Mission Study Consistent with Church’s Stand for Israel-Palestine Peace
by YVETTE MOORE
Statement Revised June 2008:
Chief executives of the Women’s Division and the General Board of Global Ministries called the 2007-2008 Israel-Palestine mission study consistent with the denomination’s stand for a just and lasting peace in that region in a joint statement issued Feb. 19. Women’s Division Deputy General Secretary Harriett Jane Olson and Global Ministries’ Interim General Secretary Bishop Felton E. May issued the statement in response to attacks on the study launched after a denominational briefing for delegates to the upcoming General Conference.
The statement cites as context for the mission study several General Conference resolutions that, among other things, oppose all forms of anti-Semitism, urge United Methodists to observe annual Holocaust Memorial Day, and assert the rights of Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. The statement cited the 2004 General Conference resolution opposing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the church’s longtime opposition to violence, including the killing of innocent persons in horrific bombings, hijackings and other malicious acts of violence.
That 2004 General Conference resolution also urged United Methodists to study issues surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict.
“The mission study’s perspective is in keeping with the thoughtful, informed, and consistent position of The United Methodist Church on Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories,” the executives stated. “The United Methodist Church is not neutral on the question of military occupations. … [The Israel-Palestine study] deals with Israel as a secular nation-state. The study analyzes political actions and aspirations. It seeks to expand the dialogue regarding this matter by including viewpoints rarely heard in public discourse. …
“The United Methodist Church is on record as a firm advocate of both Israeli and Palestinian rights. The mission study was prepared with the goal of helping United Methodists appreciate the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within the context of our commitment to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”
Bishop May and Ms. Olson said the board and the Women’s Division will continue to be guided by the policies and actions of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church on issues related to Israel and Palestine.
Please click here for the joint statement of the General Board of Global Ministries and the Women’s Division :(Revised, June 2008) (PDF, 45k) and see web page.
*Yvette Moore is an executive secretary for communications for the Women’s Division.
Date posted Feb. 20, 2008