Israeli banks in Tel Aviv. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

In a rare win for the anti-Israel boycott movement, the pension board of the United Methodist Church voted to place five Israeli banks on a list of companies that it will not invest in for human rights reasons. Protest this misguided decision!


As reported in The New York Times, “the pension board of the United Methodist Church — one of the largest Protestant denominations in the United States, with more than seven million members — has placed five Israeli banks on a list of companies that it will not invest in for human rights reasons, the board said in a statement on Tuesday.”

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu… has described the divestment movement as a campaign to destroy Israel.

“The Israeli banks on the United Methodist Church’s list — Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank and Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot — were among 39 companies from several countries that have been excluded from the pension board’s portfolio for not meeting its Human Rights Investment Policy guideline.

Members of the United Methodist Kairos Response, a group within the church that has been aggressively advocating for divestment over the Palestinian issue, said they would push for more divestment at the church’s next general convention, in Portland, Ore., in May.

In July the United Church of Christ, with about one million members, voted overwhelmingly for a resolution calling for divestment from companies that profit from the “occupation” and a boycott of products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.

Israel’s foreign ministry slammed the church’s call for a boycott as “immoral.”

Protest to the United Methodist Church Pension Board!

Call the pension board

Phone: 1-800-851-2201 or 1-847-869-4550

Protest on Facebook

Click here to protest on the United Methodist Church Facebook page.

Email the pension board

Click here to write to the pension board.


More emails:

General Secretary and CEO Barbara Boigegrain: [email protected]

Chief Operating Officer Mark Busbia: [email protected]

General Counsel Andrew Hendren: [email protected]

Chief Investment Officer Dave Zellner: [email protected]

Media Relations: Colette Nies: [email protected]

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