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🔶 New or Recently Updated
• UMKR Action Alerts: see the alerts
• UMKR's Press Releases and Statements:see them
• Articles by UMKR Leaders & Members: see them
• Articles of Rev. Alex Awad: see them
United Methodist conferences oppose Israeli apartheid in 2022, take actions to defend Palestinian human rights
Oregon-Idaho and New England UMs join growing global consensus on Israeli apartheid; Iowa and Northern Illinois oppose Christian Zionism, the latter also supports congressional bill H.R. 2590 and defends the right to boycott.
See the report
A Change in UMKR Leadership: Rev. John Wagner Retires
February 2022 – After 12 years of dedication to our advocacy movement for Palestinian rights, Rev. John Wagner, a UMKR co-founder and current co-chair, is retiring.
See the announcement by Lisa Bender, UMKR Co-chair
See the tribute from Ann Craig of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition
United Methodists in the Streets for Palestinian Rights
May 2021 – The world saw record breaking demonstrations for Palestine this spring and United Methodists showed up See it here
Open Letter from Christian Clergy in Bethlehem
"Bethlehem, surrounded by walls and settlements, already feels like an open prison. Annexation means the prison becomes even smaller, with no hopes for a better future." See their full letter
We can’t breathe until we’re free! Palestinians stand in solidarity with Black Americans
Written during events following the death of George Floyd, from the Palestinian BDS National Committee See this powerful statement
27 Religious Leaders write to Congress, Oppose Israel Annexation
of Palestinian Land
Signers include the President of the UMC Council of Bishops
"We share the grave concern expressed by the Council of Patriarchs and Heads of the Holy Land
Churches who in a statement dated May 7, called upon Israel to refrain from annexation, making clear that such a unilateral move “would bring about the loss of any remaining hope for the success of the peace process.” Formal annexation is an act of aggression, not a step for peace."
2 June 2020 – See the full letter
The Dire Consequences of Israel’s “Coalition Government”
The board of Kairos Palestine raises an alarm regarding the consequences of the third failed Israeli election in less than a year. The resulting coalition entered on April 20, 2020, combines two of the most right-wing parties—Bennie Gantz’s Blue and White and Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud—in a deal that directly threatens Palestinians’ freedom, health and human rights.
30 April 2020 – See the full statement
Dual Palestine Conferences: Kairos Palestine's 10th Anniversary
and Sabeel's International Gathering
The experiences and reflections of United Methodists who attended these back-to-back events in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, Nov-Dec 2019.
See their reports
Statement on House Demolitions by Israeli Occupation Authorities
Kairos Palestine addresses "hard hearts" as Israel's demolitions of Palestinian homes rise;
reminds Israelis of God's law for all human beings
September 2019 – See the statement
UMC Regional Bodies Adopt 8 Resolutions Addressing Palestinian Rights
Ethical investing, particularly regarding government bonds, and the plight of Palestinian children were the primary focus of eight resolutions related to Palestinian rights that United Methodist annual conferences (regional bodies) in the United States adopted in May and June 2019.
July 2019 – Read the report
German Parliament smears BDS as anti-Semitic, compares to Nazi era
Palestinians and human rights defenders respond with dismay and outrage
The German parliament passed a non-binding resolution that denounces the BDS movement for Palestinian human rights as anti-Semitic, comparing it to actions seen during Germany’s Nazi era and calling for a ban on government funding for projects associated with the movement. The resolution has generated a firestorm of response from the Palestinian Authority and bodies that span all of Palestinian society, as well as hundreds of Jewish and Israeli scholars.
May 2019 –Read UMKR's report; see the statements from Kairos Palestine and many others.
US Churches and Christian organizations reject President Trump’s recognition of Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights
The UMC General Board of Church and Society joins 9 other Christian denominations and organizations in rejecting "this reversal of consistent US policy and international consensus—
that the Golan Heights are occupied and were acquired by force in the 1967War in contravention
of international norms" and stating that they see this action "as an abandonment by the US of diplomacy to resolve such issues."
March 2019 – Read the statement
UMC Board joins 18 other Christian denominations and organizations in urging Congress: Restore US funding to UNRWA and bilateral programs
The letter states: "Denying basic services to vulnerable populations will not bring about peace and security for anyone in the region. Furthermore, humanitarian assistance must be provided on the basis of need alone; it is unconscionable and against universally-agreed humanitarian principles to
withhold aid to extract concessions from political leaders. We are greatly concerned by the
Administration’s trend toward politicizing humanitarian assistance globally."
