United Church Presbytery Group Launches Boycott Divestment Campaign against Israel
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.
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. Brian McIntosh, “encourages individuals and organizations, particularly congregations of the United Church in its region, to use economic leverage to persuade six companies operating in Canada – Caterpillar, Motorola, Ahava, Veolia, Elbit Systems and Chapters/Indigo – currently involved in illegal activities in the Palestinian Occupied Territories – to stop supporting the Israeli occupation and uphold international law.”
The Campaign responds to calls from a broad cross-section of Palestinian civil society, church leaders and Israeli peace activists, and follows similar campaigns launched some time ago by the Presbyterian Church – USA and the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, USA. The Campaign’s information kit includes an introductory brochure and cover letter, pledge forms of commitment and solidarity, and company information bulletins and sample letters, as well as prayer material, all of which can be found and downloaded on the Campaign website – www.occupiedwithpeace.org
“We have launched Occupied with Peace after almost two years of discernment and information gathering,” says Jean Lee, Task Group Chairperson. “The United Church’s General Council, at its last meeting in August of 2009, called upon us all to ‘enter into consultation, dialogue, study and prayer, and then take appropriate action toward ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory … (including, but not limited to economic boycott).’ We’ve taken that call seriously, and now join with many others in Canada and around the world who act in solidarity with Palestinians living under the daily burden, oppression and threat to life and livelihood that Israel’s occupation represents.”
“We hope and pray,” says McIntosh, “that this Boycott Divestment Campaign will be taken up by people in and beyond the United Church who care about human dignity, human rights and the rule of international law, and who realize that ending the illegal occupation of the territories, including East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, is the first step toward building a just and lasting peace for both Palestinians and Israelis.”