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United Church adopts boycott of Israeli settlement goods (TORONTO STAR) Jayme Poisson 08/17/12) Source: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1243595--united-church-adopts-boycott-of-israeli-settlement-goods
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Canada’s largest Protestant denomination has enshrined in its official church policy a boycott of goods made in Israeli settlements.
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The controversial decision, made Friday by the General Council of The United Church of Canada at their 41st General Council in Ottawa, was met with condemnation and outrage from those in Canada’s Jewish community.
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“The only comments I’ve received so far are those advocating a complete severing of ties with the United Church,” said Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs Friday.
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Fogel feels the Church’s stance goes against conventional thinking and that its commentary is biased and one-sided.
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After debating a church working group’s report on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict across several days, Church council members on Wednesday affirmed some of its recommendations.
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The 29-page report, released in May, calls on church members to participate in a comprehensive boycott of items produced in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which the working group deemed illegal. Other proposals made in the report include naming the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory as a major challenge to a two-state solution in the Middle East.
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“I think it’s a statement that the United Church of Canada continues to be a church that engages in the world and tries to be faithful around justice issues that arise, and that we’re trying to help our members and other Canadians become more aware of the dire circumstances in that part of the world,” said the Very Rev. David Giuliano, a past moderator in the church.
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How the boycott will be implemented, and for how long, is not yet clear.
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At 2009 and 2006 general council meetings similar recommendations failed, largely because the council found inflammatory language problematic.
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Since its release, the report’s recommendations have created divisions among United Church members who have argued it is not the place of the Church to take sides.
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A group of nine Canadian Liberal and Conservative senators, all United Church members, have also spoken out against the boycott.
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Andrew Love, an Ottawa-area pastor, said Friday that while the council’s decision is Church policy, individual churches can still choose whether they want to follow it. Love said he would be working on a local level to build relationships and try to repair damage done.
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“As for the national level. That’s broken now,” he said.
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Also this week, the church elected its first openly gay moderator, Rev. Dr. Gary Paterson, 63, of St. Andrew’s Wellesley Church in Vancouver. Paterson officially takes up his post on Saturday, succeeding current moderator Mardi Tindal.
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With files from Josh TapperCanada’s largest Protestant denomination has enshrined in its official church policy a boycott of goods made in Israeli settlements.
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The controversial decision, made Friday by the General Council of The United Church of Canada at their 41st General Council in Ottawa, was met with condemnation and outrage from those in Canada’s Jewish community.
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“The only comments I’ve received so far are those advocating a complete severing of ties with the United Church,” said Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs Friday.
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Fogel feels the Church’s stance goes against conventional thinking and that its commentary is biased and one-sided.
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After debating a church working group’s report on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict across several days, Church council members on Wednesday affirmed some of its recommendations.
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The 29-page report, released in May, calls on church members to participate in a comprehensive boycott of items produced in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which the working group deemed illegal. Other proposals made in the report include naming the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory as a major challenge to a two-state solution in the Middle East.
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“I think it’s a statement that the United Church of Canada continues to be a church that engages in the world and tries to be faithful around justice issues that arise, and that we’re trying to help our members and other Canadians become more aware of the dire circumstances in that part of the world,” said the Very Rev. David Giuliano, a past moderator in the church.
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How the boycott will be implemented, and for how long, is not yet clear.
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At 2009 and 2006 general council meetings similar recommendations failed, largely because the council found inflammatory language problematic.
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Since its release, the report’s recommendations have created divisions among United Church members who have argued it is not the place of the Church to take sides.
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A group of nine Canadian Liberal and Conservative senators, all United Church members, have also spoken out against the boycott.
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Andrew Love, an Ottawa-area pastor, said Friday that while the council’s decision is Church policy, individual churches can still choose whether they want to follow it. Love said he would be working on a local level to build relationships and try to repair damage done.
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“As for the national level. That’s broken now,” he said.
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Also this week, the church elected its first openly gay moderator, Rev. Dr. Gary Paterson, 63, of St. Andrew’s Wellesley Church in Vancouver. Paterson officially takes up his post on Saturday, succeeding current moderator Mardi Tindal.
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With files from Josh Tapper (© Copyright Toronto Star 1996-2012 08/17/12)
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