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Rabbi calls on United Church delegates to vote for boycott of settlement products

August 13, 2012

Ottawa - In an open letter to the United Church of Canada's 41st General Conference at Carleton University, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb of Jewish Voice for Peace called on delegates to endorse proposals calling for the boycott of products made in illegal Israeli settlements located in occupied Palestinian territory.

I speak for hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world from a wide spectrum of affiliations who oppose Israel's policy of settlement expansion and military occupation. We want to see real change. By supporting Palestinians in their struggle for justice, you are also supporting us, the Jewish people, because the fruit of justice is peace. Peace for everyone in the region, Gottlieb said. Now that 171 Palestinian organizations and scores of Jewish groups have called for a boycott of settlement products, I am standing with them. The boycott aligns my values with right action. It accords with my religious beliefs.?

The rabbi explained that the boycott of settlement products has come about because all other avenues of nonviolent struggle have failed to end Israel's policy of settlement expansion, which lies at the heart of the conflict. She pointed to the fact that prominent Israelis including Miko Peled, Avrum Burg, Neve Gordon, Dalit Baum, Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom and thousands of others believe that Israel's policy of settlement expansion enforced by military occupation is delegitimizing the country.

Gottlieb noted that the Talmud teaches, "You shall not derive profit nor benefit from products used to promote violence. You shall not buy them, nor sell them" and that according to Jewish law, products produced on stolen land are not kosher for use.

She called on Church delegates to take courage and give prophetic witness by voting to join the campaign to stop settlement expansion through the boycott of settlement products. Vote to adopt the proposal that includes boycott of settlement products. It will be a sign of hope for all of us, Rabbi Gottlieb concluded.

For more information contact:
Independent Jewish Voices
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Cell: 604-314-5589 (cell)

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