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Victory for Disinvestment by Methodists

The Methodist Conference of the UK has voted overwhelmingly to disinvest its central funds, where appropriate after negotiation, with companies profiting from Israel’s Occupation in any way.

Methodist Conference endorses principle of disinvestment from occupation

Source: Palestine Solidarity Campaign

The worldwide campaign for Church disinvestment from the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, received a major boost on Monday, following a vote of the UK Methodist Conference. Responding to the near unanimous vote of its York and Hull District to support this campaign and ask the Church to disinvest from companies that support the occupation, the Conference voted to iidentify the criteriai that should guide its fund holders in how to deal with such companies. They would follow ia progressive policy that begins with constructive engagementi with such companies, ibut which could ultimately lead to disinvestmenti. This vote follows on from the vote of the Church of England General Synod, in February, to disinvest from companies such as Caterpillar Inc, whose ulldozers used in the destruction of Palestinian homes.

In an unusually strong statement, the Conference expressed deep concern over Israelis continued consolidation of its occupation in the West Bank through the building of illegal settlements and roads. It remi Israel that itis actions break UN Security

Council Resolutions as well as the ruling of the 2004 International Court of Justice. Israelis actions iare a significant impedimenti to the chances of reaching a negotiated solution and ithreaten the viability of a two s solutioni. It called on Israel to halt the

construction of itis illegal Separation Wall, which is “dividing Palestinian communities, depriving people of agricultural land a enying Palestinians access to health carei.

Today, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) claimed this vote as a major success in its campaign for Church Disinvestment. Methodist Local Preacher and York PSC member, Stephen Leah said, iI am delighted to see that the Methodist Conference has once again recognised the serious nature of the suffering being endured by the Palestinian people under occupation. The Israeli Government must realise that it’s policy of military occupation, imprisonment of Palestinians in walled ghettos, as well such actions as house demolitions, are unacceptable in the 21st century. As with Apartheid South Africa, the Churches are showing that they are prepared to take practical economic measures to register their concern. I feel proud to a member of a church which is unafraid to recognise the suffering of the Palestinian peoplei.

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