SWC URGES LEADERS OF UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA (UCC) TO PUBLICLY DENOUNCE EXTREME ANTI-ISRAEL RESOLUTIONS IN ADVANCE OF AUGUST 9th ‘GENERAL COUNCIL’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                August 3, 2009


 

WIESENTHAL CENTER URGES LEADERS OF UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA (UCC)  TO PUBLICLY DENOUNCE EXTREME ANTI-ISRAEL RESOLUTIONS IN ADVANCE OF AUGUST 9th ‘GENERAL COUNCIL’


 

Resolutions accuse Israel of ‘ethnic cleansing’ and urge total boycott.  SWC online petition urges Church leaders to condemn language empowering “the forces of anti-Semitism and intolerance that’s a “slap in the face to the Jews of Israel and her supporters in Canada”


 


The Simon Wiesenthal Center urged the leadership of  Canada’s leading Protestant denomination,  the  United Church of Canada (UCC),  to publicly denounce virulent anti-Israel resolutions slated for the Church’s General Council that convenes this Sunday in Kelowna, BC. The four resolutions, most put forward by the World Affair Committee of the UCC Toronto Conference, propose boycotts of Israeli products, cultural and sporting institutions and divestment from companies that do business in Canada as a way of punishing Israel for what they see as its “racist” brutality against Palestinians. Most controversial is that their supporting materials accuse Israel of violations of the Geneva Convention, calling it an “occupying force” engaged in ethnic cleansing and that Israel was built on land stolen from Palestinians.


 


A July 31 letter to Ms. Nora Sanders, General Secretary of the UCC’s General Council and the Right Reverend David Guiliano, the Moderator of the General Council, from senior officials of the Wiesenthal Center and Canadian Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said, “It is difficult to begin to catalogue the moral evils of some of the resolutions and the attached ‘supporting material.’  They are better suited to propagandists of Hitler’s Germany in the ‘30’s than the largest Protestant Church group in Canada…. The genocidally-charged phrase that Israel is guilty of “ethnic cleansing” is the language of the worst anti-Semites who have no argument to deploy other than the Big Lie.”


 


UCC officials earlier made a statement that, “the significance of Judaism as at once a religion, a people, and a covenant community, ... [and] that the State of Israel has the right to exist in peace and security,” and called upon Israel’s neighbors to recognize her “right to exist as a Jewish state within safe and secure borders,” but stopped short from outright condemnation of the controversial proposals.


 


The Wiesenthal Center called on the Church leaders to do more. “If resolutions were introduced calling for violence against abortion clinics, or denial of full civil rights to gays, or the compulsory sterilization of  low-IQ people, would you send out a press release stating that they are not indicative of the feelings of the membership? Would you not use all means at your disposal to quash such resolutions, and failing that, to proclaim loud and clear –in advance of voting – that you find such resolutions morally reprehensible?,” they asked.


 


The Center is also launching an online campaign (www.wiesenthal.com) calling on its over 400,000 members worldwide and friends of Middle East peace to sign a petition to the UCC urging a clear and public denunciation of the resolutions. 


 


The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).


 


For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036.


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