United Church of Canada's Anti-Israel Moves Debase Interfaith Relations; Embolden Extremists

August 16, 2012

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights NGO that is deeply involved in the interfaith community, denounces the expected vote tomorrow  of the United Church of Canada (UCC) at its meeting in Ottawa, Canada, to apologize to the Palestinians for earlier urging them to recognize Israel as a Jewish State.

"The UCC's so-called apology to Palestinians is actually a slap in the face to the 6 million Jewish citizens of democratic Israel, to UCC's Canadian Jewish neighbors and to World Jewry," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. "The adoption of this anti-peace resolution is proof-positive that UCC leadership is endorsing and promoting an extremist political program wrapped in theological discourse. By the UCC catering to the extremists who deny the validity Israel’s Jewish identity, no Israeli will take any of the church's initiatives - present or future - seriously."

"It comes as no surprise that the Church will apparently be calling on its members to boycott products from Israeli communities on the West Bank. That fits neatly into a carefully orchestrated international political campaign to demonize Israel. We can assure members of the church that Israel will continue to seek peace with its neighbors whether or not UCC members buy Israeli beauty products or dates," Cooper added.

“The real loser,” added Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center’s director of interfaith affairs, “is the moral standing of the Church, which is removing itself from any relationship with the Jewish community, voiding the gains of a half century, while broadcasting the message loud and clear, ‘Lovers of Zion', Jews and Christians, not welcome here.’”

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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).