Updated August 2012
Yesterday, Canadian Friends of Peace Now issued a press release that was highly critical of the Centre and our reaction to the United Church of Canada vote. We felt it was important to respond directly to a number of the allegations contained in that statement. We encourage you to view our response here.
Download this document here.
Canadian Friends of Peace Now says:
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs responds:
|“CIJA claims in its denunciation of the Church to be speaking on behalf of 100,000 Jewish families. But CIJA is not a democratically elected leadership of the community. It represents no one other than its Board of Directors.”||The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is the most broadly representative and democratic Jewish advocacy organization in Canada. Our Board is chosen by the Jewish Federations from across the country; the Federations are directly responsible to their local donors – some 100,000 families across Canada. Board members come from every part of the country, from all Jewish and several Christian religious streams, and all Canadian political parties. Local councils of volunteers in every community shape the activities in that community.|
|“CIJA outrageously distorts the UC’s position when it claims that the Church has “chosen to explicitly ally itself with those who formally reject the two-State solution and who deny the historical right of the Jewish people to a homeland.” In reality, the Church explicitly supports a two-state solution and recognizes Israel as a Jewish state.”||The Boycott movement, including that aimed at settlement goods, is part of a global campaign led by those who reject that right. It is a strategy designed at the antisemitic hatefest known as the “Durban Conference”, and a settlement boycott is the fruit of that poisoned tree. The figurehead of the BDS movement, Omar Barghouti, has publicly stated that he does not support the two-state solution – the ultimate result of the BDS campaign will be “a Palestine next to a Palestine rather than a Palestine next to Israel.” The UCC has indeed chosen to ally itself with that camp, in direct contradiction of its own statements of support for the two-state solution|
|“CIJA claims its survey of UC members revealed that a majority were against a boycott. But it appears from the wording of CIJA’s news release that the survey asked UC members only if they were against a boycott of Israel, not of Israeli settlements.”||The independent survey, carried out by a reputable polling firm in conformity with professional standards, explicitly referenced settlement goods in the question to UCC members. A full document, including results, questions, and methodology, is available here. This material was made available to the UCC in advance of the vote. We invite CFPN to read it.|
|“CIJA also misrepresented CFPN’s position on the issue of a settlements boycott. CFPN did not endorse or oppose the Church’s resolution, in part because of a lack of balance underlying it. However, our parent organization, Peace Now in Israel, has endorsed, in principle, a boycott of the settlements (while also being aware that they are not the only impediments to peace). “||We invite you to read the CFPN press release issued the day the UCC began debating this resolution. CFPN did NOT endorse the settlement boycott, despite the fact that their parent organization does so. We merely called attention to this fact as an illustration of exactly how marginal a view support for settlement boycotts actually is within the Jewish community of Canada.|