WHEREAS, The United Methodist Church has committed itself to peacemaking, as well as to affirming “the right and duty of people of all nations to determine their own destiny” (Social Principles, ¶ 165B); and
WHEREAS, in spite of strong support from many for a two-State solution involving Israel and Palestine, the conflict between the two peoples remains an enduring one that has not been resolved over many years and continues to negatively impact the lives of all those in the region in substantial ways; and
WHEREAS, after years of occupation and violence, a deep and fundamental lack of trust exists between many Israelis and Palestinians, requiring the difficult work of genuine reconciliation in order for a just and lasting peace to be sustained; and
WHEREAS, the Church has been called to practice restorative justice wherever it may do so in order to bring about healing and trust, particularly where there has been very little in the past; and
WHEREAS, true peace must reveal itself in both the spiritual and temporal aspects of the life and culture of both Israel and Palestine, where both parties may see themselves as the victims and the other as the aggressors/offenders;
Therefore, be it resolved, that this General Conference of The United Methodist Church affirms strategies including favorable trade and shipping arrangements, student and work-related visa policies, and diplomatic initiatives that will engage both Israelis and Palestinians in an effort to understand the fears, hopes, and aspirations of each other. Such strategies should actively seek a way to promote a just and lasting peace and cooperation that will lead to a two-State solution within two years, an end to the current occupation and violence, and the creation of a viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel, and
Be it further resolved, that the General Conference fully supports commitments by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits and United Methodist foundations to research and identify investment opportunities that support the Palestinian economy, as well as joint ventures between Israelis and Palestinians that can help to build trust and reconciliation, and
Be it further resolved, that the General Conference encourages our members around the world to develop a balanced understanding of the concerns and perspectives of both Palestinians and Israelis, being careful to lift up the voices of those victims of violence and injustice across the region, and rejecting oversimplified efforts to simply “blame” one side or the other, even as we encourage United Methodists to join in prayer for “the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6) and all of those who call it home.
See Social Principles, ¶ 165B.
From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church - 2016. Copyright © 2016 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.