2010 UK Methodist ConfRept

Exerpts from the June 2010 Conference Report and comments:

If you do a word "find" search of the document, the word "terror" never appears. All the Palestinians are portrayed as peaceful victims. Here is quote from one of the EAPPI propaganda advocates:

Approximately 500 Israeli settlers live within the heart of the city due to their ideological belief in the importance of Hebron as the home of the patriarchs (Abraham is believed to be buried here).

Jews have lived in Hebron continuous for about 800 years in the "recent past". There was a period--from the 1929 "Tarpat" Massacre until the return of Jews after the Six-Day War--when Hebron was "Jew-free". The burial of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, and Leah is a Biblical belief, not an "ideological" one. Anyone with a passing acquaintance of Genesis knows this. That a Christian group should parrot this kind of lie implies a rejection of Biblical accounts.

If we argue, however, that these covenantal promises are still valid, we must ask the question how and for whom. In short, who can legitimately claim to be Abraham’s descendants and hence heirs to the promises. Since the patriarch is claimed by all three monotheistic religions – Christianity, Islam and Judaism – does it follow that all three are legitimate inheritors of the covenantal promises? Does it matter that the Jewish people were the first to receive the promise? Inter-faith dialogue and understanding has led many Methodists to revise their notion of who is to be included in covenantal relationships with God...

Here the UK Methodist Church leadership is rejecting the Biblical covenant with the Jewish people. The covenant that G-d made specifically with Abraham is up for grabs. The implicit claim is that maybe the Palestinians were also promised the land of Israel, since Mohammed popped up 3,000 years later. Don't be fooled by the "interfaith dialogue"--they are unwilling to engage with opposing opinions. Here is what the
the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council said about the report’s authors--they“abused the goodwill of the Jewish community, which tried to engage on this issue, only to find our efforts were treated as an unwelcome distraction”.They also said the conference “swallowed hook, line and sinker a report full of basic historical inaccuracies, deliberate misrepresentations and distortions of Jewish theology and Israeli policy.”

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks quotes 19th century Rabbi Hayyim of Brisk’s definition of a rabbi: ‘To redress the grievances of those who are abandoned and alone, to protect the dignity of the poor, and to save the oppressed from the hands of the oppressor.’ This sums up well the idea of solidarity which, for Methodists, is a deeply covenantal obligation and so we are confronted with Methodists’ relationship with the Christian people of Palestine, the original Christians.

The term for this is "chutzpah". The Jewish Chronicle in the UK carried this article: "Fury as Methodists vote to boycott Israel". In it they noted, "The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, led condemnation of the Methodist Church for its approval of a report on Israel which he warned would have widespread repercussions for interfaith relations." Rabbi Sacks also "blasted the report as 'unbalanced, factually and historically flawed' and offering 'no genuine understanding of one of the most complex conflicts in the world today.  Many in both communities will be deeply disturbed'”.
As an recent example of one-sided  policy, the Methodist Church in the UK has yet to issue a condemnation of the palestinians who committed the Fogel family murders, yet this report is full of condemnation of the trials of "occupation". As for original Christians, Palestinian politician Chanan Ashrawi claims that her family was descended from the original Christians in Palestine. When someone rejoined that then they must have been originally Jewish, she rejected this outright! So how original could they have been?

At the very core of Wesleyan thinking lies the doctrine of Christian perfection, growth in holiness.

As a Jew, I have no idea why these concepts mean that a land designated by G-d as holy has only a waffling status under this doctrine. My guess is that there are rank and file Methodists who would not apply this disqualification to the Land of Israel, merely because the UK Methodist Conference has determined that Israel is the oppressor.
...holiness in Wesleyan
understanding is about relationships and structures built on love in action which is justice. Given that understanding, for a land to becalled holy by Methodists, it would have to exhibit civil and political institutions that delivered justice and nurtured human flourishing for all its residents. In this sense, all land and no land can be marked out as a ‘Holy Land’.