Petition 60852

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Diplomacy and Investments in Palestine (60852-FA-R9999-G)

Add new Resolution “Middle Eastern Diplomacy and Investments in Palestine”

Whereas, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s most intractable conflicts with years of an unsuccessful peace process despite strong support for a two-state solution on the part of both the Israeli and Palestinian people; and

Whereas, the 1967 war between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations resulted in the occupation of Palestinian Territories, and the peace process that began with the 1993 Oslo Accords has still not created a sovereign Palestinian State although final status offers were made in 2000 and in 2008. An agreement was never reached and both parties have at different times walked away from the negotiations; and

Whereas, ongoing suffering continues for both parties with Israeli settlement growth and control over the Palestinian population and economy and a lack of security for Israelis;

Whereas, intransigence by both parties creates a regionally and globally dangerous and volatile situation and only a negotiated agreement leading to a peace treaty will bring a true end to this conflict; and

Whereas, simple calls for the parties to return to the negotiating table are no longer sufficient to address the urgency of the situation;

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the 2016 General Conference calls on the General Board of Church & Society, the General Board of Global Ministries, and the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church respectively to:

1. Lobby the United States government to draft a just and comprehensive peace agreement to present to the Israelis and Palestinians with the expectation that both parties sign within a two-year period and to offer a variety of strong incentives to encourage them to sign. In addition to foreign aid, these incentives could include favorable trade and shipping agreements, favorable student and work-related visa arrangements, and coordination on various diplomatic fronts. The comprehensive agreement would recognize a sovereign Palestinian State, define borders, and address the core issues of the status of Jerusalem, settlements, refugees, and security arrangements; and

2. Urge all national governments represented in The United Methodist Church to invest substantial diplomatic capital in support of such a framework; and

3. Encourage the General Board of Pensions and other investors, such as United Methodist foundations to continue to research and identify investment opportunities in the infrastructure of the Palestinian economy to help build a viable Palestinian state and strengthen the economic well-being of Palestinian communities.

Rationale

In light of the breakdown and stagnation of the peace process, United Methodists should lobby the United States government to take a more proactive role in negotiations.

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