Jerusalem — The United Methodist Church’s decision to embrace BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel is immoral and damages prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, NGO Monitor said Wednesday, following the church’s announcement. The decision follows years of campaigns by highly political non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that exploit the language of human rights to delegitimize Israel.

“Isolating Israel and damaging the prospect of peace are entirely inconsistent with universal values and morality,” Professor Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor said. “By adopting this resolution, the UMC handed a victory to anti-Israel extremists who would are more interested in causing harm to the Jewish state than to improve the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.”

A small group of radical and anti-peace NGOs are running intense campaigns calling for boycotts and divestments from Israeli banks, as part of broader BDS attacks. The funders and partners of these NGOs share culpability for this immoral warfare.

An NGO called “Who Profits” leads these attacks. In 2014-2015, its donors included Trocaire (a church group in Ireland), Fagforbundet (Norway, Labor Organization), Bread for the World (church group, Germany), Medico International (Germany), ICCO (church group in Netherlands), and Nova (funded by the Spanish government).

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which often quotes Who Profits and issued a statement celebrating the UMC decision, is another pro-BDS and anti-peace group active in promoting economic warfare against Israel. JVP touts its partnership with United Methodist Kairos Response, a major proponent of BDS within the church. JVP’s funders include the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.

These NGOs are part of a network that implements the declarations of the infamous NGO Forum of the UN’s 2001 Conference in Durban. Some 1,500 NGOs crystallized a strategy of delegitimizing Israel as an “apartheid regime” explicitly calling for the “complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state” through the “imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes, the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military cooperation and training) between all states and Israel.” This was the origin of BDS.

“The strategy of using churches as vehicles to advance the BDS anti-peace agenda is totally cynical, and takes advantage of the perception of the church as a source of good and morality,” Steinberg said. “Tuesday’s decision by the UMC reflects the destructive power of the NGO network that exploits human rights for hate, and undermining the chances for peace and reconciliation.”