Press Release: Independent Jewish Voices praises United Church boycott campaign, rejects criticism from Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center
Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) congratulates the United Church of Canada on its launch of the “Unsettling Goods” boycott campaign, which focuses attention on goods produced in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
“The launch of the campaign at retail sites across the country was great to see,” declared Tyler Levitan, IJV’s campaign coordinator. “The campaign was put together by social justice advocates in the Church, working with their allies in all parts of Canada. The Church’s involvement in this effort marks a serious intensification of the Canadian effort to bring pressure on Israel to stop the expansion of its settlements in the West Bank and to end the occupation of lands conquered in the 1967 war.”
Dismissing charges by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies that the Church campaign could be construed as an assault on the Jewish people, as FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo contended, Levitan declared that IJV and other Jewish organizations were actively supporting the Church’s efforts.
“Our own organization promotes boycott, divestment and sanctions as tools in the battle for social justice in Israel and Palestine,” he explained. “Characterizing boycott efforts as anti-Semitic is an outrageous misuse of the term. The Israel lobby, unable to defend Israel’s occupation and brutal treatment of the Palestinian people, can only slur those who support Palestinian human rights.”
“We are heartened by the fact that people of strong moral character like our allies in the Church have taken up this battle,” Levitan concluded. “It demonstrates that the cause of justice for Palestinians is becoming increasingly mainstream in this country.”
For more information contact:
Tyler Levitan, Campaign Coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices – Canada, 613-400-2550, firstname.lastname@example.org