Tony Greenstein | 13 January 2016 | Post Views:

$20 Billion Methodist Investment Fund Disinvests
from Israeli Banks

am very pleased to announce the decision of the $20 billion United Methodist
Church’s Investment Fund in the USA to disinvest from 5 Israeli banks. 
is a very welcome decision.  Just as with
the Jewish Boycott of Nazi Germany in the 1930’s (which the Zionists destroyed) those with a conscience are
disinvesting from an economy which has at its heart the racial oppression and
subjugation of another people.
have also included, for peoples’ amusement, the reaction of the Christian Zionist
Breaking Israel News site!
Alex Awad demonstrating outside Method Conference

 News Analysis

United Methodist Kairos Response Welcomes Pension Fund Exclusion and
Divestment of Israeli Banks
download this press release

January 7, 2016 – UM Kairos Response is pleased to announce that the
$20-billion Pension and Health Benefits Fund of the United Methodist Church has
declared the five largest Israeli banks off limits for investment and has
divested from the two that it held in its portfolios. This is the first time a
major church pension fund has acted to preclude investment in Israeli banks
that sustain Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

The information has been posted on the Pension Fund’s website under Evaluating companies in our investment funds that
pose excessive human rights risks. The banks are Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First
International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank, and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank.
These banks are deeply involved in financing illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian

Methodist Conference in 2012 which passed first BDS resolutions
Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi were removed from the portfolios. The fund
manager, known as Wespath, also divested from Shikun & Binui, an Israeli
company involved with construction in the illegal settlements beyond Israel’s
recognized borders. In addition, Wespath has placed Israel/Palestine on a list
of regions where human rights violations occur.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu – Fought Apartheid in South Africa supports Boycotting Apartheid Israel

UMKR is pleased to learn of these actions, while noting that Wespath still
holds stock in ten companies located inside the illegal settlements and in
several others that lend important support to Israel’s occupation. A list of
those companies is available on the UMKR website.

According to UMKR Co-chair Rev. Michael Yoshii, “We commend the pension fund
for taking this significant step in disassociating from the illegal occupation
of Palestinian land.  But as United Methodist policy opposes the
occupation, this is only a first step towards ending our financial complicity
in the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people.”

Rev. John Wagner, a member of the UMKR Divestment Committee, added, “Since the
church’s policy-making body, the General Conference, has called on all nations
to boycott products produced in the illegal settlements, we urge our fund
managers to maintain consistency and divest from all companies that profit from
these same settlements.”

UMKR has submitted four proposals to the
next General Conference, which will meet May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon. Three
would require divesting from companies involved with the occupation and one
would establish a screen to preclude investments in companies doing business in
illegal settlements anywhere in the world.

United Methodist Kairos Response is a global grassroots group within the United
Methodist Church seeking to respond to the urgent call of Palestinian
Christians for actions that can end the Israeli occupation of their land. For
more information, visit .

In Rejection of Genesis 12:3, Methodist ChurchDivests from Israel

I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and
in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (
Genesis 12:3)
The Fires of Hell (Photo: Breaking Israel News)
people will rise up, and go astray after the foreign gods of the land, whither
they go to be among them, and will forsake Me, and break My covenant which I
have made with them.”
(Deuteronomy 31:16)
pension fund for the United Methodist Church has
blocked five Israeli banks from its investment portfolio, AP reported on
Wednesday. The Church said the move is meant to remove companies from its
portfolio which “profit from abuse of human rights”.
Israeli banks now excluded from the fund were named on the pension board’s
website as Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel,
Israel Discount Bank, and Mizrachi Tefahot Bank.
fund sold off the Israeli bank stock, which was worth a few million dollars in a
portfolio which has about $20 billion in assets. It also sold off a smaller
holding, worth about $5,000, in the Israeli real estate and construction
company Shikun & Binui, and blocked the company from its investment
portfolio along with the banks.
and the Palestinian territories are among over a dozen “high risk” countries
and areas which “demonstrate a prolonged and systematic pattern of human rights
, said the pension board’s website. Other “high risk” areas include
Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, North Korea, and Syria.
countries are identified as places where “a specific economic sector is
recognized as prolonging conflict or violence”
and “significant breaches of
international law occur.”

its portfolio, the fund found 39 companies which violated its criteria. Most of
them have already been placed on the fund’s blacklist of enterprises which,
according to the fund, profit from the abuse of human rights. Nine other
companies were blocked over the fund’s concerns about their contributions to
global warming and climate change.
five Israeli banks blacklisted by the fund were among companies targeted by
United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR), which is a coalition of Methodist
church members whose purpose is “encouraging our church to divest its holdings in
companies that support and profit from Israel’s occupation.”
Hoder, a leader of the UMKR, said on Tuesday in response to the fund’s
decision, “This is the first step toward an effort that helps send a clear
message that we as a church are listening and that we are concerned about human
rights violations.”

Methodist Church is the latest to join a growing number of churches divesting
from Israel. Last year, the United Church of Christ
announced that it was divesting in companies which conduct business in Judea
and Samaria, and in 2014, the Presbyterian Church USA
made a similar move. 

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Tony Greenstein

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