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Answering the urgent call from Palestinian Christians 
~ in Kairos Palestine:  A Moment of Truth ~ for effective action to end the Israeli occupation and achieve a just peace in the Holy Land.

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Endorsements      Endorsement Statements


A Message from Tina Whitehead

United Methodist Missionary to Israel/Palestine
Western Pennsylvania Conference Delegate to General Conference 2012

December 2011

Dear General Conference Delegate,

My name is Tina Whitehead and I am writing to you from Jerusalem. I am also, like you, a delegate to the 2012 General Conference.

For the past 5 years I have been volunteering in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, primarily doing education and advocacy on behalf of the Palestinian people.  My journey began in 1997 when I first came here as a “pilgrim,” to “walk where Jesus walked.”  Over a period of 4 years, I read, I listened and I heard the stories of a people I had previously known nothing about:  the Palestinian people.  Their request of me and of others was to “go home and tell our story.” 

That request has become my calling.

My passion is to speak to tour groups here about what I've seen and heard.  I find that most of the people I meet are just like I was:  totally unaware of what is happening here.  When I ask each group, “What do you think of when you hear the word 'Palestinian?'” the answer is always the same:  “terrorist.”  They do not know that the Christians who remain here are Palestinian, nor do they know of the suffering that both Muslim and Christian Palestinians have endured since losing their homes and their land in 1948.

This suffering and loss did not end in 1948; it goes on today due to oppressive Israeli government policies that daily dehumanize the Palestinians, depriving them not just of their land, but of all the human rights and freedoms that we take for granted.

I have found that about 90% of those that I speak with are astounded by what they see (my “talking” is done through pictures of life here).  The first question they ask is “Why don't we know this?” and the second is “What can we do?”

Supporting the resolution called “Aligning United Methodist Church Investments with Resolutions on Israel/Palestine” is something that we, as individuals and as a Church, can do that can make a positive difference in the pursuit of peace and justice in this region of the world.  The United Methodist Church has already taken a stand against the oppression that is taking place here.  It also has resolutions that speak against the financial support of any organization or body that profits from the suffering of others.  All we are asking is that we put in action what we have already said in words.

I pray that you support this resolution and continue to pray and act for the peace of Jerusalem.
If you'd like to be in touch with me with any questions, you can reach me at tinawhitehead2@hotmail.com

Peace,

Tina Whitehead

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36.   Tamar Freed
37.   Hagar Garti
38.   Avner Gilaad
39.   Angela Godfrey-Goldstein
40.   Neta Golan
41.   Tsilli Goldenberg
42.   Dina Goor
43.   Michal Goren
44.   Ohal Grietzer
45.   Sarah Grumet
46.   Mya  Guarnieri
47.   Noam Gur
48.   Gil Gutglick
49.   Amos Gvirtz
50.   Connie Hackbarth
51.   Ilana Hammerman
52.   Shir Hever
53.   Iris Hefets
54.   Ruth Hiller
55.   Guy Hirchfeld
56.   Seffy Hurwitz
57.   Yael Kahn
58.   Michal Kaiser-Livne
59.   Dafna Kaminer
60.   Reuven Kaminer
61.   Liad Kantorowicz
62.   Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta
63.   Dr. Asaf Kedar
64.   Assaf Kintzer
65.   Annelien Kisch-Kroon
66.   Victor Kozaski
67.   Micha Kurz
68.   Idan Landau
69.   Mihal Leibel
70.   Noam Lekach

Endorsement from the US Dominican

Palestine Coordinating Committee

A committee of the Dominican Leadership Conference (DLC).
The DLC is comprised of leaders of 29 provinces and congregations of Dominican friars and nuns

in the United States.)
January 2012

The U.S. Dominican Palestine Coordinating Committee seeks a just and lasting peace for Palestine and Israel based on human rights and international law. We support the efforts of any community seeking non-violent ways to address injustice, and we applaud and endorse the efforts of the United Methodist denomination to divest its stock holdings from companies that help sustain the occupation of Palestine.