March 2019 – Read the full letter
Time to Break the Silence on Palestine
The New York Times, Michelle Alexander
Author of the ground-breaking book "The New Jim Crow" compares Martin Luther King's controversial opposition to the Vietnam War to the current issues surrounding support for Palestinian rights, especially when leaders of color take a stand. Highlighting the United Methodist Church's divestment from Israeli banks in 2016, Alexander identifies Palestinian rights as a cause she cannot ignore in 2019.
January 2019 – Read the editorial
See also the UMKR article: African Americans Show How Palestinian Solidarity Is Done
2018 Year in Review: PART ONE - UMKR & Partners News
The first part of our annual "mega edition" of The Response includes a full review of UMKR activities in the previous year, a selection of the biggest news from faith communities and other partners, and our top picks of 2018 resources.
January 2019 - Read this newsletter in your browser
Download a pdf file of this newsletter (15 MB)
Unite to Protect Americans' Right to Boycott
Fifteen faith organizations have issued a statement condemning the current bill in the Senate that would support state legislation penalizing those who support a boycott targeting Israeli human rights abuses. They call on all Americans to contact legislators and urge them to oppose such legislation.
January 2019 –See the statement
UMKR & LYNC: We Are Stronger Together
UMKR has taken an important step in the vital work of intersectional justice by joining the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC) in the United Methodist Church.
October 2018 – Read more about this action
Seminal Conference of 2018 Makes Clear: The Future of Justice Activism Is Intersectional
The September USCPR national conference, Together We Rise, brought together the most diverse lineup of presenters yet seen in the movement for Palestinian rights, put remarkable women in the limelight, and unmistakably set the intersectional path for the movement's future.
October 2018 – Read the report
FOSNA Conference Empowers Faith-Based Organizing
FOSNA’s gathering in St Paul MN just before the national USCPR conference brought together over 100 leaders and activists from across the United States who, along with a racially diverse lineup of presenters, came together to explore how to strengthen local and national organizing for Palestine, with an appropriate and strong focus on church activism.
October 2018 – Read the report
Reaching Evangelical Christians in the Bible Belt
UMKR provided multi-faceted support for the first-ever Christ at the Checkpoint conference in the United States, which featured an impressive lineup of speakers from Palestine and across the U.S. and, like similar conferences in Bethlehem, focused on reaching evangelical Christians and refuting the theology of Christian Zionism.
October 2018 – Read the report
LYNC Convo Includes Call to Palestinian Solidarity
The national gathering of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition focused strongly on the upcoming 2019 Special General Conference, with diverse views of the proposed plans for the future of the UMC. The two dozen workshops included "Why We Should Be in Solidarity with Palestinian Christians" presented by Giselle Lawn, former RMN board member and Rev. John Wagner, Co-chair of UMKR.
August 2018 – Read the report
2018 Resolutions Focus on Palestinian Children
Among the eleven Palestine-related resolutions adopted in annual conference this year, eight addressed the human rights of Palestinian children and their abuse in Israeli military detention.
July 2018 – Read the report
8000 Bold Women and UMKR is there
UMKR outreach at United Methodist Women Assembly 2018.
May 2018 – Read the report
See UMKR 2018 press releases and statements here
The UMKR Response - December 2017:
Special edition: Wrapping a packed year and including several Calls to Action!
• Jerusalem Must Be Shared
• Justice for Palestinian Children
• Protecting the Right to Boycott
• The HP Boycott Campaign, including FOSNA's HP-Free Churches Campaign
• United Methodists Adopt 23 Resolutions on Israel/Palestine
• Dec 16: Celebrate Christmas with the People of Bethlehem
• Kairos Palestine's Christmas 2017 Study
• Time to Start Planning Your 2018 Trip
IN AND FROM THE UMKR NETWORK:
• Am I "all in"? Report on 2017 JVP National Meeting - Paula Roderick
• Letter to UK Prime Minister, re Balfour Declaration - Rev. Alex Awad
• We are in this together: report on Black-Palestinian Solidarity Conference - Judith Polson
• 10 Weeks in Palestine: summer 2017 blog by UMC seminary student - J.R. Atkins
• Naim Ateek Tour, Fall 2017 - reports on three events co-organized by United Methodists, in Des Moines, IA, Portland, OR, and Claremont, CA.
