01 August 2005

It is not anti-Jewish to oppose Israel's policies

I was trolling around my spam mailbox, and ran across this, which was sent to me a few weeks ago from the Jerusalem Post newspaper:
Dear Friend of Israel,

This weekend, the United Church of Christ voted on divestment from Israel. Other prominent churches are looking at divestment, including the 77-million-member Anglican church.

Divestment is worse than a simple boycott — it is an expression of hate.

Our petition against divestment already has more than 7,000 names. But our goal is to collect more than 10,000. Mainline church leaders must get a strong message: Economic attacks on Israel are unjust and must stop.

Help us send the message that Israel's enemies can't ignore: Anti-Semitism by "mainline" Christians will not be tolerated.

George W. Mamo
Executive Director, Stand for Israel

Time is critical! Please sign the petition today ... and thank you for standing with Israel and the Jewish people.
I don't really follow the "divestment = hate" equation; it seems to me that if you disagree with the policies of a government, you should be free to stop supporting that government. It doesn't mean you hate its citizens. It just means you want the policies to change.

Similarly, opposing Israel's policies is not the same as being anti-Jewish. If the UCC was recommending divesting from Jewish businesses, that would be anti-Jewish, and I would oppose that, as I would any racial or religious boycott.

Full disclosure: I grew up in the United Church of Christ. Not a member — or even a Christian — now, but still.

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