The United Methodist Church has voted over the weekend against a resolution calling for it to boycott Israel.
The church’s General Conference rejected four divestment screening resolutions, Religion News Service reported on Monday.
One was voted down Saturday by the church’s Finance Administration committee. Then three resolutions encouraging divestment were also rejected, according to the conference’s legislation tracker. The committee decided instead to favor a petition that had been amended into a “general commitment to responsible investment.”
The resolutions “pretty much went down in flames,” said John Lomperis, the director of the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s United Methodist Action Program and an opponent of boycotts on Israel.
Supporters of boycotts on Israel are reportedly seeking other venues of action.
“Adopting any of these petitions would be a step toward darker days in human history,” given Christianity’s history of violence toward Jewish people, one opponent to the anti-Israel motions told RNS.
The Methodist church has about 13 million members worldwide and is the largest mainline Protestant group in the United States.
The Episcopal Church has rejected boycott efforts, while the United Church of Christ in 2015 and the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in 2014 voted to divest from companies they deem “complicit in the occupation.”
This setback for divestment supporters came after a letter written in May by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, a lifelong Methodist, in which she opposed the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement targeting Israel as unfair to Israel and counterproductive to peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians.