The United Church Of Canada debates the Israeli Boycott

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Diogenes Diogenes's picture
The United Church Of Canada debates the Israeli Boycott

continued from here (was United Church of Canada in bed with the CJC).

Re-titled for obvious reasons.

Here is hoping that the UCC delegates have the resolve to make some of these resolutions stick and that we get a little help from our friends.

And may Bernie Farber and the CJC publicity/thought squad choke on their own bile!

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

An op-ed piece of rubbish from Margaret Wente of the Glop and Pail (comments disabled, of course)

How Israel became South Africa

Quote:
But the analogy with South Africa is badly flawed. Under apartheid, non-white South Africans were denied the right to vote, to organize, to live where they wanted or to marry across racial lines.

Quote:
In Israel, Israeli Arabs make up 20 per cent of the population, and are full citizens. The conflict is not racial. It is a national-religious struggle for land, not unlike many others around the world. There's another difference, too. As pundit Michael Kinsley put it, "If Israel is white South Africa and the Palestinians are supposed to be the blacks, where is their Mandela?"

 

Really Ms Wente? That's not the impression I have...

Evicted Palestinians sleep rough in protest

Sheikh Jarrah really says it all- Larry Derfner, Jerusalem Post, Aug 5, 2009

Full citizens but NOT equal Ms Wente. As for the 'Palestinian Mandala', perhaps he can be found in an Israeli jail. I am not a pundit; so forgive me if I ask 'Where is the Jewish version of Mahatma Ghandi ?'

She/he/they are out there supporting other Israel BSD efforts. I don't expect to be reading about them anytime soon in the Globe and Mail.

Gus Williams

The apartheid label still seems to me to be faulty. I understood that 10 Israeli Arabs sit in the israeli Knesst and one on its Supreme Court, Did Soth African Blacks have similar rights?

Unionist

South African Blacks had their own little bantustans, the lucky devils. Israel is still working on fraudulent self-government for its "Blacks".

George Victor

 

Need help on this one, u.

In a quote at the end of "the other" UCC thread (#106), the Sephardim/Ashkenazi differences of origin is raised.

An article I read many moons back (and I mean many) said that the more tolerant position of the Ashkenazi was undercut with the gradual influx of the Seraphim, who were being pulled/pushed from elsewhere in their Mediterranean beginnings.

Any validity in that (very old) story?

josh

Gus Williams wrote:

The apartheid label still seems to me to be faulty. I understood that 10 Israeli Arabs sit in the israeli Knesst and one on its Supreme Court, Did Soth African Blacks have similar rights?

There are certainly aspects of apartheid.  Like the Jewish-only roads in the west bank, the settlement policies, military service, etc.  More generally is the inherent second-class status, and the discrimination that flows from it, in creating a state in the name of one religion, race or ethnicity.

Green Grouch

I think this quote from Mr Farber is revealing of how top down the CJC has become:

"Farber said he tried without success to get the church's leadership to disavow the material before the conference began.

"This was a no-brainer, accusing Jews of bribing MPs and accusing Jewish leaders of being disloyal to Canada and certain MPs of being disloyal to Canada," he said.

"We were just waiting for somebody in a leadership position within the church to say such a thing. It didn't happen until today."

That's because United Church leadership does not set church policy, and thus unelected leadership like staff, and even the elected Genreal Council Executive, cannot cherry pick and pass judgement on wording before the full assembly of the church has had a chance to review it. Various media "outlets" are picking up this quote, and it's a great description of Farber as specious martyr meeting the evil and anti Semitic United Church leadership who refused to swoop down and censor "anti Semitism".

I don't think the boycott proposals will pass. It's too bad in hindsight that there wasn't a more limited motion, perhaps focusing on divestment and boycott of operations/ corporations setting up shop in settlements. That might have gotten through and given us a better opening for the next time out.

 

Caissa

So why weren't those tactics chosen?

Winnifred

Green Grouch wrote:

I think this quote from Mr Farber is revealing of how top down the CJC has become:

"Farber said he tried without success to get the church's leadership to disavow the material before the conference began.

"This was a no-brainer, accusing Jews of bribing MPs and accusing Jewish leaders of being disloyal to Canada and certain MPs of being disloyal to Canada," he said.

"We were just waiting for somebody in a leadership position within the church to say such a thing. It didn't happen until today."

That's because United Church leadership does not set church policy, and thus unelected leadership like staff, and even the elected Genreal Council Executive, cannot cherry pick and pass judgement on wording before the full assembly of the church has had a chance to review it. Various media "outlets" are picking up this quote, and it's a great description of Farber as specious martyr meeting the evil and anti Semitic United Church leadership who refused to swoop down and censor "anti Semitism".

 

You are kidding? Do you mean that the UCC required permission of its delegates to speak out against anti-Semitism. You mean when Jews are accused of bribing MPs or of disloyalty to Canada it requires a 50% majority vote in order for a leader to be critical? What next, will the UCC also have to wait for its General Council to oppose the genocide in Darfur? Will the General Council have to be consulted for comment every time their are racist or homophobic attacks?

josh

"accusing Jews of bribing MPs and accusing Jewish leaders of being disloyal to Canada and certain MPs of being disloyal to Canada"
Can't let this slip by. Another example of why Bernie is so good at his job. These accusations were never made.

Caissa

Because the previous title was inaccurate.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Diogenes wrote:

Re-titled for obvious reasons.

Not obvious to me.

 

[url=http://www.cjpme.org/DisplayDocument.aspx?DO=795&RecID=31&DocumentID=43]... on Israeli Apartheid[/url]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
Apartheid in South Africa eventually bit the dust mostly because the inhabitants of that country, black, brown and white resisted it, putting their bodies and lives on the line. Their resistance was aided and abetted materially, financially, politically and spiritually by people of good will the world over. Someday the sun will rise on a post-apartheid Jerusalem, one that belongs to all the people who live there of whatever origin. This is bound to happen because Palestinians as well as substantial numbers of Israeli Jews do and will continue to resist the regime. They will do what they can. What will we do?
[url=http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/14940]Source[/url]

Caissa

Are we discussing the "in bed with" title? M.Spector?

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

Winnifred wrote:
What next, will the UCC also have to wait for its General Council to oppose the genocide in Darfur? Will the General Council have to be consulted for comment every time their are racist or homophobic attacks?

Whoa - that's just crazy talk Winni - worse yet, maybe the UCC will reject the notion that an Israeli boycott is antisemitism! Who knows WHAT these lunatics are capable of!

Tell me, was Bernie wearing his "Nobody knows I'm Gay" t-shirt when he addressed the council?

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

The National Post has enlisted the help of Terry Glavin, who has all the charm of a speed bump, to help craft the Izzy Asper point of view.  This piece, an insult to all protestants everywhere, may not be all that helpful to Bernie's cause.

Poor Protestant bastards. Who's sorry now?

Winnifred

josh wrote:
"accusing Jews of bribing MPs and accusing Jewish leaders of being disloyal to Canada and certain MPs of being disloyal to Canada"
Can't let this slip by. Another example of why Bernie is so good at his job. These accusations were never made.

I suppose you wish they were not made but sadly they were.Read the supporting documents to the resolutions. It was noted that MPs have received what are tantamount to "bribes" to take trips to Israel. Well who delivered these "bribes"? OHHHH could it be Jewish leadership? And what of trips given by Palestinain, Chineses Indian, Turkish Canadian groups? No you see its only Canadian Jews that these support documents and these resolutions cared about.

And yes unamed MPs and others were noted to be "dual citizens" of both Canada and Israel. Now let's put aside for a moment that there are a number of MPs that hold dual citizenship from a variety of countries, do you not find it the least bit odd that no MP was mentioned by name? Is it a lie then or is it just an anti-Semitic canard levelled at any Jewish MP? All this not to forget that the general issue of dual loyalty was also noted.

So Josh you can rationalize any which a way you want ...and if you didnt see it that's fine. I am only grateful that the UCC General Council members did.

josh

I actually agreed that the language should be changed.  But that doesn't mean the original language said what Farber claimed it said.  It didn't. 

As for the tiresome complaint--"what about this country and that country"--the resolution was about Israel.  Why should they have to include every other country.

martin dufresne

IJV attends the United Church of Canada's 40th general council

Kelowna Daily Courier
2009-08-10
Church braces for debate
J.P. Squire
The pounding of aboriginal drums,
the chanting of First Nation children, song, dance and prayers launched the
United Church of Canada's 40th general council Sunday morning while a storm
of controversy brewed.
(...)
Poceedings were watched with interest by Sid Shnaid, co-chairman of the
Independent Jewish Voices, and Karin Brothers of the Holy Land awareness and
action task group of the Southwest Presbytery Toronto Conference.
Their two displays on the mezzanine above the gym were located at the very
end of a long line of tables filled with brochures, something they tried not
to take personally as the debate raged over four conference resolutions -
labelled anti-Semetic by the Canadian Jewish Congress.
(...)
"Our organization is adamantly opposed to the position that the Canadian
Jewish Congress is taking," said Shnaid. "We think it is very appropriate
that the national conference of a church of this stature discuss the issue
openly and freely without being browbeaten, threatened and castigated for
doing what it should be doing."
His said his organization thinks it is "outrageous" that Bernie Farber, CEO
of the CJC, will attend the conference "to try to shut down this debate," he
said.
(...)

