“EFFECTIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE PEACEMAKING BETWEEN PALESTINIANS AND ISRAELIS”
The United Methodist Church has committed itself to peacemaking and seeks to act as an advocate for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Whereas The United Methodist Church “affirms the right and duty of people of all nations to determine their own destiny,” (Social Principles, ¶165 B), the preferred solution to this conflict is the creation of two independent sovereign nations, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and in economic justice and cooperation (Social Principles, ¶165 B & C).
Whereas churches in the Wesleyan tradition have supported economic justice, we recognize that a viable Palestinian state must have a sustainable financial foundation. To this end, positive financial investment for the Palestinians must be encouraged. We also recognize that, at present, the Palestinian civil society may lack the economic base and infrastructure necessary for fully fledged statehood.
Whereas according to the General Manager of the Palestinian Microfinance Network SHARAKEH, “the Palestinian economy is currently a closed cash-circle.” With workers who get salaries from companies contracted by the Palestinian Authority (PA) , which in turn is kept alive through foreign aid, the Palestinian economy is very fragile.
Whereas the inherent danger, as economists and businessmen warn, is that the PA’s dependency on aid and vulnerability to external shocks could lead the entire West Bank economy to collapse, provoking a humanitarian crisis. Among the most vulnerable are the owners of small businesses and all those who depend on foreign aid channeled through the PA. Investing in businesses in Palestine can help build a more independent economy from the bottom up.
Whereas the creation of a sound economy and infrastructure are in no way sufficient for a political solution, they are nonetheless necessary and positive steps that must be taken towards Palestinian state-building, and they can improve the lives of Palestinians even under the current situation.
Whereas the United Methodist Church values the transformative nature of economic justice for all people, we support positive investment in Palestine as an effective and productive approach to peace making for both Israelis and the Palestinians. In this case in particular, we believe that encouraging investments in Palestine is a positive, transformative strategy to be preferred to the more punitive options of divestment, and boycotts.
Therefore, The United Methodist Church:
1. Affirms the 2008 General Conference, which did not support the attempt to move toward divestment as a just or effective way of resolving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and creating a peaceful two-state solution
2. Acknowledges that the Church must seize the current opportunity to determine how best to act as a peacemaker in Israel-Palestine in the current historical context;
3. Affirms strategies that will help bring about an independent, sovereign Palestinian state as well as peace, prosperity and security for both Palestinians and Israelis;
4. Acknowledges the political reality that when a Palestinian State is created, this state will greatly benefit from positive economic interaction with all neighboring countries, including Israel and that in order to have a viable Palestinian state, both the Palestinian and Israeli economies, which will be mutually interdependent, must be championed and positive investment in Palestine in particular must be encouraged at this time;
5. Recognizes that the work of nation-building is necessary and productive and without it there can and will be no viable Palestinian state;
6. Commits to study and make recommendations for concrete measures that can be taken by the Church, Church Boards, Agencies, and Church members to encourage, aid and assist the Palestinian people in their efforts in nation building.