is “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself,” according to the dictionary. That should not be associated with Christianity.
Tuesday the UM Kairos Response (UMKR) folks celebrated a victory for their side, which, after six years of intense propaganda vilifying—from a supposed
point of view—the return of Jews to Judea and Samaria, managed to convince the $20-billion Pension and Health Benefits Fund of the United Methodist Church to blacklist the five largest Israeli banks and to divest from two of those banks which it had actually held in its portfolios.
The Kairos document declares that the “Occupation” is a “sin against God” and that any theology that tolerates it cannot be Christian “because true Christian theology is a theology of love and solidarity with the oppressed, a call to justice and equality among peoples.” It calls on all peoples to put pressure on Israel to put an end to its “oppression and disregard for international law.”
It also describes non-violent resistance as a “duty” for all Palestinians, including Christians, and charges Israel with having launched a “cruel war” against Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009; with ravaging Palestinian land “in the name of God and in the name of force”; with separating family members, thus “making family life impossible for thousands of Palestinians, especially where one of the spouses does not have an Israeli identity card”; with restricting religious liberty for Christians and Muslims; with lack of consideration for refugees and prisoners; with turning “Jerusalem, city of reconciliation,” into “a city of discrimination and exclusion, a source of struggle rather than peace”; and with holding “international law and international resolutions in contempt.”
It certainly takes a theologian to pack so many lies into one paragraph. For one thing, the Kairos document ignores millions of Christians, both in the Middle East and in the West, who see modern Israel as a divine gift and a bastion of religious tolerance. But while Christian Bethlehem has long since become a Muslim city—official figures put the Christian population at 40%, but unofficial sources say it’s even lower; and while Christians across the Middle East are being slaughtered by the Muslim hordes — the UMC has sided with the very enemies of Christians, never mind the Jews.
The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the UMC identified 39 companies “with significant operations in high-risk countries and areas.” Their rational is compelling, if only it were based on facts: “We are a global investor, and we actively influence the promotion and protection of human rights through constructive engagement by using our voice as shareholders to change company practices,” the UMC website states, adding: “There are specific times, however, when we must recognize that a company is very unlikely–or unable–to discontinue activities in certain parts of the world that we have classified as ‘high-risk.’
When activities in high-risk countries and areas represent a significant part of a company’s business, we will avoid investing until the company has changed its business practices. Avoiding such investments supports our commitment to sustainable investing, which we believe ultimately improves the performance of our investment funds.”
In other words, the fact that a company operates in a particular area is the basis for disqualification.