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May 2, 2012
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"Despite an intense lobbying effort by seemingly omnipresent pro-divestment activists, United Methodists have opted to retain the church's existing policy of positive engagement with Israelis and Palestinians.”
- Mark Tooley, IRD President
Tampa, FL-- Delegates to the governing body of the global 12-million-member United Methodist Church strongly voted today to reject divestment from three companies doing business with Israel. The move follows a high profile lobbying effort by pro-divestment activists.
Backed by international anti-Israel groups, United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR) argued that the United Methodist General Conference should instruct the denomination's pension board to sell investments in Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Motorola Solutions. UMKR argued that the three companies profit from Israel's military presence in the West Bank.
IRD President Mark Tooley commented:
"The decision of United Methodists against divestment rejects simplistic one-sided blame that characterizes so much anti-Israel advocacy.
"Despite an intense lobbying effort by seemingly omnipresent pro-divestment activists, United Methodists have opted to retain the church's existing policy of positive engagement with Israelis and Palestinians.
"Hopefully other churches, like the Presbyterian Church (USA), will follow United Methodists in resisting calls to pressure Israel alone into making concessions."
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