NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3rd, 2012
United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI) Affirms and Endorses
the Report of the Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy of the United Church of Canada
The United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel, a newly-formed national Network of United Church members, partners and friends, applaud, affirm and support the Report of the Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy, which has been prepared for consideration by the United Church’s 41st General Council, to be held in Ottawa August 11th – 18th, 2012.
We also applaud, affirm and support all of the regional groups, including Presbyteries, Conferences and grassroots social justice groups within the United Church across Canada, who have been organizing and submitting Proposals for General Council regarding Palestine/Israel. These Proposals, many of which echo some of the recommendations of the Report, will be considered along with the recommendations of the national Working Group, as the United Church seeks to fulfill the mandate of the last General Council in 2009 to update its policies.
Christian Palestinians issued a call in a 2009 document (Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth) for churches to “engage in divestment and in an economic and commercial boycott of everything produced by the occupation.” We are proud to support the recommendation that the United Church of Canada join with our Christian brothers and sisters in Palestine and Israel in a boycott of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements. This is consistent with the policy of the United Church of Canada to act in solidarity with our partners.
Brian McIntosh, current Chairperson of the Network, calls the report a “compromise of thoughtful minds. It tries to respond to the Israel occupation and the violence it generates while at the same time respectfully living with our ongoing commitment to resist true anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and human rights abuses around the world. It represents the United Church's signal of our active participation, through initiating steps toward a national boycott campaign, in the global non-violent solidarity movement, which seeks a just peace for the Middle East, in concert with student groups, trade unions and the people of many faiths who say enough is enough.”
Over the coming months the Network calls on all United Church members, alongside partners and friends, to study in detail this report and the background materials prepared by our Network, the churches of the Middle East and our partners working for peace, including Sabeel, an ecumenical Centre for Liberation Theology in Jerusalem. We further call for the support of its recommendations by delegates to General Council in August.
The United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel is a national organization of United Church members, who work with and alongside partners and friends. Some of us have served overseas in the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program of the World Council of Churches, which brings international citizens to the West Bank to experience life under occupation. We have members in every province, and also include members of a 2009 Youth for Peace delegation to Palestine/Israel.
For Information, speak to:
Brian McIntosh 416-817-2606
Jesse Root 613-240-8221 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mission Statement of the United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel
In discipleship of Christ, and in solidarity with churches and other partners in the Middle East as well as globally and in Canada, this Network covenants to engage, consolidate, nourish, and channel the energy in the United Church of Canada toward the goal of a just peace in Palestine/Israel, primarily through calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and for equal rights for all who live in Palestine/Israel, by facilitating education, promoting partnerships, coordinating advocacy, advancing policy and encouraging action.