In advance of its 2014 Conference, the Methodist Church in Britain is preparing a “briefing on the arguments for and against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement” The Church invited the public to contribute responses in order to “gather a range of perspectives on this topic.”

NGO Monitor participated by sending a response.

After examining the questionnaire and reading through the Church’s website, we concluded that the process leading up to the questionnaire and the premise upon which it is built is seriously flawed.  Specifically, the church’s survey of fourteen loaded questions presumes exclusive Israeli guilt for the origins and perpetuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Despite this essential problem, NGO Monitor engaged with the Methodist Church in Britain.  Our goal is to open a space for critical thinking that may broaden the discussion to include consideration of the global political “soft power” war being waged against the legitimacy of the State of Israel by a global network of well-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs), of which BDS is a central strategic component.

Our submission argues that a decision by the Church to support BDS would be unethical and self-defeating. It would tarnish the Church’s moral voice in the world, make it a participant in the Middle East conflict and thereby undermine its role as a peacemaker.

To read the full response, click here.