ALERT: Take Action to Stop the United Church’s Boycott of Israeli Communities
Alarmingly, this new policy – if adopted – would include a Church-wide boycott of Israeli products from settlement communities. This is based on the view of a United Church working group report that Israel’s presence in the West Bank is the “primary contributor to the injustice that underlies the violence of the region.” On this basis, the Church is now being called upon to level pressure solely against Israel to end the conflict – rather than emphasizing mutual obligations and reconciliation between the two sides.
Sadly, 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 ratifies 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 – those in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign.
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.
3) Forward this email to your contacts to help raise awareness about this.
To get involved, or for more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.