The U. S. Dominican Palestine Coordinating Committee
Pat Chaffee, OP
Chuck Dahm, OP
Stella Goodpasture, OP
Ceil Lavan, OP
Chris Matthias
Margaret Mayce, OP
Bernie Wombacher, OP

71.   Dr. Hadas Leonov
72.   Eytan Lerner
73.   Roi Livne
74.   Yonatan Livneh
75.   Ilan Lonai
76.   Yuval Lotem, Jaffa
77.   Adv.  Henry Lowi
78.   Yossef Lubovsky
79.   Gal Lugassi
80.   Naomi Lyth
81.   Prof. Bezalel Manekin
82.   Daniel Margalit
83.   Dr. Ruchama Marton
84.   Dr. Anat Matar
85.   Edo Medicks
86.   Yossef(a) Mekyton
87.   Gregory Molev
88.   Susanne Moses   
89.   Andreas Moses
90.   Dr. Yael Munk, The Open University, Israel
91.   Dorit Naaman, PhD
92.   Dr. Dorothy Naor
93.   Ofer Neiman
94.   Dr. David Nir
95.   Elyakim Nitzani
96.   Prof. Nurit Peled
97.   Leiser Peles
98.   Yaar Peretz
99.   Einat Podjarny
100. Jonathan Pollak
101. Ayman Qwaider
102. Micha Rachman
103. Alison Ramer
104. Prof. Tamar Rapoport
105. Mosi Raz

106. Renen Raz
107. Dr. Hili Razinsky
108. Deb Reich
109. Larissa Riahi
110. Gregory Rokhlenko
111. Yehoshua Rosin, Rehovot
112. Leehee Rothschild
113. Lizi Sagie
114. Dr. Michal Sapir
115. Herzl Schubert, Tel-Aviv
116. Noa Shaindlinger
117. Ayala Shani
118. Tal Shapira
119. Yonatan Shapira
120. Itamar Shapira
121. Inbal Sinai
122. Ora Slonim
123. Dr. Kobi Snitz
124. Sonya Soloviov
125. Marcelo Svirsky
126. Ruth Tenne
127. Amir Terkel
128. Daphna Thier
129. Uri Thier
130. Tzvia Thier
131. Amiel Vardi
132. Sahar M. Vardi
133. Michael Warschawski
134. Einat Weizman
135. Elian Weizman
136. Rebekah Wolf
137. Sergio Yahni
138. Iaroslav Youssim
139. Karen Zack
140. Shimri Zameret

Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu endorses

divestment resolution

April 26, 2012

Dear Friends of the United Methodist Church

The situation in Israel and Palestine pains me greatly since

it is the place where God formed a very particular relationship

with a particular group of people; Hebrews who were

oppressed as slaves in another land. As time moved on, this

people disobeyed God and time and time again the prophets

had to call them back to their deepest values.

The Jewish Holocaust, engineered and implemented primarily

by Europeans, gave some ideologues within the Jewish and

Christian community an excuse to implement plans that were

in the making for at least 50 years, under the rubric of

exceptional Jewish security. In this way began the immense

oppression of the Palestinian people, who were not at all involved in the Holocaust. Not only is this group of people being oppressed more than the apartheid ideologues could ever dream about in South Africa, their very identity and history are being denied and obfuscated. What is worse, is that Europe and the USA are refusing to take responsibility for their actions with regard to both the Holocaust and the over-empowering of the Israelis, their disregard for the international conventions and regulatory framework of the nuclear industry and their continued oppression of the Palestinian people.

But God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, neither slumbers nor sleeps. Prophetic voices have been calling this empowered people who were once oppressed and killed, to their deepest values of justice and compassion, but they have refused to listen even to the most reasonable voices. The human community cannot be silent in the face of the gross injustice being meted out to the people of Palestine. If international courts and governments refuse to deal with this matter, we in the churches and in the rest of civil society really have no choice but to act in small ways and big ways.

