The BDS worldwide movement is a response to the call for
boycott, divestment and sanctions issued
by 170 Palestinian civil organizations in 2005. read it here>>
Read the statement of support for BDS
from Christian Peacemaker Teams read it>>
(many more such statements can be found
under our Statements tab - at the top of every page
Scroll down this page to learn about the
Occupation-Free Faith Communities Network
from US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
See a list of companies currently recommended for divestment
and learn how each is helping to sustain Israel's illegal occupation
of Palestinian territory. Provided by the Divestment Task Force,
New England Conference, UMC
The global movement to divest from Israel's Occupation of Palestinian Territory is active on campuses, in churches and in civil society movements across the globe. The movement is growing. The tactic of withdrawing investments, if successful, can start a downward spiral in which investing that supports or profits from the Occupation will simply become too risky a prospect. This happened in South Africa once financial institutions started to withdraw; both Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu have said that movement played a crucial role in supporting the freedom struggle. They also both have named what they have seen in Israel Palestine as apartheid, and have supported the call from Palestinian civil society for worldwide BDS action.
Divestment, boycotts, and economic sanctions as a solidarity strategy can influence a regime or company economically, but moreover, it often triggers reflections as to why a situation of injustice has been thus singled out. In this respect divestment advocacy work, even if does not have a large and direct financial impact, can bring about major changes to the overall political climate.
The BDS Movement is a form of advocacy that is growing every day around the world, and it takes many forms. Diverse institutions within the US and Europe - universities, major Christian denominations and others - are joining the movement. However, it is important to note that not all participants advocate every facet of the BDS movement being applied today to the Mid East conflict.
United Methodist peace and justice advocates most often support a limited form of divestment known as Selective Divestment, which entails divesting from corporations that support and profit from the Occupation of Palestinian territory. Selective Divestment does not include divesting from all corporations that do business in or with Israel.
Divestment and boycott to end the Occupation of Palestinian Territory has become the most controversial advocacy movement in decades, primarily because of the vehement responses that have come from supporters of Israel. (In fact, legislation is now being considered in Israel to make it illegal for any to recommend publicly the boycotting of Israeli products and services, or just those of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.) Often the accusation is made that those supporting divestment or boycott are attacking Israel itself, and are attempting to delegitimize Israel's existence.
On the contrary, United Methodists are strongly supportive of Israel's existence and security, and UM advocates are clearly focused only on opposition to policies of Israel's government regarding the Palestinians.
The Palestinian people have been told for decades that they must not use violence in their fight for freedom and their own homeland. Indeed, they have been using nonviolent resistance on a large scale, but those actions that happen every week in Palestine are never reported in mainstream US media.
One of the most effective nonviolent methods of advocacy is economic advocacy, specifically the methods of divestment and boycott. The Palestinian civil society put out a call to the world for help (read it here
), asking for a worldwide BDS movement. And many Jewish organizations and others have echoed that call - you can find them in our Statements
section. The world must show the Palestinian people that their efforts to apply nonviolent resistance are being supported by the rest of us.
God's people have a particular responsibility to provide practical support for that nonviolent resistance to oppression, through our investment choices.
Learn more about Selective Divestment
as advocated by many United Methodists.
From the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation:
Occupation-Free Faith Communities Network
learn about it at: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/section.php?id=357
Occupation-Free Faith Community commits to take specific advocacy steps
to bring about a just peace in Israel/Palestine. Occupation Free
Congregations can be churches, mosques, synagogues, or temples. Or they
can be particular committees, taskforces, or boards within these
communities that focus on Israel/Palestine or on peace and social
justice issues. They can be Bible study groups, clergy groups, or
campus ministries. Or they can be regional groupings of faith
communities, or interfaith organizations.
size, they are an integral part of the effort to change U.S. policy and
bring about a just peace in Israel/Palestine.
Relationships and Goals of Occupation-Free Faith Communities
Find out more about what an Occupation Free Faith
Community is called to do - and what support can be expected from the US
Suggested Activities for Occupation-Free Faith Communities
Need ideas for what an Occupation Free Faith Community can do to take action for justice? Look no further!
Boycotts and Economic Pressure in Faith Communities
Morally responsible investing and campaigns of
boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) are moral, nonviolent,
economic measures that seek to change the bad behavior of corporations
and of governments. Faith communities and nonviolent movements have
long used boycotts and other forms of economic pressure in their work
for justice and peace.
Encourage your congregation to become an Occupation-Free community. Find out how: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/section.php?id=357