Wiesenthal Center: United Church of Christ Vote to Delegitimize Israel Only Coddles Terrorism

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the vote by the General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) to boycott Israeli companies and to divest from companies doing business with Israel. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Center, said, “Today the UCC has voted to support the anti-peace BDS movement that will not improve a single Palestinian life but only succeeds in encouraging those seeking to demonize and weaken the Jewish state and her supporters around the world.” Rabbi Cooper continued, “What a travesty and tragedy! Instead of working to forge interfaith alliances to work together on behalf of endangered Christians around the world, instead of seeking new partnerships to forge new opportunities to invest in peace, the Jewish community is faced with another slap in the face. Jews contemplate a resolution that demonizes Israel without any attempt at placing responsibility for the Middle East impasse on the Hamas terrorists who lob rockets into civilian centers in Israel’s heartland, dig terror tunnels from which to launch attacks on Israelis, and extol the virtues of exterminating Jews in their media.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center urges UCC members to reflect on the words of John Dorhauer, the new general minister and president, who admitted that he will fulfill the vote “.....with a deep awareness at the pain that I will cause to people … wondering if the benefits of our divesting from those companies is equal to cost to the relationships that we have with people who are critical to our movement towards justice, not just in Palestine but in many other places.”

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center’s Director of Interfaith Affairs, added some historical context. “The UCC today sunk the Mayflower. It is lamentable that the heirs to the Congregationalists who brought notions of religious freedom, equality, and peace between peoples to the Plymouth Colony would subvert that message and embrace ignorance and terror.” Adlerstein added, “Just a few weeks ago the Pew Report on American churches showed Americans walking out of churches like the UCC in droves. We can see why. Why would young people want to stay in a church that makes no pretense towards fairness, and offers no more practical contribution to a complex problem than meaningless slogans that will not improve the chances of peace one iota, and only distance the two sides to the dispute?”

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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).