God is busy doing a new thing. And God is using all of us to be partners with him. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians have to be liberated, but at this stage the greater onus is on the Israelis since they are the ones who are in power, economically, politically and militarily. We have to think about ways that will allow them to reflect deeply on what it is that they are doing and bring them back from the brink, not out of spite or revenge, but because we love them deeply.

I therefore wholeheartedly support your action to disinvest from companies who benefit from the Occupation of Palestine. This is a moral position that I have no choice but to support, especially since I know of the effect that Boycotts, Disinvestment and Sanctions had on the apartheid regime in South Africa.

May God bless your conference as you deliberate on this matter, and I pray that your decision will reflect the best values of the human family as we stand in solidarity with the oppressed.

God bless you.

Archbishop-Emeritus Desmond Tutu
Cape Town, South Africa.

Letter and Video of Support

from 140 Israeli Citizens, 2012

See some of the signers of this letter in the video on this page

download this letter

Dear United Methodist Friends,

We write to you as citizens and residents

of Israel who support the United Methodist

proposal to divest from companies involved

with Israel’s occupation. Understanding

that a decision to divest may sound harsh

at first and that quite a few misconceptions

exist concerning this initiative, we would

like to offer our view.


We understand that this is a decision about how the church will invest its own money, and we applaud the effort to make the church’s actions consistent with its values. In view of this effort, we are asking you to support the Palestinian call for actions such as divestment from the Israeli occupation.  We would like to stress that this form of divestment is far from being anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic. We support and encourage your resolution to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli Occupation. We are convinced that measures such as this do not target Israeli, Jewish or any other individuals, but companies which profit from Israel’s military occupation and violations of human rights as stipulated in international law.  We believe that the proposed United Methodist divestment resolution is therefore extremely responsible and worthy.

The effectiveness of the divestment campaign is undeniable. Some companies are actually moving out of the illegal settlements as global economic actions continue.  Even the most mainstream Israeli commentators say that Israel must fundamentally change its ways, and that Israeli PR alone will no longer succeed in maintaining the brutal reality of Israel’s discriminatory policies.

The continued violent oppression of the Palestinian people is a crime. The continued theft of land, water and natural resources from Palestinians is a crime.  At the very least, we expect conscientious people and organizations not to take part in crime. We expect people of conscience not to carry on in a "business as usual" manner under these circumstances. When an organization finds out that it is invested in projects that profit from crime, the decent thing to do would be to disinvest from those projects.

The words of the Kairos Palestine Document, supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and others who stand for justice, stress the depth and moral conviction of your call. We hope and trust that the universal principles concerning human rights will guide you towards an action of solidarity with Palestinians who share your faith and all other Palestinians. We strongly believe that divestment is a positive action that will pressure Israeli and international policy makers to end the occupation, and strengthens those aspiring and working for justice and peace in the region.

Sincerely,


1.    Noa Abend
2.    Uri Agnon
3.    Manal Amoury, Ph.D
4.    Steve Amsel
5.    Eliran Arazi
6.    Dorit Argo
7.    Nitzan Aviv
8.    Daphne Banai, Tel Aviv
9.    Oshra Bar
10.   Hillel Barak
11.   Miri Barak
12.   Ronnie Barkan
13.   Dr. Rann Bar-On
14.   Dr. Dalit Baum
15.   Ronnen Ben Arie
16.   Ofra Ben Artzi
17.   Sara Benninga
18.   Zvi Benninga
19.   Alma Biblash
20.   Theodor Bughici, Hebrew University
21.   Guy Butavia
22.   Smadar Carmon
23.   Eliyahu Caufman
24.   Dr. Ellen Chaikin, Jerusalem
25.   Natalie Cohen
26.   Ron Cohen
27.   Maayan Dak
28.   Dr. Uri Davis
29.   Ruth Edmonds
30.   Shiri Eisner
31.   Ofer Engel
32.   Hamutal Erato
33.   Lina Falah
34.   Naama Farjoun
35.   Pnina Feiler, Reg. Nurse