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Jewish Voice for Peace Letter to UMC Delegates
June 16, 2011
We are writing to you on behalf of
Jewish Voice for Peace to urge you to vote
in favor of the resolution “Aligning United
Methodist Church Investments with Resolutions
We urge you to follow the path of peacemakers
by following Micah’s prophetic call to do justice,
love kindness, and walk humbly with your God. Few places are more deserving of peacemaking than the Holy Land, where neither Israeli nor Palestinians enjoy real peace and security.
We believe that doing justice requires you to take a look at the investment that your church may have in companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and are obstacles to a just peace in Israel and Palestine. Take the example of Caterpillar, which profits from the demolition of Palestinian homes and from the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian olive trees. Or take a look at Motorola and Hewlett Packard, both involved in the maintaining of a system of walls and checkpoints that are aimed at continuing the expansions of illegal, Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Divesting from these companies is not about divesting from Israel. It is about divesting from war and injustice while pressuring companies to conduct their own businesses ethically. Together with our allies, the Sisters of Mercy and Sisters of Loretto, Jewish Voice for Peace has been pressuring Caterpillar for 8 years with shareholder resolutions calling on the corporation to take some responsibility for the destruction caused by its bulldozers. The company has not budged. Motorola and Hewlett Packard have been approached as well.
We believe that loving kindness requires (1) an honest look at the role that anti-Semitism and anti-Arab racism play in our society and (2) authentically expressing a true concern for the well-being of both Israelis and Palestinians. Neither people will find peace when they meet as occupier and occupied. We believe that the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem harms both peoples and must end now.
The path of the peacemaker we suggest here is neither anti-Semitic or anti-Arab. It does not single out either Jews or Arabs, but focuses rather on injustice and human rights violations. Indeed, in Jewish Voice for Peace’s book, Reframing Anti-Semitism, now in its fourth printing, we reject the notion that any state – including the State of Israel – is above criticism or nonviolent protest.
We believe that walking humbly with God requires us to walk together as Christians, Jews, and Muslims, holding steadfast to our understandings of justice and kindness, while accepting that individually we hold a small portion of the solution, but collectively we can help bring peace to the Holy Land.
Jewish Voice for Peace
ABOUT JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE
Jewish Voice for Peace is America’s largest Jewish grassroots peace group dedicated to reaching a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on the principles of equality and international human rights law. JVP works with activists in Palestine and Israel, and in broad coalition with other Jewish, Arab-American, faith-based, and peace and social justice organizations to support the aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians for justice, security and self-determination.
Jewish Voice for Peace calls for:
• A U.S. foreign policy based on promoting peace, democracy, human rights, and respect for international law
• An end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem
• A resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem consistent with international law
• An end to all violence against civilians