The following resolution was passed by the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church at their recent May meeting.

The following resolution was passed by the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church at their recent May meeting.


WHEREAS the General Conference of the United Methodist Church has addressed the issues in the Middle East and Israel regarding the Palestinian people in resolutions titled: “The Building of Settlements in the Occupied Territories,” “Economic Support for Palestinians,” “The Middle East and North Africa,” “Justice for the Rev. Alex Awad,” “Holy Land Tours,” and “Our Muslim Neighbors,”

WHEREAS the Social Principles states in Paragraph 164 on Basic Freedoms and Human Rights: “We hold governments responsible for the protection of the rights of the people to free and fair elections and to the freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, communications media, and petition for redress of grievances without fear of reprisal; to the right to privacy; and to the guarantee of the rights to adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, and health care. The form and the leaders of all governments should be determined by exercise of the right to vote guaranteed to all adult citizens. We also strongly reject domestic surveillance and intimidation of political opponents by governments in power. … The use of detention and imprisonment for the harassment and elimination of political opponents or other dissidents … or torture of persons by governments for any purpose violates Christian teaching and must be condemned and/or opposed by Christians and churches wherever and whenever it occurs.”

WHEREAS basic freedoms and human rights of Palestinian people continue to be violated,

WHEREAS the building of new and expansion of existing settlements continues in Palestine,

WHEREAS the United States government has and continues to provide funding for the Israeli government and that funding supports the establishment of settlements in Occupied Territories (Palestine), the building of roadways through the Occupied Territories which divide the Palestinian lands,

WHEREAS the Palestinian and Israeli forces continue violent acts of terrorism and destruction, often inflicted upon innocent men, women and children,

WE THEREFORE CALL UPON the United States government, through Congress, to use all measures possible, including the cutting off of all funding to the Israeli government, to insure that the following conditions are met:

All human rights violations cease.
Building of roads for the purpose of dividing the Palestinian lands through the West Bank and Gaza cease.
No more Jewish settlements are built in occupied territories.
All home demolitions cease.

FURTHERMORE, WE CALL UPON the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to bring an end to all hostilities,

FURTHERMORE, WE CALL UPON all United Methodists to become educated on the issues, pray for all people of the region, and provide financial support to the Palestinian people through contributions to the General Board of Global Ministries.

AND FURTHERMORE, WE CALL UPON all United Methodist communities and churches to invite religious leaders (Jewish, Christians, and Muslim) into conversations in order to foster deeper understanding of the issues.