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Take Action to Stop the United Church’s Boycott of Israeli Communities
You can make a difference by signing our petition urging the United Church of Canada to reject the boycott of Israel.
This August, delegates from across the country will meet at the General Council of the United Church of Canada (UCC), at which they will vote on a proposed Church policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Alarmingly, the United Church report includes the following:
· A direct comparison of the Holocaust to the challenges faced by Palestinians, both of which the report states were characterized by the denial or loss of human dignity (which the report claims was “the deepest meaning of the Holocaust.”)
· The questioning of Israel’s status as a Jewish state, with a call for the United Church to “acknowledge with deep regret the past policy of calling on Palestinians to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state.”
· A call for the United Church to give “high priority” to a Church-wide boycott of Israeli products from settlement communities.
· The blaming of Israel’s presence in the West Bank as the “primary contributor of injustice that underlies the violence of the region”, with a call for international pressure to be leveled solely against Israel to end the conflict (rather than emphasizing mutual obligations between the two sides).
The United Church report ignores the fact that the vast majority of Israelis are prepared to make serious compromises on the settlements when Israel is met by a reliable partner for peace. In 1982, Israel withdrew thousands of settlers from the Sinai after signing a peace agreement with Egypt – and peace has since been upheld. In 2005, Israel withdrew every last settlement (over 8,000 civilians) from Gaza as a painful, unilateral decision – and there have since been 10,000 missiles and mortars fired from Gaza into southern Israel. The removal of settlers from Gaza is not mentioned once in the United Church’s report.
The lesson is clear. Although the vast majority of Israelis are willing to offer compromises on the West Bank settlements, the Palestinian leadership must first sign a final peace agreement with security guarantees (as required by international law) in order to protect the next generation of Israeli children from Palestinian terrorism. Shockingly, the words “Hamas” and “Hezbollah” do not appear even once in the United Church’s 26-page report.
There’s a world of difference between being pro-Palestinian and simply anti-Israel. If the United Church adopts this highly biased report without amendment, it will place the Church outside the genuine peace movement and in the same camp as the most virulent anti-Israel activists.
Now is the time for Jewish Canadians to make their voice heard. Here are three simple ways you can make a difference today:
1) Get the facts on the UCC report – go to www.cija.ca/issues/ucc
2) Call, email, or meet with members or clergy of a United Church in your area – search for a local congregation here.
To get involved, or for more information, please email us.
For more background on the United Church of Canada click here.
To read The Centre’s response to the UCC click here.
For more information on the United Church of Canada and its report click here.
For more information on Faithful Witness – a campaign by United Church activists against the UCC’s report – click here.
To read Shimon Fogel’s piece in the Canadian Jewish News click here.
Results of the Survey of Active United Church Members on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict click here