Sunday, August 05, 2012

Canadian Friends of Peace Now Supports United Church Motion to Boycott Settlements Products

The following letter appeared in the Canadian Jewish News.

The United Church report
In the guest voice “The United Church should not boycott Israel” (June 21), Shimon Fogel, the CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), takes the United Church to task for urging a boycott of settlement products and characterizes their recent report as “marked by historical distortions” and one-sided. I have, as a historian, perused the report and find it to be fairly balanced, giving due weight to the legitimate security concerns of Israelis, as well as to the national claims of both peoples. I would congratulate our Christian friends for having produced a balanced and thoughtful document. Fogel, however, takes exception to their call for a boycott of settlement products. Again, we might congratulate the church for eschewing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which they rightly regard as an assault on the legitimacy of Israel and the democratic forces within the country. They have taken a moderate and responsible position.
Fogel acknowledges the Jewish community has a healthy diversity of opinion, presumably extending to the settlements, but then proceeds to argue that CIJA must react when the church aims to target Israelis for boycott. Fogel has thereby extended CIJA’s legitimate defence of Israel to the defence of settlements, which is still a hotly debated issue. In The Crisis of Zionism, Peter Beinart urges us to distinguish between the democratic Israel, behind the green line, and the undemocratic Israel of the occupation and settlements, the correct target for a boycott. Likewise, Peace Now joined the settlement boycott, after the Knesset made it illegal to advocate such actions and subject to civil damages. Fogel and CIJA are out of line in extending their protection to the settlement enterprise.
Stephen Scheinberg
Co-Chair, Canadian Friends of Peace Now

Ken yirbu.

And you can personally join such a boycott. But despite the good intentions of the poster at the top of this article, settlement goods are not often clearly labelled "Produce of the West Bank." To get a more complete list take a look at Who Profits.


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