Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Briefing

PLEASE NOTE: The survey is now closed. The information below is provided as an archive only. 

Introduction

In July 2013 the Methodist Conference passed Notice of Motion 201. The motion requests the production of a briefing on the arguments for and against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The wording of the motion as revised and adopted by Methodist Conference is as follows:

Recognising the call of the prophet Micah to "do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God," the Conference directs the Methodist Council to ensure that the Joint Public Issues Team prepare a briefing document for the Methodist People upon the arguments for and against the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement, and for the Methodist Council to bring a report based upon the briefing to the Conference of 2014.

This consultation was launched to gather a range of perspectives on this topic and is open to all. People were invited to respond either in a personal capacity or as representatives of organisations. Responses will be kept confidential unless specific agreement is made to the contrary.

The briefing commissioned by the Methodist Conference will reflect the range of perspectives on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions arising from this consultation. It is hoped that this briefing will offer helpful reflection for Methodist people as they consider how to respond to the call of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

The full set of questions is provided below to give you an idea of their range.

The deadline for responses was Monday, November 4. The online survey and emailed responses closed at 08:00; posted responses were accepted after that if postmarked on or before Novermber 4. 

 

Consultation Questions

The wider context around Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)

1.         What do you understand to be the motivation/inspiration behind the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions in relation to Israel? 

2.         In your view, what would be the essential elements of any peace agreement in Israel/Palestine? 

 

Boycotts

3.         Do you support a boycott of products produced within Israeli settlements? 

4.         Do you support the call for a wider consumer boycott of all Israeli products? 

5.         If you answer 'Yes' to Question 4, what changes would you need to see to be content to end your boycott? 

6.         What are the arguments against a consumer boycott of all Israeli products? What are the risks? 

7.         If you do not support the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions, could you ever see yourself supporting such a call in the future? Under what circumstances? 

8.         What message does the call for a consumer boycott of Israel communicate to the general public? (please specify whether you are answering with reference to the public in the UK, in Israel, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, or elsewhere) 

9.         Do you support an academic boycott of Israel? Please explain your reasoning. 

10.       Do you support a cultural boycott of Israel? Please explain your reasoning. 

 

Divestment

11.       Under what circumstances, if any, should the Methodist Church divest from companies operating in Israel? 

 

Sanctions

12.       Should the UK government or European Union impose trade or other restrictions on economic relationships with Israel or alternatively limited restrictions on economic engagement with settlements? If so what form should such sanctions take? 

 

Further Comment

13.       What actions other than BDS might members of the Methodist Church take to encourage a political process that could deliver a just and sustainable resolution in Israel and Palestine? 

14.       Is there any further theological or other comment that you would like to make in relation to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions or are there papers or other resources that you would highlight?

 

Documents

Background notes (Pdf)

The questions with notes (Pdf)

  • Sign up for e-newslettersKeep in touch with what interests you