"The CJC is playing the anti-Semetic card "because they don't have a lot
else," he said.
"They want to intimidate; they want to shut (the debate) down. They want
people to avert their eyes when it comes to the ongoing crisis there to
allow them to do what they have been doing. And we're trying to change
that."
The CJC is using the same tactics on university campuses which have
anti-apartheid weeks targeting Israel, he added, "not come up with a counter
argument, not to participate to say this is wrong but to shut it down. They
are trying to ban the use of the term, apartheid, in relation to Israel.
"They are playing a losing game. They're placing themselves on the wrong
side of the issue of free speech. It can't be won. You don't win people's
hearts and minds by telling them to shut up and go away."
Brothers added: "We're here to try and educate people to support the
proposals that came from the Toronto conference."
The CJC response "means we're relevant," she said. "Our church is looking
for relevance, and if they want to see how to be relevant, this is standing
up. And standing up to end our complicity with what's going on in the Middle
East. It's not politics; it's about human rights and it's about
international law. Every other part of our society is afraid to deal with
this. It's left to the faith community."
Under international law, the Canadian government is criminally complicit in
its support for seige of Gaza, she said.
A recent survey found one-half of the children in Gaza have lost the will to
live, Brothers said.
"Things are really awful; it's as bad as that a recent UN report said the
latest attack was hardest on the children; it was an attack on the children.
About 1,855 children were injured; over 900 are permanently disabled. This
is really horrendous, so I'm hoping the faith community will respond."
The seige is still underway with medical assistance barred from Gaza, and
residents not getting enough food and rebuilding supplies, Brothers said.
"They are being kept on their knees," she said.

Green Grouch

Agreed Josh: "I actually agreed that the language should be changed. But that doesn't mean the original language said what Farber claimed it said. It didn't. "

And yes Winnifred, the United Church system allows groups within the church to put their views forward and trusts that the group having the final say (in this case the General Council) will agree to or reject as needed. In the case of these texts-- small in the context of dozens of pages of proposals but nonetheless important-- they in my view did the right thing by rejecting them. Just as in the past, the General Council did the right thing by receiving then rejecting blatantly homophobic text at the time we were making decisions about orgainsing those of us who are out n proud. The process is messy and even ugly or painful but in a global context where organised Christianity= hierarchy, I for one would like to hold on to this small piece of democratic discussion. I do not want "leadership" deciding for me what I can and cannot read.

 

 

Joel_Goldenberg

martin dufresne wrote:

IJV attends the United Church of Canada's 40th general council

Poceedings were watched with interest by Sid Shnaid, co-chairman of the
Independent Jewish Voices, and Karin Brothers of the Holy Land awareness and
action task group of the Southwest Presbytery Toronto Conference.
Their two displays on the mezzanine above the gym were located at the very
end of a long line of tables filled with brochures, something they tried not
to take personally as the debate raged over four conference resolutions -
labelled anti-Semetic by the Canadian Jewish Congress.
(...)
"Our organization is adamantly opposed to the position that the Canadian
Jewish Congress is taking," said Shnaid. "We think it is very appropriate
that the national conference of a church of this stature discuss the issue
openly and freely without being browbeaten, threatened and castigated for
doing what it should be doing."
His said his organization thinks it is "outrageous" that Bernie Farber, CEO
of the CJC, will attend the conference "to try to shut down this debate," he
said.

 

Anybody have any comment on this part of today's National Post's front page story on this issue?

 

The other table is maintained by Independent Jewish Voices; it offers to United Church members a pamphlet that describes the “Israel Lobby.” The document claims:
“It will be a crime to doubt the Holocaust. It will become a crime to note the disproportionate representation of Jews in the media, finance, and foreign policy…To keep American minds captive, the Lobby is working to ban as anti-semitic [SIC] any truth or disagreeable fact that pertains to Israel…Most of Europe has already
criminalized doubting the Holocaust…Why is the Holocaust a subject that is off limits to examination?”

