Commission), and the reason for the uproar it caused.  read it »

Israel's Greatest Loss: Its Moral Imagination
  by Henry Siegman
A former leader in the US Israel Lobby finds Israel's current behavior reminiscent of Nazi practices

read it »

Jewish American author speaks about his awakening to the plight of the Palestinians, Israel's role in their oppression, and the troubled relationship between Jews and Christians in the US. Watch this excellent short video with Mark Braverman.



"Ramadan Greetings" from Netanyahu and Obama Administrations   by Jeff Halper
Actions of both governments speak louder than words - a succinct overview of reality on the ground in Israel and Palestine  Read it »

Where is the Palestinian Gandhi? by Mazin Qumsiyeh
Qumsiyeh answers that question posed by rock star and activist Bono in his article of this same title. Did you know the overwhelming majority of Palestinian resistance has been nonviolent? Excellent, concise review of 130 years. read it »

    

 UMHLTF Supports the Letter to Congress from Fifteen Christian Leaders  


October 2013 – Fifteen leaders of Christian churches and organizations - including Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, President of the UMC Council of Bishops - have sent a ground-breaking letter to the US Congress, questioning the wisdom and legality of unconditional US military aid to Israel. They are asking for Congressional hearings, to investigate if that aid is being used in ways that violate US laws and policies, such as human rights violations against the Palestinian people.
       Responses to this courageous peacemaking action have been heard around the world.
Sign the Letter of Support and Thanks »
October 2014 - you can still sign the letter!
• Nov 29th: 5200+ signatures on our support letter 
All groups' support letters:  30,000 signatures


- Read many powerful responses
-
both pro and con - to the 15 Leaders' Letter to Congress, including the article "Interfaith bullying"
by Mark Braverman, Program Director of Kairos USA

- Read the letter
from thirteen churches and organizations RESPONDING to those Jewish groups who recently cancelled interfaith dialogue sessions with their Christian colleagues, because of the Letter to Congress.

- Read the statement
from Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, regarding objections to her co-signing the Letter to Congress. Clarifies that letter to Congress reflects long-held positions of the United Methodist Church.

- INTERFAITH PRESS CONFERENCE ON CAPITOL HILL AT THE METHODIST BUILDING:

"30,000 Signatures Gathered In Support of Churches’ Call to Investigate Unconditional Military Support of Israel"
Read the press release »