B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith condemns the United Methodist Church’s Pension Board for deciding on political grounds to single out five prominent banks in Israel for discontinued investment. The Protestant denomination pulled its finances from these reputable, mainstream institutions because some church leaders actively identify with Palestinians’ position in their ongoing conflict with Israel. The step is being regarded as a victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes hostile campaigns against Israel alone rather than efforts for genuine peace, compromise and reconciliation.
The United Methodist Church’s Pension Board has made an unjust and ill-informed decision by effectively supporting BDS. The blacklist includes the following banks: First International Bank of Israel, Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot, Bank Hapoalim, Israel Discount Bank and Bank Leumi.
B’nai B’rith urges the church to reconsider its damaging choice, which is inconsistent with past Methodist disavowal of economic warfare. The BDS movement is another unwarranted assault on Israel, the world’s only Jewish state and the Middle East’s only pluralistic democracy. This type of bias must not be ignored.