UMKR has prepared three sample resolutions for organizers in United Methodist annual conferences to use in 2022. They address three subjects that UMKR justice advocates identified as key issues and campaigns for our movement this year:


Identifying and Opposing Apartheid in the Holy Land

Opposition to Unjust Theology Regarding the Holy Land

(opposing Christian Zionism)

Advocating for the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation

(Supporting HR 2590 in the U.S. Congress)


See the full text of each resolution on this page.
At the end of each one, see the links to download that resolution in Word and as a pdf file. You will also find the link to downoad a resource with background information about the subject of that resolution.


PLEASE NOTE that the first two resolutions are written in the Whereas/Resolved Format and the third is in the Resolved/Rationale format. These resolutions will need to be edited and formatted to fit the requirements of each annual conference.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Identifying and Opposing Apartheid in the Holy Land


WHEREAS, in most of the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is the sole governing power, and, in the remainder, Israel maintains primary control over Palestinians’ lives, and

WHEREAS Israeli authorities have demonstrated a clear intent to maintain domination over Palestinians by enacting a system of laws and policies that grant full self-determination exclusively to Jewish Israelis and enforce systematic oppression of Palestinians, which is the essence of an apartheid system, and

WHEREAS apartheid is not defined by the conditions that existed in South Africa, but by the United Nations Convention on Apartheid of 1973 and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1998,
(1) and

WHEREAS apartheid is named as a “crime against humanity” under international law and the primary features of apartheid include:
  • codifying into law a preferred group of people and giving that group preferential  access to resources, benefits and services,
  • segregating the population into geographic areas based on identity, and
  • establishing laws and policies designed to suppress opposition to the regime and  enforcing domination through arbitrary imprisonment, torture, cruel and inhumane treatment, and other violations of human rights, and

WHEREAS within Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the Israeli government has established its control over the lives of Palestinians with discriminatory laws and policies specifying where they can live, whom they can marry, where and when they can travel short distances, which roads they can drive on, how much water they can use, when they can access their own farms, what land they can purchase, which justice system they are subject to, whether they will receive due process, and the kinds of punishment they will receive, and

WHEREAS Israel has seized more than three-quarters of the land of its Palestinian citizens and continues their dispossession today, and Palestinians in the OPT have lived under Israeli military law for generations, without any protected civil rights, and

WHEREAS Israel has blatantly codified a racist governing principle in the Nation State Basic Law of 2018, which grants self-determination exclusively to the Jewish citizens of Israel, and

WHEREAS many authoritative scholars and organizations have conducted in-depth investigations and issued reports regarding Israeli apartheid, including:

In 2009, a thoroughly documented, 302-page report on the OPT by an international group of legal scholars, commissioned by the South African government,
• In 2017, the 74-page report commissioned by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA): “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,”
• In 2020, a 58-page report published by the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din: “The Occupation of the West Bank and the Crime of Apartheid;”
• In January 2021, a strong indictment of the Israeli government from Israel’s most eminent human rights center, B’Tselem: “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This Is Apartheid,”
• In April 2021, another extensively documented report, this from the world-renowned Human Rights Watch: “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution,” and
• In February 2022, the powerful and comprehensive report from the global leader in human rights advocacy, Amnesty International: “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians,“
(2) and 

WHEREAS these commissions, legal scholars, and human rights organizations have all come to the same unavoidable conclusion: that the Israeli government is committing the crime against humanity known as apartheid, and

 WHEREAS, if apartheid is to be opposed and abolished, it is essential for the international community to recognize and name apartheid where it exists, and

WHEREAS Kairos Palestine, the Palestinian Christian movement endorsed by all the major Christian denominations in Palestine, in their "Cry for Hope" of 2020 has called upon the Church around the world to nonviolently oppose both “apartheid and occupation” in the Holy Land and to “uphold a vision of inclusivity and equality for all peoples of the land,”
(3) and


