Concern over Methodist boycott survey

Board vice-president Jonathan Arkush

Board vice-president Jonathan Arkush

Board of Deputies leaders are due to meet senior figures in the Methodist Church today to voice concern at an online survey about boycotting Israel.

Respondents are being asked by the church to say if they support action against Israel including economic sanctions or an academic boycott, what they believe to be the motives of the boycott campaign and what are the arguments against a boycott.

It follows a call by the Methodists’ conference in July to produce a briefing document on the pros and cons of the boycott in time for next year’s conference.

Jonathan Arkush, a vice-president of the Board, said that “the process is flawed from beginning to end”.

Three years ago the church caused widespread outrage within the Jewish community after endorsing a report highly critical of Israel which questioned whether Zionism was compatible with Methodism.

But relations between the church and the Jewish community have improved following concerted efforts at dialogue.

Last updated: 9:52am, October 9 2013