The United Church of Canada's Toronto branch will today unveil a boycott of Israeli products and companies doing business with its military to end what it calls the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.
The move comes on the heels of a similar controversial move by the Ontario wing of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which last month voted to support an international boycott campaign against Israel to protest its treatment of Palestinian refugees.
"We want to commend that position," said Frances Combs, co-chair of the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada's task force on Israel.
The boycott is being undertaken only by the 300-church Toronto conference of the United Church, not the church as a whole.
"This is not a boycott against Israel," Combs said, adding that only occupied-territory products are to be targeted. "We affirm the right of Israel to exist."
The group also wants the church and its members to divest from companies supplying the Israeli military, and will be pushing for the church as a whole to adopt similar measures at its general council meeting in Thunder Bay in August.
A 20-page resolution to be debated in Thunder Bay also calls on the church to invest in Palestinian companies.
There's only one problem with investing in Palestine; no sane businessman will do it. Not when the Palestinian Authority can hardly control its own territory, and is more interested in plundering everything in sight instead of building a functioning state. Only the arms dealers and the shadiest of operators would even try to do business in Palestine.
The United Church brain trust would, however, be naive enough to dump the collection plate money down such a sinkhole. And they probably will, even though they know that much of their aid money probably ended up lining some PA kleptocrat's pockets.
Well, it's their money, not mine. But perhaps the people in the pews might complain.
Source: Toronto Star