WHEREAS the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church state that United Methodists “commend and encourage the self-awareness of all racial and ethnic groups and oppressed people that leads them to demand their just and equal rights as members of society,” and furthermore “call the Church to challenge any hierarchy of cultures or identities,”
(4) and

WHEREAS The United Methodist Church has forcefully declared its opposition to the crime of apartheid, calling it a “heresy” and “a sin” that must be “condemned unequivocally – within Southern Africa and neighboring countries and throughout the world,”
(5)

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the ___________________ Conference of The United Methodist Church affirms that apartheid is antithetical to the Gospel message and that we recognize and oppose Israeli apartheid as we strive to "resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves," and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference calls on the U.S. government to condition U.S. funding to Israel upon Israel’s willingness to dismantle its apartheid system and implement all the rights due to Palestinians under international law, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference urges all United Methodist clergy and laity to listen to the voices of Palestinians regarding their situation, by meeting with them in their homeland, by seeking opportunities to hear from them at online events, and through the study of the Palestinian Christians’ landmark 2020 document entitled “Cry for Hope: A Call for Decisive Action.”

_____________________________________________________________________

1. The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, United Nations –
https://legal.un.org/avl/ha/cspca/cspca.html

1. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court –
https://www.icc-cpi.int/resource-library/documents/rs-eng.pdf

2. Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa report –
“Occupation, colonialism, apartheid? A re-assessment of Israel's practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law”
https://repository.hsrc.ac.za/handle/20.500.11910/4619

2. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) report-
“Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,”
https://www.kairosresponse.org/it_is_apartheid.html

2. Yesh Din Report –
“The Occupation of the West Bank and the Crime of Apartheid”
https://www.yesh-din.org/en/the-occupation-of-the-west-bank-and-the-crime-of-apartheid-legal-opinion/

2. B’Tselem Report –
“A Regime of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: It is Apartheid ”
https://www.btselem.org/publications/fulltext/202101_this_is_apartheid

2. Human Rights Watch report –
“A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution ”
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/07/19/israeli-apartheid-threshold-crossed#

2. Amnesty International report –
“Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: A Look into Decades of Oppression and Domination”
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2022/02/israels-system-of-apartheid/

3. Kairos Palestine Statement –
“Cry for Hope: A Call for Decisive Action ”
http://www.cryforhope.org

4. Social Principles: The Social Community
The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2016
https://www.umc.org/en/content/social-principles-the-social-community
 
5. “Southern Africa,” Book of Resolutions, adopted 1988; “Web of Apartheid. South Africa and the destabilization of its neighbors,” Book of Resolutions, adopted 1992


Download this resolution in Word

Download it as a pdf file

RESOURCE:  Amnesty International information on Israeli Apartheid:
Download this pdf file

______________________________________________________________________________________________


Opposition to Unjust Theology Regarding the Holy Land

WHEREAS many Christians adhere to the theology of Christian Zionism, believing that the modern state of Israel is a continuation of biblical Israel and a fulfillment of biblical prophecy and that “it is the responsibility of Christians to support the State of Israel and its policies,”
1 and 

WHEREAS the New Testament does not prophesy a modern Israeli state controlled by any single group of people, but does envision a time when Christ will have eliminated “the dividing wall of hostility” between Jews and Gentiles (Ephesians 2:14), and

WHEREAS a statement endorsed by thirteen bishops and patriarchs of Palestinian Christian churches says that Western Christians have attached “biblical and theological legitimacy to the infringement of our rights” and calls on their fellow Christians to “deepen their reflection on the Word of God and to rectify their interpretations” and avoid “any use of the Bible to legitimize or support political options and positions that are based upon injustice,”
2 and

WHEREAS, for decades, the United Methodist Church has opposed Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people, including: “the 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,”
3  and

WHEREAS Christian Zionism is having a significant and dangerous impact on U.S. policy regarding Israel, by obstructing efforts to achieve a just peace and promoting U.S. acceptance of unjust treatment of Palestinians, and the Israeli government is increasingly reliant on Christians in the United States who adhere to this theology for political support,
4

