Tikkun Magazine Applauds the United Methodist Church Boycott of Israeli Banks which are Funding the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank


Here is the account from the NY 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. It appeared to be the first time that a pension fund of a large American church had taken such a step regarding the Israeli banks, which help finance settlement construction in what most of the world considers illegally occupied Palestinian territories.
The five banks – Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank and Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot – are each involved in financing settlement construction in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine, the largest circulation voice of liberal and progressive Jews (and the winner of the Best Magazine of the Year Award from the Religion Newswriters Association in both 2014 and 2015) issued the following statement January 13, 2016:
“Although we at Tikkun do NOT support a general boycott of Israel, and wish to see Israel remain strong and its security intact, we welcome the action of the United Methodist Church Pension Fund. The action of the UMC Pension Fund is narrowly focused on boycotting and divesting from Israeli and other firms that help perpetuate Israel’s Occupation of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the construction of “Jewish-only” settlements . The Occupation of the West Bank with its attendant oppression of the Palestinian people is not only a violation of the highest values of the Jewish people, it is also the Israeli activity that most threatens to turn Israel into a pariah state and thereby weaken its ability to protect its citizens from the real threats it may face from surrounding hostile powers and forces. For that reason, we support all efforts to boycott the products produced on the West Bank in Israeli “Jewish only” settlements and to disinvest from Israeli and global corporations and institutions that help make the Occupation possible. The Jewish people in centuries to come will thank those friends of Israel, like the United Methodists, Presbyterians USA, and the United Church of Christ, who are doing all they can to reverse Israel’s self-destructive policies in the West Bank while distancing from the BDS movement that aims not only at the Occupation of the West Bank but at the totality of Israel and the Israeli people.”
Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun is author of two national best sellers, both published by Harpers: Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation and The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right. He is also the author of The Politics of Meaning, Spirit Matters, The Socialism of Fools—Anti-Semitism on the Left, and with Cornel West Jews and Blacks: A Dialogue on Race, Religion and Culture in America. His latest book is Embracing Israel and Palestine: A Strategy for Middle East Peace.

11 thoughts on “Tikkun Magazine Applauds the United Methodist Church Boycott of Israeli Banks which are Funding the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank

    • Tikkun,
      has a sick self hating Jewish and perverse love of Muslim viewpoint that is not progressive but damaging. Whenever facts are brought that go against their mantra they ignore, divert, and lie.
      I bet they are infatuated with CAIR too.

    • All of you who conflate opposition to Israel’s illegal civilian settlements in the West Bank with anti-Semitism are suffering from some kind of willful blindness. Unfortunately there IS such a thing as anti-Semitism in the world; it did not die in 1945. In branding anyone who criticizes Israeli policy as an “anti-Semite,” you are diluting that word beyond meaning and empowering real anti-Semitism.

  1. Rabbi Lerner: Thank you. You and your organization are incredibly brave. It isn’t easy to stand tall in the face of sometimes brutal opposition. Peace and may God keep you safe.

  2. Were it not so crucially important, it would be hysterical to read people like sam and kal throw around the hackneyed epithets of self hating Jew and anti-Semite. I gave up name-calling on the playground. I can only speak for myself – I am 100% seriously Jewish and I don’t at all hate myself or Jews and in no way am I an anti-Semite. I don’t have anything to do with CAIR. Israel is turning into a frighteningly repressive state and Rabbi Lerner and Tikkun magazine are some of our greatest bulwarks against that. The only lies I’ve been told have been by groups like the Jewish National Fund who over many years have done what they can to hide the evils of the occupation from American Jews. it is the Jewish National Fund, to pick one among many Jewish organizations, that ignores, diverts, and lies. Take a look at their fundraising material and you never see a non-white face http://www.jnf.org/work-we-do/our-projects/. Little blonde children playing in the sunshine – on land systematically stolen from the Palestinians. Not an Arab face to be seen. It looks to me like German propaganda photos from the 1930s. God bless Rabbi Lerner and may his influence spread as widely as possible.

    • fdez, you totally lost me when you made a comparison tto 1930’s Nazi propaganda video. I don’t know if you realize this, the conflict is over territory and there are 2 sides to the conflict. I also don’t know if you realized that the Palestinians have time again walked away from a 2 state solution, specifically in 1948 when the Arab world decided to invade the new Jewish state and in 2000 when Arafat opted for a terror war rather than a Camp David accord. Abbas acknowledged the mistakes of the Arab world in 1947 and Bill Clinton flatly blamed the failure of Camp David on Arafat. There are lots of problems on the Israeli side, but Israel is facing a 2 headed Palestinian leadership. One martially accepts Israel’s right to exist ad the other is eating for the opportunity to destroy Israel. So what is your reaction, BDS. Well if both sides are to blame for the impasse, why not a BDS campaign against the rejectionist Palestinians? What have they don with the money poured into the PA meant to develop land they control. ? It’s disappeared into private Swiss bank accounts . But you choose to use punch lines and faux slogans rather than look at the whole picture.

      • Yes, the conflict is over territory and there are two sides. “Two sides” means that Israel isn’t automatically “right.” If Israel chooses to fight for territory by allowing armed Israeli civilians to displace the long-time Palestinian occupants of that land by force or threat of force, how can they complain when the “other side” fights back with boycotts and attempts to win the hearts of the rest of the world?
        Somehow I would like to believe that the Jews’ contribution to the world is a sense of justice, not reversion to stone-age tribalism.

      • I haven’t seen any Palestinians swooping into Los Angeles to buy up properties in the last few years after our banking/home foreclosure debacle. But I do see Israelis everywhere looking to make windfall profits off of the victims of B.S. loan scamming. So creepy and so lacking in compassion. Can you explain that?
        I grew up all over the world so please don’t bother to call me racist or xenophobic. And my heroes are Einstein, Gandhi and Jesus of Nazareth (a Jew).

  3. Sunday, January 17, 2016 common era
    “Rabbi” Lerner couldn’t successfully compete in a high school Yeshiva’s annual Bible contest. He is a tired old hippy with some Jewish trappings who believes in “gun control” and other golden calves of his beloved “diversity.” Listen to him and become a lampshade or bar of soap.

  4. What a crock, this is a part and parcel of a general boycott of Israel. Tikkun staff is trying to have it both ways. Disingenuous to the max.

  5. I do not believe Tikkun is progressive or liberal. Tikkun is now aligned with those that wish to end Israel to be replaced by another Judenrein Islamic country where women are oppressed, religious minorities (if they exist at all) are persecuted, gay men are executed, terror is exported and every single liberal or progressive value is obliterated.

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