by: Russ Jones – OneNewsNow – 4/24/2012
Some observers are alarmed that a mainline Protestant denomination appears close to adopting a policy of selective divestment concerning Israel during its annual meeting.
Leaders of the United Methodist Church will present to its delegates attending the denomination’s General Conference — beginning today in Tampa — a proposal that objects to Israeli policies, such as “illegal settlements, segregated roads, checkpoints, and the separation wall.” (See earlier story)
Joel Chernoff, CEO of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA), says selective divestment would place the denomination not only in direct opposition to the prophetic purposes of God for Israel, but also in opposition to biblical justice.
“There are obviously unjust weights and balances here,” he tells OneNewsNow. “And the United Methodists are guilty of unjust weights — and are very obviously guilty. Whether or not anybody wants to say it, it is true. And we as a community, the Messianic Jewish community, are beginning to stand up and to say what is true.”
Chernoff notes that the United Methodist Church places a premium on justice, but ironically threatens to perpetrate an injustice. He says a decision to divest resources from Israel will do more to hurt the denomination than it would Israel.
“It is wrong biblically,” Chernoff emphasizes. “God says I’m going to bless them that bless you, Abraham and your seed, and I’m going to curse them that curse you. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of this issue.”
Chernoff further states “our forefathers — Peter, Paul, John, and the biblical prophets of Israel — would be outraged to see people that call themselves followers of the Messiah Jesus advocating a policy that is so far out of sync with God’s purposes and plans.”
Divest-from-Israel campaigns were initiated by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority to destroy Israel through its economy.
In 1977, Congress passed a law, which created the Office of Antiboycott Compliance within the Department of Commerce, in response to the Arab boycott of Israel. The law prohibits U.S. citizens from taking certain actions in support of an unsanctioned foreign boycott against a country that is friendly to the United States.