08.03.11 – 22:15| PNN – Palestine News Network
Bethlehem – PNN- The American Methodist church called on Tuesday for an end to illegal Israeli settlement activity and American support of them, part of a “series of unprecedented steps” from the largest Christian denomination in the United States.
The move is just the latest from the Methodist church, which decided in July 2010 to boycott Israeli settlement goods.
Boasting nearly 8 million members in the United States, it may yield influence to pressure President Obama’s foreign policies—notably his use of the veto against a United Nations Security Council condemning Israeli settlements supported by the remaining 14 council members, nearly two weeks ago.
The resolution, the result of discussions held in a 40-member special church council tasked with following the humanitarian situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, calls for the end of all violence Israeli or Palestinian and the beginning of “true negotiations to end the Middle East conflict” on the basis of the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.
The statement also called for an immediate freeze of illegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian land and confiscation of Palestinian property in East Jerusalem and the cutting off of American support for such activities.
Rev. Danny Awad, assistant dean of students at the Bethlehem Bible College, said the decision signaled that the Methodist church “stood on its principles on the side of truth, fighting against injustice wherever in the world it occurs.”
The Methodist church in Bethlehem will celebrate 60 years since its founding this coming April. It was bombed during Israel’s 2002 invasion of the city.