 

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/holy-post/archive/2009/08/12/is...

josh

Other than the total context of the statements does not appear to be set forth?  Or that it appears to be an effort at preventing the criminalizing of speech?  Or are you saying that they are maintaining that the Holocaust never happened?

George Victor

 

Margaret Wente's column this morning, "How Israel became South Africa" says, early on, "The United Church of Canada (which seems to be more interested in social justice than in God) is engaged in one of its periodic wrangles over Israel."

Don't know if it'll appear, but my letter to the Globe, not quesioning Margaret's apparent newfound faith (she is starting to get up there in years, though) , simply asks why her take on Christianity today seems more informed by Ecclesiastes than the Sermon on the Mount, which is chock-a-block full of concern for social justice.

Joel_Goldenberg

I just saw what the NP has presented. Will be interesting to see if IJV responds.

josh

The right believes that churches should be in the business of "saving souls," not social activism.  Unless that activism is in support of the right.  Then, anyone who attacks the activists are guilty of religious bigotry.

josh

Joel_Goldenberg wrote:

I just saw what the NP has presented. Will be interesting to see if IJV responds.

National Post smears a left-wing group.  Dog bites man.

Joel_Goldenberg

josh wrote:

Joel_Goldenberg wrote:

I just saw what the NP has presented. Will be interesting to see if IJV responds.

National Post smears a left-wing group.  Dog bites man.

 

Well, the NP is just quoting a pamphlet. The quote is inflammatory enough that a response is likely necessary, especially if the quote or the source is inaccurate.

josh

Sure it could be considered inflammatory.  Except that I am also sure it was taken out of context.  The CJC has been known to be enthusiastic supporters of the criminalization of speech.  (Just as the NP is an enthusiastic demonizer of anyone on the left).  That's what appears to be what the quote is responding to.

 

Joel_Goldenberg

josh wrote:

Other than the total context of the statements does not appear to be set forth?  Or that it appears to be an effort at preventing the criminalizing of speech?  Or are you saying that they are maintaining that the Holocaust never happened?

 

Your second statement appears to be correct. Here's the entire article from Counterpunch.

 

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts05072009.html

 

ETA: Appears we cross-posted.

Joel_Goldenberg

Here's the entire context of the last sentence in that quote. Note the credentials of the author:

 

Most of Europe has already criminalized doubting the Holocaust.  It is a crime even to confirm that it happened but to conclude that less than 6 million Jews were murdered.  

Why is the Holocaust  a subject that is off limits to examination? How could a case buttressed by hard facts possibly be endangered by kooks and anti-semitics?  Surely the case doesn’t need to be protected by thought control.  

Imprisoning people for doubts is the antithesis of modernity.  

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: [email protected]

Winnifred

Questioning the Holocaust has now become part of the IJV agenda? Why am I not surprised?

josh

Oh for Christ sake.  Why can't some people learn to read before they smear.

The CJC seeking to smear the IJV.  Why am I not surprised.

Unionist

Winnifred wrote:
Questioning the Holocaust has now become part of the IJV agenda? Why am I not surprised?

What a vicious mouth you have - a defender of Israeli racists and mass murderers, accusing democratic-minded Jews of questioning the Holocaust. What are you doing here, in a place where thoughtful and caring human beings discuss and debate the principal issues facing humanity?

 

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
I suppose you wish they were not made but sadly they were.Read the supporting documents to the resolutions.

 

Quote:
Questioning the Holocaust has now become part of the IJV agenda? Why am I not surprised?

 

Sadly Mishei, your writing style hasn't changed.

Michelle

Winnifred wrote:
Questioning the Holocaust has now become part of the IJV agenda? Why am I not surprised?

You can't be serious.

One week suspension for disseminating what you know to be (or at least SHOULD know to be) lies on this web site.  Unbelievable.

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

That is a little harsh Michelle.

Winnifred is not lying if what she alleges is what she truly believes (and I give her the benefit of doubt here).

That being  said, I think the responses to Winni's posts do a better job at discrediting or correcting her jaded point of view with fellow members than banning her from Babble for a week does (Unionist - you do a great job here, keep it up!)

Let the "wisdom-of-the-crowd" do its magic.   I could have used Adam Smith's "invisible hand" anaolgy but this being a left-leaning website (Why can't everyone be equal? Why can't we all just get along?),  I choose my metaphors accordingly. Wink

 

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

United Church drops 'hurtful' anti-Israel resolutions, Brian Hutchinson, National Post

I'm disappointed of course...

