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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Welcoming the decision by the Methodist Conference to reject BDS and export peace rather than import conflict

The Board of Deputies welcomes the decision by the Methodist Conference by a large majority to heed the call by the church leadership for a two year pause in debating issues around the Middle East conflict and to export work for initiatives that support peace rather than import the conflict into church affairs. A vocal minority attempted to derail the leadership’s call but their wrecking amendments were soundly defeated by large majorities.
Board Vice President Jonathan Arkush said: “The debate was far more balanced than some we have heard in previous years.  A large majority of the Conference saw through the views of a group of one-sided activists who tried to push the Church once again down a path of partiality, confrontation and the divisive politics of BDS.”
The Board has long urged the Methodist Church to reject BDS and instead support the projects of Israelis and Palestinians working together for dialogue and peace-making.  This was a key theme of the Board’s response to the Methodist debate over BDS that was initiated by a decision of the Conference in 2013.  The Board’s consistent policy has been to engage strongly and clearly with churches and inform them so as to reach a balanced view by the strength of our arguments. 

Relations with Methodists have been complicated since an infamously unbalanced resolution was passed by conference in 2010 but the result this week shows that the Board’s consistent advocacy has turned things round to a much more balanced and constructive view of the complexities of the region.
Going forward, the Board of Deputies looks forward to working with the Methodist Church and other interested parties to support peace and a better future for both Israelis and Palestinians. 

To view the motion that passed, (without some changes that are not yet uploaded) please click here

To view the two notices of motion that were rejected and struck off respectively (Notice of Motions 102 and 103) please click here

To view the Board’s Submission on the Methodist BDS Report, click here

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