IPMN Supports Divestment by United Methodist Church
NEW YORK – April 20, 2012 - The General Conference of the United Methodist Church will meet in Tampa, Florida from April 24-May 4, 2012 and will be deliberating over a resolution that directs boards and agencies of the United Methodist Church to divest from corporations that sustain and profit from Israel’s military occupation of Palestine. This resolution was first adopted by the church’s General Board of Church and Society in February 2011.
The divestment resolution comes from United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR) which is that denomination’s counterpart to this network, the Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church(USA). UMKR was formed in October 2010 and is an international movement in the United Methodist Church working to put actions behind the denomination’s words in response to the call of Kairos Palestine. UMKR is seeking to align the church’s investments with its resolutions opposing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. The resolution for divestment identifies the same three companies that have been identified by the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) of the PC(USA): Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett Packard and Motorola Solutions.
The General Conference of the United Methodist Church meets only once every four years and is the only entity that can instruct United Methodist boards and agencies to divest. Because of the quadrennial meeting schedule, the meeting in Tampa this month is crucial in regard to the United Methodist Church taking action in support of a just peace in Israel Palestine.
As the General Conference considers divestment, the UMKR will be reminding this governing body that it has long affirmed divestment as a legitimate tool for churches to use as a form of nonviolent moral action to bring change to unjust practices. This is clearly stated in both the United Methodist Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions.
The Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) commends UMKR for its prophetic and uncompromising stance as it calls for substantive action towards achieving justice and peace in the Holy Land. Both UMKR and IPMN have had the opportunity to partner and work together towards these same goals. As IPMN looks ahead to the PC(USA) General Assembly, and a number of actions calling for both divestment and boycott from companies that profit from the illegal occupation of Palestine, we wholeheartedly support the efforts and the goals set forth by our United Methodist brothers and sisters, and we continue to pray that justice may come rolling down like a mighty stream.