Hello United Church of Canada – Anyone home?

Dear United Church of Canada

We have not had a good relationship. I have been writing to you over the years questioning your attacks on Israel under the guise of concern for the Palestinians

I can understand your desire to help the Palestinians. You feel they are not being treated well. And, of course, none of the problem stems from their behaviour. The fault lies in Israel and on the shoulders of the Jewish people.

And so you initiated your campaign named Unsettling Goods: Choose Peace in Palestine and Israel, which you say focuses on the illegal Israeli settlements and the obstacles they pose for peace. The campaign will encourage economic action against several “settlement” products and harm 15,000 Palestinian workers who are employed in these factories and depend on them to make a living. But that isn’t important. What is important is punishing the Jewish State.

And you focused on the Palestinians as the greatest of your concerns despite the fact that you have budgetary shortfalls for 2014 that will affect all programmes. You have to make “decisions about what good work we will no longer do, not because there isn’t a need but because we no longer have sufficient resources to do it all.” And that includes Aboriginal Ministries.

And what of the Canadian Native people? How many of your congregants have lived among them, written journals about them or made documentaries about them? How many of your congregants have boycotted anything in order to direct attention to them? People who were harmed by Christians-like you?

But that won’t stop you from continuing to fund your BDS of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

I haven’t heard the voices of the United Church of Canada speak up on behalf of  multi-million people suffering terribly around the world, whose voices are not heard over the cacophony of organizations like yours rushing to the defense of people who contribute to their own misery. With your budget shortfall, I guess the suffering in North Korea, where the people are enslaved, children are beaten and starved, and used as forced labourers in freezing conditions in threadbare clothes will go unnoticed, again. That they survive on grass and rats, watch parents killed, and are made to act as informers against their own families, are treated lower then animals, women routinely subjected to sexual violence and, if pregnant, their babies killed seems not important enough for your 2014 budget.

Yet their plight is far worse than the Palestinians.

Thousands of men, women and children from the southern Sudan have been sold into slavery in the north as concubines, domestic servants, and farm labourers. In 2008, a member of the Sudanese Parliament in Khartoum estimated that at least 35,000 were still enslaved in the borderland of Northern and Southern Sudan. Many of the slaves are Christians taken north and forced to convert to Islam or die. Their faces were branded.

These are your Christian brothers and sisters. If you will not speak on their behalf, who will?

And what of the killing of Christians in the Muslim world? The destruction of ancient churches in Damascus? The millions of refugees in need of care? Where are you? Is their plight not worse than the plight of the Palestinians?

When the day arrives and you depart this world, Jesus will greet you: “What have you done to repair the world?” And you will say, “We took all our energy to attack Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians.” And Jesus, the Jew, will say, “Did I not tell you that those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed? Did I not tell you not to change a jot or tittle of the Torah that was passed down to you through Paul?”

There are 7 billion people in the world. There are 14 million Jews in the world.  My local UCC minister in Erin thought there were 200 million Jews. Ignorance is deadly. Six million Jews live in Israel. Does that number ring a bell? Six million human beings: the same number that your family and friends allowed to be incinerated when they turned their backs on the horror in Europe. A certain Ignorantia Affectata. Six million Jews now living in a country who make it possible for Palestinians to work except for the BDS which will hurt the companies where they work.

Of all the peoples in the world who are suffering, the least of those suffering, today, are the Palestinians-except by the hands of their leaders-Hamas and the PA.

If you cared for the Palestinians you would demand that all the money that the West sends, the construction materials that go to Gaza through Israel would be used for the betterment of their people instead of lining the pockets of their leaders like Arafat and Abbas. Instead of Hamas using all the material to build a tunnel into Israel to kidnap a soldier, the Gazans would have homes.

The good news is you won’t have to worry about a Fatwa against you.  And you will never have to worry about a Jewish child wearing a suicide bomb attacking a church. The Jews love their children more than they hate anyone. This despite the attacks made on us by God-fearing people-like you.

And that’s what makes the United Church of Canada anti-Semitic. It isn’t that you criticize Israel. It’s that you don’t criticize, boycott, divest, sanction other countries who commit far worse crimes against their own people and others (suicide bombs in countries all over the world targeting civilians) than anything that takes place in the only democracy in a sea of autocracies. You have chosen to try and bring a Jewish country to its knees under the guise of caring for the Palestinians.

About the Author
Diane Weber Bederman is a multi-faith, hospital trained chaplain who lives in Ontario, Canada, just outside Toronto; She has a background in science and the humanities and writes about religion in the public square and mental illness on her blog: The Middle Ground:The Agora of the 21st Century. She is a regular contributor to Convivium: Faith in our Community. "
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