Thursday, August 30

The Right Course for the United Church Of Canada

The United Church of Canada should be congratulated for showing real moral courage by not succumbing to the smear tactics and intimidation they had been subjected to by some politicians and journalists over the last few weeks.
UCC's decision that the settlements built illegally by Israel in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank are the main cause of the Middle East conflict, is solidly grounded in international law.
Palestinian Christians have been the main victims of the Zionist project in the Holy Land. They constituted 20 per cent of the population of Palestine at the beginning of the British Mandate in 1920. Nearly overnight, more than 100,000 Christian Palestinians, including my family, were displaced when Israel came into being in 1948. More were displaced following Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. As a result, the number of Christian Palestinians now stands at two per cent of the total population of the Holy Land.
This explains why UCC has responded positively to the appeal issued in 2009 by 13 church leaders in Jerusalem calling for a boycott against Israel with the objective of putting an end to the Israeli occupation in the Holy Land.
Contrary to what your editorial suggests, politics is part of religion. Jesus sided with the downtrodden, drove the money-changers and bankers from the temple and was crucified by the Roman authorities for preaching his message of justice, love and equality.
Following the footsteps of Jesus, UCC takes its beliefs seriously by viewing occupation as a sin against humanity, and this is why it seeks non-violently to end the oppression of the Palestinians.
Khaled Mouammar, Richmond Hill, Ont.

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