Divestment is a form of nonviolent moral action to change unjust practices. The United Methodist General Conference has long affirmed divestment as a legitimate tool for churches to use, both in our Book of Discipline and in our Book of Resolutions. It has been used effectively in the past.
United Methodists in UMKR are working together to inform church members about the contradiction between our church's words and actions regarding Israel/Palestine. We seek to align the church's investments with its longstanding resolutions opposing Israel's occupation of Palestinian land.
Learn more about our divestment work.
Israel's colonization of Palestinian lands through its settlements across the West Bank is illegal under international law and is one of the primary obstacles to peace in the Holy Land. Those settlements include many businesses that are illegally exploiting Palestinian land and resources to produce their products, and they export those products around the world.
The UMC resolution adopted by the 2012 General Conference - #6111 "Opposition to Israeli Settlements in Palestinian Land" - states the church's opposition to settlements products and calls for all nations to prohibit the import of those products. UMKR advocates, in partnership with many faith communities, are calling for United Methodists to boycott of the settlements products. Learn more about our boycott work.
UMKR advocates are bringing the message to elected officials and leaders in the national governments and international bodies that United Methodists and our partners in other faith communities want our governments to be uphold and defend human rights for all and compliance with international law.
Our message is based on long-standing policies of our church: "The United Methodist Church opposes continued military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, the confiscation of Palestinian land and water resources, the destruction of Palestinian homes, the continued building of illegal Jewish settlements, and any vision of a 'Greater Israel' that includes the occupied territories and the whole of Jerusalem and its surroundings." (Resolution #6111, United Methodist Book of Resolutions 2012).
Learn more about our Political Advocacy
For generations, accurate information about the history and current events in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have been very difficult to find in major news sources or popular media such as film and television. Before we can become advocates for a just peace in the Holy Land, we must learn about the real history of this troubled region, and the harsh reality of current "facts on the ground" in the occupied territories and within Israel.
Equally important for United Methodists is the message of our fellow Christians in Kairos Palestine, the document and the movement, which brings us an eloquent statement of faith and hope and a powerful call for action that we must not ignore.
Learn more about our Education work
HOLY LAND TOURISM
UMKR urges all United Methodists to be responsible Christians and tourists when they visit Israel and Palestine in order to live our values in this most holy of places.
United Methodists are encouraged: to use the UMC General Conference resolutions on Israel/Palestine in planning their trips, to visit not only the biblical sites but also engage with the "living stones," our Palestinian Christian sisters and brothers, and to learn from Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers - to come home with a better understanding of what will help to bring peace to their homeland.
UMKR provides practical information and opportunities to do all of that when planning a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Learn more about our work on Responsible Tourism.
Learn more about our Holy Land tourism work
In October 2010, United Methodist clergy and laity from around the United States came together in a grass roots effort to respond to the “Kairos Palestine Document.” This document is an urgent plea from Christians in the Holy Land for decisive action in support of a just peace. It is a powerful call to churches around the world to go beyond merely talking about peace and take real steps to help bring a just peace to the people of Israel and Palestine. Learn more about Kairos Palestine
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With very limited resources, UMKR has made a major impact in the United Methodist Church.
Groundbreaking divestment and boycott actions by the UMC would never have happened without UMKR's advocacy AND the extraordinary partners and allies who have worked with us and supported our efforts.
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Members of the Body of Christ in the Holy Land are among the many Palestinians suffering daily under occupation. As illegal settlements expand on Palestinian land, they are losing their homes and their hope for a future in the land where their ancestors have lived for more than 2,000 years. Many United Methodists who have visited Palestine and have seen their suffering first-hand find it unconscionable that churches profit from companies which enable that suffering.
UMKR began with a single purpose: encouraging our church to divest its holdings in companies that support and profit from Israel's occupation.
Today UMKR's advocacy has several areas of focus:
• DIVESTMENT and BOYCOTT campaigns and actions that focus on from the complicity in Israeli apartheid and oppression
• POLITICAL ACTION that supports human rights and international law
• RESPONSIBLE TOURISM in the Holy Land
• EDUCATION about the history and current conditions in Palestine and Israel, and the message of Palestinian Christians in "Kairos Palestine."
See more about each of these Action Areas and our organizational structure below.
The UMKR movement includes thousands of United Methodists in dozens of annual conferences throughout the United Methodist Church, whose goal is to bring about a just peace for Israelis as well as Palestinians. UMKR also works with allies in many other faith communities and organizations around the world. Together and globally, people of conscience are giving hope to those whose lives have been all but destroyed by war and military occupation.
Add your voice to ours, and make a difference by joining the advocacy of United Methodists for Kairos Response. If you would like to get involved, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
If you have an interest in a specific area of our work, please get in touch:
To contact our Co-chairs, Treasurer, and others in UMKR, see our Contact page.