The article, “Uniting Church in Australia faces backlash on anti-Israel boycott” (Dec 15, 2015) refers to the resolution from the Church’s 2015 assembly. While a full-fledged boycott of Israel was rejected (as suggested in the original text), the edited resolution still relies on the Kairos Palestine document and the World Council of Churches group, and supports a partial boycott of Israel. These aspects of the resolution should be troubling for those interested in a peaceful solution.
BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions), even in part, is immoral. By singling out Israel and using double standards, its supporters undermine the values of universal human rights. The Church claims to pursue peace, but BDS promotes conflict and increases misunderstanding, divisiveness and hate.
This can be seen in the reliance on Kairos Palestine, which calls for BDS against Israel and denies the Jewish religious and historical connection to any part of modern day Israel. Kairos Palestine also refers to Palestinian terrorism as “legal resistance,” and denies the legitimacy of Judaism, arguing it was superseded by Jesus and Christianity.
Likewise, the WCC is key in mobilizing churches to support BDS, regularly issues statements that deny Israel’s right to exist, and it has established several biased and politicized subgroups including the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF).
The Uniting Church in Australia must cease to rely on biased and politicized sources. It should fight, not promote, BDS if it truly strives, as its Prayer for Peace states, that “peace in the Holy Land is an issue of intimate concern.”