The Divestment and Boycott battle moves to a Canadian Protestant denomination The United Church of Canada. However the Canadians are being a bit more nuanced in their press release and recommendation for a divestment bid, until we get this phenomenally bias and naive claim that “Foremost is the conclusion that the first step to peace is to end the occupation.” In fact the first step to peace is the renunciation and cessation of terror and changing the PLO National Covenant accordingly.
Christian supporters of Israel en masse are also hung, drawn and quartered as heretics as they are portrayed as a monolithic group driven by an eschatology that has no concern for Palestinian Arabs. In fact Christian support of Israel is very diverse with some Christian Zionist groups conducting regular aid work amongst Palestinian Arabs too. ““The impact of Christian Zionism must be countered by those in the Christian community who reject these false beliefs,” says Giuliano.”
A remarkable admission shows how Arab Christian groups and Christian anti-Zionist agent provocateurs have infiltrated and influenced the UCC: “”Our use of the term ‘Jewish state’ has become confusing and problematic for some partners of the United Church and for many inside and outside the church,” explains Giuliano.”
The UCC must reject the arrogance of those who feel their have the right to define what a sovereign nation can call itself.
The working group met everyone from Muslim, Christians, Palestinians and Israelis, the working group heard from Palestinian Christians however failed to meet any Israeli Messianic Jews.
In the aforementioned press release from the UCC chair of the three member working group, the Very Rev. David Giuliano writes:
In the end the working group decided to call for an economic boycott focused exclusively on settlement products. Their recommendation is for the United Church to establish “a church-wide campaign of economic action directed against one or more settlement products that can be identified as produced in or related to the settlements or the occupied territories.”
“What we’re calling for is a focused boycott of products that are being created illegally,” explains Giuliano. “To buy settlement products is the same as buying stolen goods—in other words, benefiting from the crime.” He adds, however, “This is not a call for a boycott of Israel or Israeli products.”
The working group advises against the use of the language of apartheid when applied to Israel. Their report argues that “the charge of apartheid applied to Israel shuts down conversation, disempowers those who desire and work for change in Israel, and does more to harm than to help the potential for successful peace negotiations.”
The JTA reports
May 3, 2012
TORONTO (JTA) – Canada’s largest Protestant denomination is calling for a boycott of goods produced in “illegal” Israeli settlements, including eastern Jerusalem.
In a 26-page report released Tuesday, the United Church of Canada calls for an economic boycott of Israel focused exclusively on settlement products. The report seeks “a church-wide campaign of economic action directed against one or more settlement products that can be identified as produced in or related to the settlements or the occupied territories.”
The Church wants “a focused boycott of products that are being created illegally,” said the Very Rev. David Giuliano, a former moderator, or head, of the United Church, who chaired the three-member working group that wrote the report.
“To buy settlement products is the same as buying stolen goods; in other words, benefiting from the crime,” Giuliano said. He added, however, that “this is not a call for a boycott of Israel or Israeli products.”
A prominent Jewish leader charged Tuesday that the United Church has been hijacked by a small group of anti-Israel activists who do not speak for the whole denomination.
“Israel has become an obsession for a small vocal group,” Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, told the National Post newspaper. “I think frankly it betrays the sensibilities of the vast majority of ordinary members of the United Church.”
The report arises from a 12-day visit to Israel in February 2011 in which the working group met with representatives of Palestinian, Israeli, Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities in Israel and the West Bank. The group concluded “foremost” that the first step to peace is to end Israel’s occupation of territories captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, including the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
“The occupation is damaging both Palestinians and Israelis,” the report states. “The occupation is being implemented by a democratic country and sustained and supported by Western governments, including Canada’s.”
The Church advises against applying the term “apartheid” to Israel because it “shuts down conversation, disempowers those who desire and work for change in Israel, and does more to harm than to help the potential for successful peace negotiations.”
The report will be considered by the Church’s General Council, which meets in Ottawa in August. Until then, the report is not Church policy.
Read the full UCC Divestment proposal here