Following around six hours of deliberation, the United Church of Canada (UCC), the largest Protestant denomination in the country, voted for boycotting products made in Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.The Toronto Star newspaper reported that a spokesperson of the UCC general council identified as Bruce Gregersen, stated that the decision is considered a significant step.
The UCC will be holding another vote on Friday to decide whether this boycott would be a regarded as a permanent policy of the church.
Israeli Ynet News reported that the Centre for Israel and the Jewish Affairs in Canada said that it was “outraged by this decision”, and considered it “a move that singled out Jewish communities for boycott”.
The Centre claimed that this decision is considered a “reckless path”, and added that the decision just dismisses the concerns of the Jewish community in Canada.
According to the Ynet, Chairman of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, David Koschitzky, stated that mainstream Jewish organization, including the Canadian Friends of Peace Now, “do not approve of this boycott decision”.
He added that this decision ignored around 100.000 families, members of different Jewish federations in Canada, and said that this decision “also ignores written rejection letters of 70 Canadian Rabbis, representing tens of thousands of Jewish families in the country”.
Israel’s settlements are located in the occupied Palestinian territories, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem. There have been several churches and organizations around the world, including educational facilities that have previously voted in favor of boycotting products made in Israel’s settlements as settlements.
Israel’s settlements in occupied Palestine are illegal under International Law, and even violate the Fourth Geneva Convention to which Israel is a signatory.