• The Case for US Sanctions on Israel - UMKR Steering Committee member Theresa Basile participates in panel presentation in Los Angeles
• Applauding Our Colleague - UMKR Steering Committee member Gloria Brown's published book: Through It All: A Compilation of Short Stories Based on Lived Experiences
The UMKR Response - March 2017
• UMKR Calls for Boycott of HP Products
• 6 UMKR resolutions for 2017
• 12 Missionaries Write to Trump
• "What Would They Say Now?" FOSNA’s Lenten study for 2017
• 7 Recommended Trips for 2017 • Meet UMKR's Co-Chairs
• Palestinian Pastor writes Open Letter to UK Prime Minister
• United Methodists Join in Briefing Paper to Trump and Congress
• Video: “In Their Own Words: Palestinians Champion BDS”
• WCC General Secretary meets with Palestinian President
• Leaders of US Campaign visit US/Mexico Border
• Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2017
• 10th Sabeel International Conference - Livestream
• "Obliterated Families": Schedule screenings, presentations, and/or exhibits
• "Junction 48": Schedule a film screening.
Newsletter, Answering the Call- December 2015
Newsletter, Answering the Call - November 2015
Newsletter, Answering the Call- October 2015
Newsletter, Answering the Call - September 2015
Newsletter, Answering the Call - July 2015 Read and download the July 2015 newsletter in pdf format »
Your Action Needed for Palestinian Children (Ask Congress to sign McCollum Letter) - June10, 2015
Support Iran negotiations, Help Yarmouk Refugees - April 11, 2015
"Gaza is on the verge of collapsing" (U.S. Aid to Palestine; Release Palestinian Taxes) - February 17, 2015
Tell your members of Congress: UMC opposes settlements -
January 17, 2015
"Event of the Quadrennium" is coming soon! - May 2014
The time has come! Registration opens for 2 Israel/Palestine Events - March 31, 2014
CORRECTION for Feb 1st email - February 3, 2014
Two actions that will help: Wadi Foquin Congressional Briefing; SodaStream Twitter Campaign - February 1, 2014
News & Action for Israel/Palestine - October 16, 2013
Help the Sisters, contact Kerry! - May 8, 2013
Israel Lobby Gears Up to Oppose Church Divestment- March 6, 2013
Action for Superbowl, SodaStream Ad - January 31, 2013
Could it "take a village" to reach Congress?
Congressional Briefing on Wadi Foquin - December 15, 2012
Simple Do's and Don'ts for Holiday Shopping - December 7, 2012
15,000 Signatures! Your Comment Needed - November 29, 2012
Support 15 Leaders' Letter to Congress - October 29, 2012
Stand with 15 Courageous Leaders! - October 27, 2012
End Discrimination against Palestinian-Americans - June 19, 2012
The Win We Didn't Expect - May 10, 2012
UMKR Responds to General Conference Vote - May 2, 2012
Tutu Writes to UM Delegates in Tampa Bay Times- May 1, 2012
Delegate Invitation GC 2012: Divestment Q&A - April 30, 2012
Delegate Invitation GC 2012: Meet Indigenous Palestinian Christians - April 27, 2012
"60 Minutes" report on Christians in Holy Land - April 24, 2012
Delegate invitation GC 2012: Free Lunch with Palestinian and Israeli - April 23, 2012
Rabbis Supports UM Divestment - April 5, 2012
Kairos Palestine Responds to Ambassador Oren - March 20, 2012
Support UMKR at General Conference 2012- Feb 17, 2012
Message of Solidarity from Bishop Swenson - January 23, 2012
Moses and You - The Village of Nabi Saleh - Nov 10, 2011
We can make history: Letter from Tina Whitehead, UM Missionary
- December 31, 2011
Kairos Palestine Turns Two - December 14, 2011
From UM Reporter: An Unusual Advocate - December 2, 2011
UMKR Pledge Request, November 2011 - December 1, 2011
Special Event in Chicago / Brian Baird - September 20, 2011
Dec. 2016 – Please note that newsletters and actions alerts prior to this month refer to UMKR by our former name. Our current name is: United Methodists for Kairos Response.
News & Analysis UMKR News & Key Stories
• Annexation Watch: Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory: see it here
• News roundup on Arab Nations Normalizing Relations with Israel: see the news
• News & Commentary on COVID-19 in Israel/Palestine: see the news