Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Sunday reaffirmed her opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) that targets Israel ahead of the United Methodists’ convention on Tuesday.
864 United Methodists are set to convene in Portland, Oregon, for 10 days, as they do every four years, to consider over 1000 proposals on topics such as LGBT inclusion, abortion, religious freedom, welcoming immigrants and refugees, gun violence, as well as “divestment from companies supporting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Four resolutions ask the church to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard — companies that are alleged to profit from Israel’s “occupation of Palestinian lands” — and end any other investments that relate to Israeli settlements.
In response to a request from leaders of the Israel Action Network (IAN) and the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), Clinton, arguably the church’s most prominent member, wrote a letter underlining the need to make countering BDS a priority.
“Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world,” Clinton wrote in the letter sent to IAN and the Jewish Federations. “We need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people. Anti-Semitism has no place in any civilized society—not in America, not in Europe, not anywhere. We must never tire in defending Israel’s legitimacy, expanding security and economic ties, and taking our alliance to the next level.”
“Please know that I am grateful for your work, and that I stand ready to be your partner as we engage all people of good faith—regardless of their political persuasion or their views on policy specifics—in explaining why the BDS campaign is counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Palestinians alike,” Clinton added.
The Democratic presidential front-runner also boasted about her Israel record as she readies for a general election match-up with her likely Republican opponent, Donald Trump. “As Senator and Secretary of State, I saw how crucial it is for America to defend Israel at every turn,” Clinton wrote. “I have opposed dozens of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, the Human Rights Council, and other international organizations. I condemned the biased Goldstone Report, making it clear that Israel must be allowed to defend itself like any other country. And I made sure the United States blocked Palestinian attempts at the UN to unilaterally declare statehood. Time after time, no matter the venue, I have made it clear that America will always stand up for Israel. If I am fortunate enough to be elected president, the United States will reaffirm we have a strong and enduring national interest in Israel’s security.”
Hillary Clinton IAN Letter