Petition 81027

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Support for Israel (81027-GM-R312)

Delete Resolution #312 and replace with the following:

Support for Israeli Settlements in the Land of Israel
We acknowledge the deep sense of rootedness to the land of Israel which has special meaning for all who desire to live there.  We acknowledge the diversity of religious customs and traditions throughout the Middle East, but as believers in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, recognize that true and lasting peace can only come through Him.  Acts 4:12 states that, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."
Jerusalem is a sacred and holy place to many people.  In fact, the prophet Jeremiah spoke the words of the Lord when he stated that in the days that the Jewish people are multiplied and increased in the land that they..."shall call Jerusalem, 'The Throne of the LORD,' and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the LORD; nor shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart."  
(Jer. 3:16-17)  We see in this passage and many others that it is God's will for Israel to be multiplied and increased in their land, as is presently the case, thus proving that now is God's appointed time to establish Jerusalem as God's appointed place where all the nations will gather.  The only solution is for Jerusalem to remain in the hands of the Nation of Israel, so that God's divine Kingdom order is established.
We support Israel's biblical right to defend herself, believing that as she holds onto the land given to her by God, she will be just and fair to the other nations who desire to live within her borders.  We believe Israel's government should be sovereign and not ruled by international law.
WHEREAS, the prophet Isaiah envisioned the day that the people of God would, "rebuild the ancient ruins; and raise up the age-old foundations; and could see Israel's destiny to be called the "repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell. Isaiah 58:12); and
WHEREAS, because of the continuing threat of violence to Israeli communities and  
individuals from militant Palestinian factions whose desire is to violate borders, and cause death, terror and destruction to Israeli citizens, Israel has the right to defend her people and to try to keep these militant enemies out of her territory by building a retaining wall to protect her communities; and
WHEREAS, the scripture says that “He who touches (Israel) touches the apple of His eye”; and
WHEREAS, the pull-out of the Gaza settlers in 2005 proved the point, that this kind of action caused intense and dehumanizing suffering for those Jewish settlers who were commanded to leave their homes.  It also brought about home demolitions, uprooted graveyards, bulldozed buildings and confiscation of property that had been owned for years by these Jewish settlers.  It has caused many of these people to be displaced, many of them still without permanent residences.  There is still hopelessness and frustration, as the issues surrounding this uprooting have yet to be resolved.  It also gives hard evidence to the fact that terrorist organizations want to occupy the land that the Israelis have left; and  
WHEREAS, since the Israelis have left Gaza, the Palestinians in Gaza have continued to suffer in increasing ways, and Palestinian militants have used this territory to launch over 2000 rockets into Israel on a regular basis, along with rearming with weapons that can cause more extensive suffering and death to Israeli citizens outside Gaza.  The willingness of the Israeli government to pull out of Gaza has not resulted in any good among the Palestinians because the agenda of these militants to destroy Israel has not changed; and
WHEREAS, Israel, having no one to defend her, must defend herself, and is then blamed for every action of defense, and also realizing that as Israel has support from other countries, the terrorists may not be so likely to strike, since this presents a more united front from Israel and the nations that support her; and
WHEREAS, the United States has, at least outwardly, stood with Israel through their taxes, and several billion dollars in economic and military assistance to the State of Israel each year, we have enjoyed a measure of protection from the hand of God, who said, "I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you." (Gen. 12:3) However, if we discontinue helping Israel, then God's gracious hand of mercy may be removed; and
WHEREAS, the US government has given billions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority which has not been used to improve the conditions of it’s people but instead has been used on weapons and for the private bank accounts of Palestinian government officials and others they work with; and  
WHEREAS, the church has affirmed Israel’s right to exist within secure borders, it is well-known that Israel's enemies have openly declared that they would like to see Israel "wiped off the map", and that from the very beginning of Israel's sovereignty in the land, Arab leaders, declaring a jihad or holy war, publicly vowed, "We are going to kill all Jews or drive them into the sea";
Therefore, be it resolved, that The United Methodist Church supports the continued military control of Judea and Samaria, and all that was gained as a result of the six-day war in 1967, until such time that it is well-understood that the land rightfully belongs to Israel and, and there is safety for Israeli and Palestinian peoples from the untold violence of militant Islamic factions.  Since we are people of the Bible, we support the biblical vision of a "Greater Israel", including all disputed territories and the whole of Jerusalem and its surroundings.
Be it further resolved, that we urge the U.S. government to continue to give military aid to the region, and to support non-governmental organizations throughout the region, including religious institutions, and other organizations who are supporting Israel and the return of the Jewish people back to the land, and also blessing, helping and encouraging groups within the communities of other nationalities within the region; The United Methodist Church requests that the government of the United States, acting according to the biblical mandate to love, pray for and bless the nation of Israel, urge Israel to:
act in humility and fairness toward those of other nationalities living within the land, not denying them of their needs as fellow human beings;
continue building and expanding existing settlements, knowing that they have a biblical right to do this, including the whole of Jerusalem;
continue governing as they see fit, and not withdrawing Israeli military forces, particularly holding onto all territory that was regained since 1948;  hold on to the segment of the Wall of Separation that has been constructed since May 2002 until such time that it is accepted that Israel has the right to control that territory;
We also urge the Palestinian Authority and all Palestinian Religious Leaders to continue to publicly condemn violence against Israeli civilians, and to not resist Israel’s ownership of all Israeli settlements;
We urge all United Methodists in the U.S. to:
advocate with the U.S. Administration and Congress to implement the above steps;
encourage members of each congregation to study the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a biblical perspective by studying the Word of God, inviting speakers to church events, reading books, using audio visual resources in educational forums, and getting information from websites, as long as it lines up with what the bible has to say on this subject;
provide financial support to the Israeli and the Palestinian people through contributions to the General Board of Global Ministries;
support, and participate in, the work of groups and organizations that are operating under the mandate of God when it comes to blessing Israel;
reach out to local synagogues and other faith groups by finding ways to bless them and  
when appropriate, doing identificational repentance for atrocities done during the holocaust to the Jewish people and other people groups at other times in history, believing that by doing this, history will not be able to repeat itself;
and we also ask that the General Board of Global Ministries, working together with the General Board of Church & Society and other organizations, develop informational packets for use in local congregations to promote the return to the land, and to promote a just and lasting peace and human rights for all in the region.

Rationale

I am a United Methodist of 20 years, who never knew the Resolution book existed until recently.  In it, I discovered something that ripped at my heart.  The current Resolution number 312 is completely against Israel.  I wrote this because we are called to bless Israel.  (Gen. 12:3.)