Methodist Conference: How to Deal with Israel and Anti-Semitism

By  AJC, Special for  USDR

Notwithstanding prior United Methodist Church (UMC) rejections of anti-Semitism, AJC is deeply concerned that the Church’s General Conference defeated a resolution that condemned rising global anti-Semitism and called on the entire church and governments around the world to take concerted action to confront this cancerous  hatred.

“The UMC Conference refusal to confront the resurgence of anti-Semitism is painful,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC Director of Interreligious and Intergroup  Relations.

The proposed resolution, “Confronting Twenty-First-Century Anti-Semitism,” was defeated by a vote of 446 to  336.

The rejected measure stated that the UMC “acknowledges and views with alarm outrageous incidents and disturbing trends of anti-Semitism in recent years,” cited violent incidents across Europe, and recognized that “the problem is not limited to Europe,” but, in fact, continues to exist in the U.S. as  well.

It stated, significantly, that “it would also be morally irresponsible and intellectually dishonest to ignore the fact that some criticism of and opposition to Israel is truly  anti-Semitic.”

Rabbi Marans added that “the UMC missed an opportunity to join in solidarity with the Jewish people in confronting the resurgence of the oldest form of hatred in the world, anti-Semitism, and that is  disturbing.”

Earlier in the 10-day UMC General Conference in Portland, Oregon, four resolutions that called for divestment from companies doing business in Israel were defeated in  committee.

And in another welcome action, the body adopted a resolution calling on the Church’s General Board of Global Ministries to withdraw its current membership in the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation because of that group’s open support for BDS against  Israel.

The conference includes one more day of business that could affect standing  decisions.

Emily Soloff, AJC Associate Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, attended the conference to monitor d evelopments.

SOURCE American Jewish  Committee

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