Methodist Church boycotts Israeli banks
The BDS movement seeking to economically attack the Jewish state in a boycott campaign scored a victory on Tuesday, as the United Methodist Church (UMC) announced its pension board will no longer invest in five Israeli banks.
The UMC, a Presbyterian denomination that numbers over seven million members, said it will not invest in the banks for financing “settlement activity” over the 1949 Armistice lines in the announcement reported by the New York Times.
The five banks blacklisted by the church’s pension board are Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank and Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot.
Additionally, 34 international firms from other countries were also blacklisted for alleged human rights infringements, according to the announcement.
The United Methodist Church decided to take the unprecedented move even as it watches its numbers dwindle and faces the threat of economic ruin.
Last May on its website the church reported how a member of the UMC, himself an economist, told the church it has 15 years to “turn around” its shrinking denomination, or else it will not be able to make a recovery in the US.
According to the facts presented by the church, the denomination will not have enough churches in America in the coming decades to pay for its own “conferences, bishops, agencies, missions and international disaster response.”
The same report revealed that over the last 10 years, statistics show UMC attendance in the US has dropped by 52,383 per year, and between 1974 and 2012 the church lost 18% of its worship attendance in America.