United Church of Canada backs off on Israel, sort of. But bottled water?

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Hot on the heels of their quandary over whether or not to boycott and ban from within the purchase of all bottled water on the basis that it should be free for all as a “human right” (despite serving it at their annual conference while they discussed it), the liberal-left United Church of Canada (Party) has decided to rescind its previous anti-Israel stand and end the boycott of Israel and Israeli investment, sort of. 

It originally invoked this boycott to appease the (Marxist?) CUPE Ontario public sector labor union members of the Church (Party) whose union still boycotts Israel (though not Iran).

United Church backs off plan to divest from Israel


Mary Vallis, National Post
Published: Friday, August 18, 2006

THUNDER BAY – Faced with a proposal that would have seen the United Church of Canada’s members divest from companies involved in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the Church last night approved a policy that encourages investment only in “peaceful pursuits.”

The policy implicitly discourages investment in Canadian and international companies involved in the Israeli occupation but never uses the controversial word “divestment.” Instead, the policy intends to help find peace for Israel and the Palestinians by encouraging a “pro-investment strategy.” It promotes investment in companies that denounce violence and contribute to a “secure and economically viable Palestinian state alongside a secure and economically viable state of Israel.”

“Divestment has a great deal of association to it. But the intention of the motion is still somewhat similar,” said Bruce Gregersen, a member of the Church’s senior leadership team.

“The Church is now requesting or encouraging its members, its constituents, its ministries and congregations to only invest in companies and corporations that support peace and justice in the Middle East.

That would likely include most every company in Israel, who like all Israelis, want nothing more than the right to live in peace and harmony and to go about their business.  What a strident policy!  By the way, it also includes this web site, yet so far the United Church of Canada has chosen not to invest in any advertising here.  Apparently their views are more “global” and “overtly liberal” than merely “Christian” or “Canadian”, and are more concerned with matters “bottled” than matters “germane to anything”. 

The Church’s position on the Middle East has been under scrutiny for several months. In June, its Toronto division endorsed a controversial resolution by the Canadian Union of Public Employees supporting an international “campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until that state recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination.”

By the way, I’m unable to find out whether or not they decided to ban bottled water—a decision which was supposed to be made yesterday.  Perhaps they’re going to think about it over a nice jug o’ Kool Aid.

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