The United Church of Canada has come under increasing criticism and scrutiny since the release of the report of its Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy.
The report has been condemned as one sided in its bias against Israel and much of it relies on a document called A Moment of Truth: Kairos Palestine. The Kairos Palestine document, as it is known, has itself received condemnation for being anti-Semitic.
In denial of the face of historical fact and Biblical references, it renounces a special connection between the Jewish people and Israel. It refers to the occupation of disputed Palestinian territories as “a sin against God and humanity” and makes a disgraceful effort to lend the theological weight of Christianity to support Palestinian renunciation of the peace process. The document denigrates the right of Israeli Jews to self-defense, while exclusively blaming Israel for violence with a facile assessment that, “if there were no occupation, there would be no resistance, no fear and no insecurity. This is our understanding of the situation. Therefore, we call on the Israelis to end the occupation. Then they will see a new world in which there is no fear, no threat but rather security, justice and peace.”
This understanding ignores the facts that Arab states had tried, unsucessfuly, to eliminate Israel from the time of the birth of its statehood in 1948, well before the “occupation.” It ignores that Palestinians had been killed in far greater numbers under Jordanian rule than that of Israel.
Most significantly, it ignores the reality that the Palestinian leadership continues to glorify murderers and terrorists, incites hatred against Jews, and has proclaimed that the peace process is really a ruse for the ultimate destruction of Israel.
The Unites Church of Canada’s embrace of such a document is like its embrace of the pro-Iranian terror apologist George Galloway, who continues to advocate Jihad against Israel . Both show the United Church leadership, when it comes to the issue of Israel, demonstrates neither Christian principles of love nor a fair-minded interest in a peaceful settlement to the Palestinian/Israeli dispute. Instead, they behave as dilettantes who want to be seen as having the particular idea of “progressive” social justice as advocated by a radical left that is heavily partisan against Israel and the United States.
As if to confirm this, the United Church included some very telling language in its announcement that Jim Cairney, from its Hamilton Conference, has been appointed to serve as their ecumenical accompanier in the World Council of Churches' Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel. Their press release states that “Jim brings a high commitment to a peaceful, just, and non-violent resolution of the Occupation of Palestine.”
Very clearly, the goals of the United Church are not peace, or justice or security for Israelis, but making sure that no Jew is “occupying” what it sees as Palestinian land.
Several Canadian Senators who are members of the United Church have renounced its Working Group’s report as have many grass roots members and clergy.
Hopefully, the rank-and-file of the United Church of Canada will be able to show its wayward leaders some common sense in rejecting its Working Group’s advocacy of a boycott of Israeli settlement goods when it is voted upon at the denomination's 41st General Council, which meets in Ottawa, August 11–18, 2012.