World Bulletin / News Desk
Despite the Methodist church in a 2012 global appeal called for a boycott of goods produced in the settlements which Israel is building in the occupied West Bank in violation of international law, according to an investigation by Electronic Intifada it appears that their pension fund has invested in at least 23 Israeli companies. A number of these companies have either outlets in or have provided services to Israel’s settlements in the West Bank.
The board has also invested in the Strauss Group, a firm that has given financial support to the Israeli military. According to the investigation, a number of the companies have appeared in the 2016 list of holdings do not appear in the 2012 group.
Susanne Hoder, a Methodist active in the Palestine solidarity movement, said to The Electronic Intifada that “the church finds itself in the very awkward position of owning stock in companies in the illegal settlements after we’ve called on all nations to boycott products from companies in the illegal settlements.”
The construction and expansion of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank breach the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids an occupying power from moving its civilian population into the territory that it occupies. As such, Israel’s settlement activities amount to war crimes.
Several resolutions urging divestment from corporations involved in the Israeli occupation were proposed ahead of a recent Methodist conference in Portland, Oregon however those resolutions encountered stiff opposition from an internal church finance committee. As a result, some of the resolutions did not go to a general vote. Delegates attending the Portland conference also reported having received personal phone calls from Israeli consular staff in various US cities.
Hoder is a co-chair of the United Methodist Kairos Response. That group was formed to support a 2009 call by Palestinian Christians for a boycott of Israel, a document known as the Kairos Palestine statement.
Several members of the pension board sit on that committee. Other members of the committee were known to be sympathetic towards Israel. Activists told The Electronic Intifada that at least one member argued that it was inflammatory to use the terms “Palestine” or “occupied territories.”
Source: Electronic Intifada
Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Haziran 2016, 10:41