I hope the United Church doesn't back down. I don't care if they call you names or whatever.
I think 2010 and 2011 are going to be bad for israel. There is so much animosity towards them from different people for different reasons.
KELOWNA, B.C. — The Canadian Jewish Congress says its relationship with Canada’s largest protestant denomination is in jeopardy because of resolutions to be debated at the United Church’s general meeting next week.
Bernie Farber calls the four proposals anti-Semitic.
“Anybody that votes in favour of this, votes in favour of anti-Semitism,” Farber, the group’s chief executive officer, said in an interview.
Farber, as well as other congress members, are on their way to the United Church’s general council in an effort to lobby the 400 delegates to reject the proposals.
The four resolutions are among 105 to be debated at the meeting in Kelowna, B.C.
They call on the United Church “to advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions.”
Another urges the church to “support the international campaign of boycott ... divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination.”
Farber said he is most concerned about statements made in the background portion of the resolutions, which in one case refers to “questionable positions of Canadian members of Parliament.”
The document notes that some MPs have accepted sponsored trips to Israel, “which might be called bribes” and said “some members of Parliament are affiliated with the State of Israel.”
“Never in my life would I have thought I would see such accusations coming from one of Canada’s mainstream church organizations,” Farber said.
“It is mind-boggling, really.”
The church’s moderator, Rev. David Giuliano, acknowledged the proposals are controversial, but he noted once they have been brought forward by one of the church’s 13 regions, they must be debated.
“We’re a church that debates these things in the open and while some people may have put a proposal forward, it by no means says at this point that it is endorsed by the national church,” Giuliano said.
“It’s something that we’re being asked to discuss and consider, and by some people approve.”
Giuliano acknowledged the proposals “at face value, are quite offensive to some people in the Jewish community because of the implications for Israel and are perceived even as anti-Semitic.”
He said when the proposals came in, his office recognized there would be concern and alerted the Jewish Congress.
Farber said he tried for three weeks to get a meeting with church leaders but his calls were not returned.
Giuliano said the debate will go ahead.
“One of the things that’s core to our identify is our willingness to wrestle with hard issues.”
Three of the proposals were brought forward by the church’s Toronto region and the fourth was proposed by the Montreal and Ottawa conference.
All decried Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, but the Montreal-Ottawa submission also urged the church to publicly state that the Palestinians must acknowledge Israel’s right to exist and must stop suicide bombings and other violent attacks on the Israeli people.
Among the other 105 resolutions to be debated during the church’s general council meeting next week are proposals on the environment, on free trade with Colombia and on organ donation.
At the end of the meeting, the 400 delegates will choose a new moderator, who will serve as the church’s leader for three years.
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