Petition 81352

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Opposition to Treatment of Palestinians (81352-GM-R9999)

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    In 2004 the General Conference adopted Resolution 312, “Opposition to Israeli Settlements in Palestinian Land”.  Since that date the State of Israel has significantly increased their seizure of Palestinian land and water in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, all with the silent endorsement of the United States Government.  This action is morally irresponsible and the United Methodist Church strongly reaffirms the Resolution of 2004 and recommends increased action by Methodists against this cruel and illegal treatment of the Palestinians.
   WHEREAS, the continuing confiscation of Palestinian land for construction of settlements and the building of a separation wall, violates the basic foundation of human rights, subverts the peace process, destroys the hope of both Israelis and Palestinians who are working for and longing for peace, and fosters a sense of desperation that can only lead to further violence; and
    WHEREAS, continued and intensified closures, curfews, dehumanizing check points, home demolitions, uprooted trees, bulldozed fields, and confiscation of Palestinian land and water by the government of Israel have devastated economic infrastructure and development in the West Bank and Gaza, have caused a massive deterioration of the living standards of all Palestinians... and an increasing sense of hopelessness and frustration; and
    WHEREAS, targeted assassinations, suicide bombings, and attacks against civilians by both Israelis and Palestinians heighten the fear and suffering of all; and
    WHEREAS, PEOPLE IN THE United States, through their taxes, provide several billion dollars in economic and military assistance to the State of Israel each year, which allows for the building of bypass roads and settlements that are illegal according to the Fourth Geneva Convention; and
    WHEREAS, U.S. companies are condoning the Israelis Government’s cruel and inhumane treatment of innocent civilians by providing essential services and products; and
    WHEREAS, the church continues to work with ecumenical and interfaith bodies to advocate for Palestinian self-determination and an end to Israeli occupation; to affirm Israel’s right to exist within secure borders; to affirm the right of return for Palestinian refugees under international law; to call for region-wide disarmament; to urge Israelis and Palestinians to stop human rights violations and attacks on civilians, such as targeted assassinations and suicide bombings; and to urge the U.S. Government to initiate an arms embargo on the entire Middle East region;
    Therefore, be it resolved, that the United Methodist Church opposes continued military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, the confiscation of Palestinian land and water resources, the destruction of Palestinian homes, the continued building of illegal Jewish settlements, and any vision of a “Greater Israel” that includes the occupied territories and the whole of Jerusalem and its surroundings.
    Be it further resolved, that we urge the U.S. Government to end all military aid to the region, and second to cease the veto protection of Israel’s illegal acts against the Palestinians in the United Nations.
    The United Methodist Church requests that the government of the United States, working in cooperation with the United Nations and other nations, urge the State of Israel to:
1.    Cease the confiscation of Palestinian lands and water for any reason;
2.    Cease the building of new, or expansion of existing, settlements and/or bypass roads in the occupied territories including East Jerusalem;
3.    Lift the closures and curfews on the Palestinian towns by completely withdrawing Israelis military forces to the Green Line (the 1948 ceasefire line between Israel and the West Bank);
4.    Dismantle that segment of the Wall of Separation constructed since May 2002 that is not being built in the Green Line, but on Palestinian land that is separating Palestinian farmers from their fields.
          We also urge the Palestinian Authority and all Palestinian religious leaders to continue to publicly condemn violence against Israeli civilians and to use nonviolent acts of disobedience to resist the occupation and the illegal settlements.
   urge all United Methodists in the U.S. to divest investments in companies whose products and services enable to government of Israel to sustain the cruel and illegal violation of the Palestinian’s basic human rights.