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Thursday, August 13, 2015

United Church of Canada Passes Israel Divestment Resolution

This policy by the UCC is just wrong on so many levels. It reveals a remarkable lack of knowledge of what is going on in the middle east. It also reveals an inherent antisemitism that is extremely unbecoming of a Christian church.

Protesters shout slogans during a rally in Paris, France, Thursday, June 3, 2010, as they demonstrate against Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship, and man in foreground wears a t-shirt calling for a boycott on Israel. (Jacques Brinon/AP)Protesters shout slogans during a rally in Paris, France, Thursday, June 3, 2010, as they demonstrate against Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship, and man in foreground wears a t-shirt calling for a boycott on Israel. (Jacques Brinon/ AP)

Josefin Dolsten
RSSNEWSROOM

Nonbinding decision by country’s largest Protestant denomination 
further expands a three-year boycott policy

The United Church of Canada passed a resolution Tuesday during its 42nd General Council encouraging divestment from Israel in order “to address the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories by the State of Israel.”

The new resolution called for “initiating and developing a program of education and advocacy in cooperation with our partners, related to divestment from and economic sanctions against all corporations and institutions complicit in and benefiting from the illegal occupation,” according to the UCC 42nd General Council website.

The UCC is Canada’s largest Protestant denomination, with more than two million members. In 2012, the organization passed a resolution boycotting settlement-produced goods.

The statement also urged members to discourage “tourism which bolsters the oppression of Palestinians.”

The new decision was meant to be understood as focusing on “advocacy and encouragement, rather than a mandatory or binding direction to the church.”

United Church of
Canada logo
Not all UCC members, however, were in favor of the resolution.

Rev. Andrew Love, the founder of Bridges Not Boycotts, a group that opposes anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) policies in liberal Protestant churches, said, “The ugly face of anti-Semitism has found a warm embrace in the BDS campaign against Israel.”

“Now the United Church has added a divestment strategy to its boycott campaign. It is targeting Israel for attack; yet, it still thinks it can be in genuine dialogue with the Jewish community in Canada,” added Love.

The anti-BDS organization noted in a press release that UCC had also approved a policy to strengthen the relationship with Canada’s Jewish community, which the organization saw as being in “obvious contradiction” with the divestment policy.

Rev. Love, you are right-on. You are my hero for today for trying to speak truth and sense to a pathetic, uninformed policy.