When pictures of Bernie Farber and quotes from the Canadian Jewish Congress dominate news articles about the proceedings of the United Church of Canada, is it any wonder why some complain of bias in the news and raise concerns about media ownership in Canada?

The truth is out there, but it's not in Canada's mainstream media. To quote Winnifred "why am I not surprised?"

Jaku

Diogenes wrote:

United Church drops 'hurtful' anti-Israel resolutions, Brian Hutchinson, National Post

I'm disappointed of course...

When pictures of Bernie Farber and quotes from the Canadian Jewish Congress dominate news articles about the proceedings of the United Church of Canada, is it any wonder why some complain of bias in the news and raise concerns about media ownership in Canada?

The truth is out there, but it's not in Canada's mainstream media. To quote Winnifred "why am I not surprised?"

 So let me understand Diogenes, is the inference around "media ownership" really mean "Jewish ownership"? I will await a response before I comment further. Thanks.

josh

Not to speak for him/her, but to paraphrase the old commercial for Levi's rye bread, you don't have to be Jewish to be biased in your coverage of the I/P conflict, or inter- and intra-religious disputes.

Gus Williams

Josh, I agree with you wholeheartedly. However Jaku's question is not without foundation. All too often the issue of "media control" is placed on Jewish doorsteps and is not so veiled a code for Jewish conspiracy.

I am not suggesting this is Diogenes' intent but it is important he clear this up.

josh

I agree, Gus.  Again, I can't speak for him, but, based on his previous posts, including one where questioned the suspension of a poster he was dueling with, I really doubt that was his intent.

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Cueball wrote:

Bullshit.

Agreed.

And Winnifred knew full well what he/she was doing, and should have recieved a suspension long, long ago for his/her blatant lies and repeated denials of well-established facts.

Cueball Cueball's picture

josh wrote:

I agree, Gus.  Again, I can't speak for him, but, based on his previous posts, including one where questioned the suspension of a poster he was dueling with, I really doubt that was his intent.

 

Get real Josh. Why don't you encourage them further with their "are you now, or have you ever been" questions. How many antisemites post at Babble Gus? The whole world wants to see your list.

These tactics of poisoning the well, and latent accusations are part and parcel of the whole system of using ad hominem attacks, rather than cogent arguement to defend Israeli policies.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Bullshit. Why don't you "clear" up wether or not your disinformation about women being forced to wear Burquas in the Gaza Strip was intentionally spreading "false news", or if it was simple ignorance? The deliberate spreading of defamatory false news targetting ethnic minorities has been identified as racist slander in Canadian law and successfully prosecuted under hate crimes legislation.

Michelle

Why not just ignore them, then?  Jaku's already said he won't follow up until he gets a response, so if Diogenes and the rest of you don't bother answering him, then you don't have to put up with any further comments from Jaku.  Everybody wins.

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

I have been ignoring them, and then the thread gets overun with this innuendo and smearing, as always. Occassionally one has to point it out, otherwise the weeds take over the garden. A few weeds is not a bad thing at all, but you can't let it get out of hand.

Caissa

I agree with post #35.

Michelle

I don't care.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I do.

Unionist

Gus Williams wrote:
Josh, I agree with you wholeheartedly. However Jaku's question is not without foundation. All too often the issue of "media control" is placed on Jewish doorsteps and is not so veiled a code for Jewish conspiracy.

That is correct. As anyone who has lurked here for a few years will know, whenever any comment surfaces about "Jewish" influence in the media, Hollywood, financial system, etc., a flurry of nasty words like "Nazi bastard scum" tends to erupt, unsolicited, from my keyboard.

It's really simple: Anyone who mixes up Jews with supporters of Israel - whichever "side" they're on - deserves to be treated like the antisemite which they are.

And yes, there have been posts on babble, anti-Israel in nature, which go further and attribute bad things to "Jews" or the "Jewish lobby". Such posters either retract fast, or they get their sorry asses kicked far from this healthy place.

Having said that, if the National Post and similar publications, subject to media ownership concentration, are used (as they are) for ultra-right-wing, anti-people, anti-worker, pro-Israel, Islamophobic, or similar campaigns, they should be condemned, and it is perfectly legitimate to point to concentration of ownership to help explain how such vicious extremist viewpoints can achieve so much play in social discourse. As long as one doesn't step over the line and use "Jew" as a synonym for rich and powerful.

Caissa

thread drift/I'm sure you don't. This falls into to thread of atmosphere around here.  IMHO, suspensions for unpopular positions is not the answer./end thread drift.

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