Divest from Israel says the Protestant United Church of Canada

A Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) protest against Israel in Melbourne, Australia, on June 5, 2010
Mohamed Ouda via Wikimedia Commons
Resolution aims 'to address the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories by the State of Israel'

Hoping to encourage divestment from Israel, The United Church of Canada (UCC) approved a new resolution on Tuesday during their 42nd General Council - which aims “to address the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories by the State of Israel.”

According to the website of the 42nd General Council, the resolution calls 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,”

Over two million people are members of the UCC, Canada's largest Protestant grouping. The UCC also passed a motion to boycott goods produced in the settlements in 2012. 

Also discouraging touring Israel, the statement said that “tourism which bolsters the oppression of Palestinians.”

The new motion was meant as “advocacy and encouragement, rather than a mandatory or binding direction to the church.”

There were UCC members that were not in favor of the resolution.

The founder of Bridges Not Boycotts, Rev. Andrew Love, an organization that is against liberal Protestant supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctioning (BDS) of Israel 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.

Bridges Not Boycotts also noted that the UCC is hoping to strengthen its relationship with the Jewish Community in Canada, which the organization called an "obvious contradiction" with this new divestment policy. 

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