We may be quietly witnessing these days an important change in Middle Eastern history. The calm, rational human emphasis on ethical behavior and the quest for peace and justice could be triumphing over the attempt to spread victimization and hysteria and to overlook violent and criminal behavior.
This development was clear this week in the United Church of Canada’s vote to boycott products from Israeli settlements. This was in contrast to the exhortations by former U.S.
Members of the United Church of Canada, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, voted Wednesday to affirm a controversial motion supporting a boycott of goods produced in Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.
Wednesday’s vote was preceded by nearly six hours of contentious debate, in which the church’s general council members nitpicked the proposal’s wording and heard drawn-out testimonies from representatives on both sides of the issue.
The motion was one of several recommended by a report released by a church working group last May.
This week, the United Church of Canada’s governing body will decide whether to endorse a boycott of goods imported to Canada from Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. The boycott, recommended by a United Church working group, is both legally and morally just.
Criticism has been levelled by a group of nine Canadian senators, echoed by numerous pro-Israel groups and commentators, who fret about the church interfering in Canadian foreign policy.
The Holy Land Awareness and Action Task Group, of the Social Justice and World Affairs Committee within South West Presbytery of the United Church of Canada, has launched Occupied with Peace in Palestine, a Boycott/Divestment Campaign. “The non-violent Campaign,” says spokesperson Rev.