A UK church has unanimously voted to boycott Israeli products in a show of protest against Tel Aviv’s illegal settlements on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.
The Methodist Church of Britain on Wednesday announced a decision to boycott Israeli-produced goods and services from the West Bank because of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories which “a majority of governments recognize… as illegitimate under international law,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
The move came in response to calls from the World Council of Churches, the Palestinian civil society and “a growing number of Jewish organizations in Israel and worldwide,” the church stated at its annual conference in Portsmouth.
The conference extended it call on the Methodist people across the UK “to support and engage with this boycott of Israeli goods emanating from illegal settlements.”
The Methodist Church set up a working group in 2009 as part of an effort seeking an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and the blockade of Gaza, urging adherence to international law by all sides and a just peace for all in the Middle East.
The resulting 54-page report produced by the church body, titled “Justice for Palestine and Israel,” faced a fierce response from Britain’s pro-Tel Aviv organizations.
Christine Elliott, the church’s secretary for external relationships, said the recent decision “has not been taken lightly, but after months of research, careful consideration and finally, today’s debate at the conference.”
“The goal of the boycott is to put an end to the existing injustice. It reflects the challenge that settlements present to a lasting peace in the region,” she added.