“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 in August, 2009, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, of the Palestinian National Authority, detailed his working plan for developing the infrastructure and institutions of the future Palestinian State. Whereas Prime Minister Fayyad's efforts are bearing fruit in that there has been a marked increase in foreign investment. (Positive indicators include: Increased new car imports in the West Bank, new shopping malls in Jenin and Nablus, growth in the tourism sector and a resurgence of conferences and special events in the West Bank. In addition, Palestinian real estate developers have begun building the first modern, planned Palestinian city a few miles north of Ramallah on the West Bank.)
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 Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church:
- Affirms the 2008 General Conference in its rejection of boycott, divestment or economic sanctions as a just or effective way of resolving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and creating a peaceful two-state solution;
- 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;
- Affirms strategies that will help bring about an independent, sovereign Palestinian state as well as peace, prosperity and security for both Palestinians and Israelis;
- 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;
- Recognizes that the work of nation-building is necessary and productive and without it there can and will be no viable Palestinian state;
- 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.
--adopted by the 2011 Virginia Annual Conference