United Church of Canada’s Toronto branch announced a boycott Thursday of Israeli products and companies that do business with the Israeli Army.
Their decision also supports CUPE’s (the National Public Employee’s Union, Ontario branch) decision to join an international boycott of Israel to protest how the country has treated Palestinian refugees, Ynetnews said.
The Toronto Star reported that United Church of Canada’s Toronto branch unveiled boycott of Israeli products, companies doing business with its military to end ‘illegal occupation of Palestinian lands’.
The plan calls on Ottawa to require that products originating in the occupied territories be labeled differently from those coming from the rest of Israel.
The move comes on the heels of a similar controversial move by the Ontario wing of CUPE, which last month voted to support an international boycott campaign against Israel to protest its treatment of Palestinian refugees.
"We want to commend that position," Frances Combs, co-chair of the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada’s task force on Israel was quoted by the Toronto Star as saying.
According to the report, the boycott is being undertaken only by the 300-church Toronto conference of the United Church, not the church as a whole.
The Toronto Star said Combs’s task force was asked three years ago to devise a plan for implementing a resolution passed by the Toronto conference to pressure Israel to leave the occupied lands. That resolution has never been made public until now.
The plan called on Ottawa to require that products originating in the occupied territories be labeled differently from those coming from the rest of Israel, the report said, adding that the group asked that occupied-territory products be boycotted by church members.
According to the report, the group also wants the church and its members to divest from companies supplying the Israeli military, and will be pushing for the church as a whole to adopt similar measures at its general council meeting in Thunder Bay in August.
A 20-page resolution to be debated in Thunder Bay also calls on the church to invest in Palestinian companies, the Toronto Star said.
Bruce Gregersen, who heads international programs at the United Church’s national office, told the Toronto Star that the occupation of parts of the West Bank and Gaza since 1967 has had a destabilising effect on the entire region.
*this article was sourced from the Palestinian News Agency WAFA