STANDWITHUS CONDEMNS UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA ANTI-ISRAEL PREJUDICE AND EXTREMISM UCC VOTES FOR SETTLEMENT BOYCOTT, SIDES WITH ENEMIES OF PEACE
(Los Angeles, CA, August 20, 2012) -- StandWithUs deplores the United Church of Canada [UCC] vote on August 17th to boycott products from Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The resolution, based on bias, misinformation, and omission of the context of terrorism, calls for collective punishment of Israeli Jews.
“It is shocking that the UCC would endorse such a counterproductive and bigoted policy. Nobody knows where future borders between Israel and the West Bank will be. That can only be determined by direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, according to all signed agreements between them. So why would the UCC call for collective punishment of Israeli Jews who live in West Bank communities that most peace proposals have assumed will be on the Israeli side of a future border? What gives them the authority, knowledge, or moral stature to dictate where future borders should be, and to punish Israel for not complying with their dictates? In effect, the UCC is endorsing Palestinian extremists who refuse to return to the negotiating table to work out these issues. The UCC resolution will contribute to preventing, not promoting, peace,” stated StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein.
“It is even more shocking that the resolution does not mention terrorism or Hamas and its genocidal calls for murdering Jews and ‘obliterating’ Israel. Why isn’t terrorism even in their vocabulary? They seem to presume it doesn’t exist though the Palestinian group, Hamas, governs Gaza and over 10,000 rockets and mortars have been fired at Jewish communities in southern Israel. They ignore terrorism from the West Bank. Just last year, Palestinian terrorists stole into the home of a sleeping family and slaughtered them, including their 3-month-old baby. This resolution is out of touch with reality, and is the height of irresponsibility. It abets extremists and recommends policies, such as moving the security barrier, that will make it easier for terrorists to murder Jews, ” emphasized Rothstein.
Given the thousands being slaughtered in Syria and the persecution of Copts and other Christians in the region, why did the UCC choose to single out and punish Israel, the only Middle Eastern democracy and the only Middle Eastern country where the Christian population is growing instead of declining? “The only reasonable explanation is anti-Jewish bigotry,” said Rothstein.
Most shocking of all, the resolution expresses “deep regret” that the UCC had formerly called on “Palestinians to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state.” Yet, this acknowledgement is one of the essentials for peace.
The resolution repeats a litany of other extremist Palestinian positions that deny Jewish rights, and it ignores or implicitly discredits all that Israel has done to make peace with its neighbors for the past 64 years, most recently in 2000 and 2008. It blames the “occupation” for violence in the region, ignoring the fact that violence against Jews restoring their homeland began over 100 years ago, long before any ‘occupation,’ and that the violence and unrest of the ‘Arab spring’ have nothing to do with Israel. The resolution pretends that Israel and the Palestinians are equally guilty of incitement to hatred and violence when it is clear that Israel consistently promotes peaceful coexistence while Palestinian officials and society promote Jew-hatred and glorification of terrorists who murder Israeli civilians.
The prejudice of the UCC resolution is especially illustrated by its recommending the Kairos document as a source for the Church. The Kairos document is a notorious anti-Israel polemic that supports replacement theology, the notion Christians replaced Jews in G-d’s Covenant.
“The UCC apparently allowed itself to be misled by Sabeel, the Palestinian Christian Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, which has been exposed for its anti-Semitism and its denial of Jewish rights. Sabeel and UCC have worked closely together. It is shameful that the UCC has been influenced by this relationship,” explained Rothstein.
In passing this resolution, the UCC has also betrayed its own membership. A recent poll indicated that 78% of members believe the UCC should remain neutral on the Palestinian-Israeli issue, that 95% do not believe Israeli settlements are the major obstacle to peace, and that the majority oppose a boycott of Israeli settlements.
“This is a sad day for the UCC. It has shown itself to be morally bankrupt. It has betrayed those who long for Israeli-Palestinian peace and who believed the UCC might give spiritual or moral guidance. Instead, the UCC adopted a destructive policy that will hurt the thousands of Palestinians who work in Jewish West Bank communities and that discredits and sabotages existing Palestinian-Israeli cooperation. While the Middle East is a tinder box threatened by the rising tide of radical Islamists,the UCC has chosen to side with extremists instead of with the lone democracy that is fervently searching for peace with its neighbors. Our hope is that the rank and file of the UCC will lead the way in overturning this bigoted resolution. We will certainly do all we can to help educate the UCC membership about the facts and about how they can play a constructive instead of destructive role in the region, ” concluded Rothstein.