United Church boycotts goods from Occupied Territories

On August 17  the General Council of The United Church of Canada  voted to boycott goods produced in the Occupied Territories. It recommends that church members  participate in a comprehensive boycott of items produced in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West. It is not a boycott of Israel.

“The only comments I’ve received so far are those advocating a complete severing of ties with the United Church”

Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs stated that “the only comments I’ve received so far are those advocating a complete severing of ties with the United Church.”

The truth is very difficult to hear especially when it is suffused with deep reservoirs of emotion. Most Jews have a deep connection t Israel.Many Christians like myself have as well.This stems from the overwhelming impact of the Shoah, the destruction of one third of Jewry. As well there is biblical connection to the land of the prophets.

Mr Fogel feels the Church’s stance goes against conventional thinking and that its commentary is biased and one-sided.

On the first point he is wrong.There is almost universal condemnation of Israel’s 45 year Occupation and trewatment of the Palestinian people.

As for bias there is some truth—but not much. Other mideast countries deserve criticism on many points of human rights. so why Israel seems to be Mr.Fogel;s point.

This can be answered in two ways. Pointing at other nations does not address the massive human rights deficit in Israel.It’s school, yard mentality. “sure, I am wrong but what about  him!”

Secondly, in all polls among Arab nations Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is a neuralgic issue; it throbs, screams for redress; it will not go away. The solving of this issue would do much to dampen tensions between Islamic nations and the Jewish state. It is a major global sticking point.

As for the United Church’s stance, I will address tomorrow.


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