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the _______________­­­­­_ Conference of the United Methodist Church declares its opposition to any theology or biblical interpretation that would justify denying or violating the human rights of Palestinians and other religious and ethnic minorities in Israel/Palestine, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the _________________ Conference calls on its bishop to establish a task force to explore and identify the biblical and theological reasons for opposing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people and to submit a report to the 2023 annual conference session which shall include recommendations for actions the Conference should take in light of those findings.
_____________________________________________________________________


1. www.christianzionism.org

2. The Kairos Palestine Document – Paragraphs 2.3.3 and 2.4
https://www.kairosresponse.org/kairos_palestine_document.html

3. Opposition to Israeli Settlements in Palestinian Land, UMC Book of Resolutions 2016, #6111
https://www.umcjustice.org/who-we-are/social-principles-and-resolutions/opposition-to-israeli-settlements-in-palestinian-land-6111

4. Christian Zionism and the Formation of Foreign Policy
https://www.jstor.org/stable/24915906

4. The Impact of Christian Zionism on American Policy
https://ciaotest.cc.columbia.edu/olj/ad/ad_v9_2/daw01.html

4. The mainstreaming of Christian Zionism could warp foreign policy
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/06/30/mainstreaming-christian-zionism-could-warp-foreign-policy/

4. The Dangerous Potent Elixir of Christian Zionism
 https://www.wrmea.org/007-april/the-dangerous-potent-elixir-of-christian-zionism.html

4. As Israel increasingly relies on US evangelicals for support, younger ones are walking away   https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2021/05/26/as-israel-increasingly-relies-on-us-evangelicals-for-support-younger-ones-are-walking-away-what-polls-show/

4. What Next for Christian Zionists?
https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/07/19/christian-zionists-israel-trump-netanyahu-evangelicals

Download this resolution in Word.

Download it as a pdf file
RESOURCE: Information about Christian Zionism from christianzionism.org:
Download this pdf file

____________________________________________________________________________________________


Advocating for the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation

BE IT RESOLVED that the _____________________ Conference of the United Methodist Church:


Joins the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, as well as numerous other Christian denominations and organizations, in endorsing H.R. 2590, Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act; and

Calls upon all clergy and laity of the Conference to educate themselves about the plight of Palestinian children and families living under Israeli military occupation and the reasons for Christians to oppose U.S. funds being used to detain, torture, and imprison Palestinian children in military detention, to subject Palestinian families to widespread home evictions and demolitions, and to annex Palestinian territory; and

Encourages all clergy and laity of the Conference to write, call, or meet with their legislators in Congress, to urge their Representative to co-sponsor H. R. 2590 and to urge their Senators to introduce, co-sponsor, and support a companion bill to H. R. 2590; and,

Directs the Conference Secretary to write to all legislators representing the region of the Conference in the U.S. Congress, informing them that the Conference has endorsed H.R. 2590 and that the Conference urges them to co-sponsor and support H.R. 2590 in the House of Representatives or to introduce, co-sponsor, and support a companion bill in the Senate. A full copy of this resolution should be provided with that correspondence.

RATIONALE:
In April 2021, Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-4) introduced a landmark piece of legislation to the U.S. Congress: H.R. 2590, Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act.
1

The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society has joined over 170 human rights and faith-based organizations in endorsing H.R. 2590. Those endorsements include: The Episcopal Church, The Presbyterian Church (USA), The United Church of Christ, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the National Council of Churches USA, Church World Service, Pax Christi USA, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR), Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine, and IfNotNow.
2

This bill “seeks to promote justice, equality and human rights for Palestinian children and families by prohibiting Israeli authorities from using U.S. taxpayer funds to detain and torture Palestinian children, demolish and seize Palestinian homes, and further annex Palestinian Land in the occupied West Bank,” in violation of international law.

