United Church continues to bash Israel....
Sounds like a bizarre press conference....
A regional branch of the United Church of Canada (UCC), along with a number of like-minded groups, held a vehemently anti-Israel press conference last week at the Religious Society of Friends.
Together with the Toronto chapter of Independent Jewish Voices (IJV), Muslim Unity Group, Canadian Arab Federation (CAF), Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) and the Toronto Quaker community, the South West Presbytery of the United Church called a poorly attended news conference, to protest what they said was the “Harper government’s dismal record on human rights for Palestinians and the growing Canadian movement to uphold those rights.”
But it didn’t take long for the press conference to turn to Israel-bashing and anti-Zionism.
Khaled Mouammar, president of the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF), declared that the current Canadian government “helps to foster antisemitism” by linking anti-Zionism to antisemitism.
This was one of several strange statements made at the event by panelists Brian McIntosh, Holy Land Awareness and Action Task Group, South West Presbytery of the United Church of Canada; Judy Deutsch, IJV’s Toronto chapter; Mohammed Shokr, Muslim Unity Group and Lyn Adamson of the Toronto Quaker community.
Deutsch suggested reading works by the likes of notorious anti-Zionist activists Ilan Pappe and Richard Falk to gain the proper historic perspective, and Mouammar talked about the current “occupation” being the issue of the day, refusing to substantiate the claim that immediately after its establishment, the Jewish state attacked its Arab neighbours.
McIntosh condemned “people who perpetrate suicide bombers from whichever side of the conflict,” although he had difficulty citing examples of Israel’s suicide bombers. He then cited the accusation that “prominent people who are above reproach” – such as former US President Jimmy Carter – say that Israel is an apartheid state.
“We support efforts of the CPCCA [Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism]…but we fear it has an agenda to keep out any criticism of Israel as antisemitism” and to “criminalize debate,” McIntosh said.
Deutsch quoted from “Jewish people with impeccable credentials,” including Ursula Franklin, a recipient of the Order of Canada for her achievements in the field of physics, who discussed her “shame about being Canadian and Jewish.”
(In fact, Franklin, whose mother was Jewish, was a practising Quaker. After 9/11, she was outspoken against the war on terror.)