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Thursday, July 24, 2014

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United Church’s proposed boycot

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 Rabbi Frydman-Kohl’s “open letter” to Rev. David Allen, executive secretary of the United Church of Canada, regarding the church’s Working Group on Israeli/Palestine Policy Report calling for a boycott of products made in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank, is disingenuous at best (“Church should not take adopt anti-Israel policy,” Aug. 9). His long letter rambles across elements irrelevant to the issues. All Israeli governments since 1967 have strongly encouraged the incursion and expansion of Israeli cities, towns and agricultural settlements in the West Bank, regardless of how prospects for a negotiated peace are affected. The recent General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States overwhelmingly endorsed a similar recommendation by 71 per cent, as did the huge United Methodist Church there. The time is long past when Israel’s stubborn refusal to cease and desist can be tolerated. As Peter Beinart wrote in the New York Times last March, this is a peaceful way “to save Israel” to “keep alive the hope of a Jewish democratic state alongside a Palestinian one.”

Bernard Katz

Toronto

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