Ending the Occupation
By Michael Berg, Hala Abdelaziz, Sandra Tamari | Special To The Tampa Tribune
Published: May 01, 2012
The United Methodist Church (UMC) has been holding its General Conference in Tampa Bay. One of the most important, and unfortunately controversial, resolutions to be taken up is the Palestinians’ request for the world community to help them end the 44-year Israeli occupation.
We, a Jewish American, a Palestinian Muslim and a Palestinian Christian, support the Palestinians in their struggle for justice and freedom. We believe the Methodist Church’s proposed resolution to divest from multinational companies profiting from the Israeli occupation will aid in ending Palestinian suffering.
We oppose the Band-Aid approach a small number of Methodists are proposing of “positive investment.” Palestinians, including Christian Palestinians, are not calling for investment to overcome occupation and inequality but for concrete economic measures, including the Methodists’ proposed selective divestment. Such investment smacks of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s proposed economic peace, which strikes many Palestinians as a delaying mechanism intended to postpone meaningful progress toward political freedom for Palestinians.