Christians asked to reconsider boycott

September 1, 2010 Agencies
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Australia’s oldest and most active interfaith body has called on Christians to “reconsider” a planned boycott of goods produced by Israeli settlements.

The Australian Council of Christians and Jews (ACCJ) President William Clancy said recent resolutions by the National Council of Churches (NCCA) “could harm relations between Australian Christians and Jews and could have unfortunate, unintended consequences to both Jews and Palestinians.

In a letter to the NCCA and its member Churches Mr Clancy condemned increasing polarization on both sides in the Israel-Palestinian conflict and called for interfaith bodies to intervene in the cause of peace.

“Clearly many justice and security issues confront the people of the West Bank and of Israel today,” Mr Clancy said.

He criticised the boycott idea as “simplistic” and called on the Churches instead to broker dialogues between Palestinian and Jewish groups in Australia.

The Council criticized the process by which the boycott resolutions were passed and the lack of consultation with the Jewish community and other interfaith networks.

“By passing the boycott resolutions without due consultation and thoughtful deliberations NCCA has, in our view, threatened to undermine its own standing and reputation,” Mr Clancy said.

“We believe that faith-based organisations such as the NCCA and the ACCJ should contribute to the development of peace in Israel by offering appropriate support and encouragement to both sides to find common ground.

“If we are seen to favour one side against the other then we will have no role,” Mr Clancy said.

Mr Clancy said a recent study tour of Israel by 36 Christian and Jewish members of the Council showed there was cause for hope in relations between Jewish and Palestinian Israelis.

The tour found that there was a relaxed harmonious intermingling of Palestinians, Jews Christians and tourists in the cities and the vast majority of Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Israel and the West Bank are desperate for peace, security and economic stability.  “We recognise that there is a potential for extremists to attempt to derail peace initiatives at any time,” Mr Clancy Said

“The economic well being of many Palestinians is connected with the economic well being of Israel,” Mr Clancy said.

“This is another reason why a boycott is a simplistic solution and will only harm the interests of the Palestinians who have suffered enough.”


One Response to “Christians asked to reconsider boycott”
  1. Lina Alfano says:

    I had a really good cry reading Ben’s article, then watching the Macabi March in Sydney. You could the joy emanating from these young people that were so diverse and didn’t look as prototypes of what an athlete is supposed to look like.

    I am not a jewish person by the standards of the world but believe very strongly in the power in the Almighty. I tried once (when I was living in Perth WA) to learn hebrew at the synagoge but the rabbi told me I had to renounce my faith if I wanted that privilege so with a heavy heart I left, then another time went to a synagoge for a friday service and was very impressed with the sermon and wanted to say so to the rabbi, so I waited for a while after the service and he tried very hard to ignore me and again I was a bit disapointed but understood that he had to observe a lot of rules before he was allowed to even touch my hand (in case I was unclean).

    I think that if we want peace in this world we need to make an effort to stop the regulations that are man-made and embrace others even if it means giving up some of our traditions to gain Peace in this world. As in all religions we lose sight of what the whole “raison d’etre” is all about.

    There are no rules in Love and WAR…..

    Hoping and praying that one day I will join the settlers in ISRAEL/Palestine and live in that part of the world where people that want peace will be able to do so.

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