Israel is the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes children in military courts. Each year approximately 700 Palestinian children enter the abusive Israeli military detention system; a UNICEF report has described the problem as “widespread, systemic, and institutionalized.” Children as young as twelve have been subjected to arrest and imprisonment.  Children are often held and interrogated for hours or days with no attorney and without the presence or knowledge of their parents. A large majority of these children report severe physical and emotional abuse during their detention.
3

The United Methodist Book of Discipline in the Social Principles clearly affirms the rights of children: “children have the rights to food, shelter, clothing, health care, and emotional well-being….In particular, children must be protected from economic, physical, and sexual exploitation and abuse.”
4

Furthermore, United Methodists have repeatedly adopted resolutions and endorsed measures to protect the rights of Palestinian children, at both the general church and annual Conference levels.
5

The United Methodist Church also has affirmed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which says “No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” and “the arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.”
6

For decades, Israel has relentlessly perpetrated the seizure and destruction of Palestinian property and the forcible transfer of civilians in the Israeli-controlled Palestinian territories, in violation of international and humanitarian law. In 2021, Israel demolished more than 850 Palestinian homes and other structures in the West Bank including East Jerusalem; over 1100 Palestinians lost their homes, including more than 400 children. At the beginning of 2022, thousands of Palestinians in East Jerusalem are living under imminent threat of losing their homes to demolition or to expulsion and replacement by settlers.

Israel continues to aggressively expand its illegal settlements in Palestinian territory with thousands of additional living units per year. Since the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank began in 1967, Israel has moved 700,000 or more Israeli citizens illegally into the occupied Palestinian territory.
7

In 2020, Israel stated its goal to formally and permanently annex to itself large segments of the West Bank to make way for more illegal settlements, in flagrant violation of international law. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, declared this would not only seriously damage peace efforts, but would have a “disastrous impact on human rights.”

The United Methodist Church has long and adamantly opposed Israel’s colonization and annexation of occupied Palestinian territory, restating that firm position for decades in the resolution “Opposition to Israeli Settlements in Palestinian Land.”
8

In May 2021, the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society joined over 100 faith and social justice organizations in calling on the Biden Administration to condemn Israeli government plans to forcibly displace Palestinians to further their illegal annexation and ethnic cleansing of occupied East Jerusalem.
9

_____________________________________________________________________

1. The bill, H.R. 2590: Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israel Occupation Act
 https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/2590/

2. HR 2590 Endorsing Organizations:
https://nwttac.dci-palestine.org/hr_2590_endorsing_organizations

3. UNICEF report – Children in Israeli Military Detention:
https://www.unicef.org/sop/reports/children-israeli-military-detention

3. Defense for Children International–Palestine (DCIP) No Way To Treat A Child campaign: http://nwttac.dci-palestine.org

3. United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) resource: Palestinian Children & the Israeli Occupation: https://www.kairosresponse.org/quick_facts_series.html

4. The Social Principles: The Social Community: ¶162 C, The Rights of Children
https://www.cokesbury.com/book-of-discipline-book-of-resolutions-free-versions

5. United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) report – Annual Conference Resolutions Focus on Palestinian Children: https://www.kairosresponse.org/2018_ac_resolutions_palestinian_children.html

6. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Articles 37 A, B, https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx
 
7. B’Tselem report – A Regime of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is Apartheid: https://www.btselem.org/publications/fulltext/202101_this_is_apartheid

7. Human Rights Watch report – A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution: https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution


8. United Methodist Book of Resolutions 2016, Resolution 6111:
https://www.umc.org/en/content/book-of-resolutions-opposition-to-israeli-settlements-in-palestinian-land

9. The Hill: Progressive groups call for Biden to denounce evictions of Palestinians as 'war crimes'
https://thehill.com/policy/international/553472-more-than-100-progressive-groups-call-for-biden-to-denounce-evictions-of


Download this resolution in Word

Download it as a pdf file
RESOURCE:  Legislative overview and background on the issues in HR 2590:
Download this pdf file


______________________________________________________________________________________________

Resources       Resolutions


Resolutions for 2022 Annual Conferences
with associated resources


See our report on resolutions related to Israel/Palestine that were adopted in 2022:
United Methodist annual conferences oppose Israeli apartheid in 2022, defend Palestinian human rights

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