A call for peace between Israel and Palestine

(The Discussion Paper will open in its own window. Comments can be submitted here)

CUSJ joins with many other faith communities to support an active search for peaceful solutions to the on-going crisis in Israel and Palestine.  It is time that both Israel and the International Community came to the table to honour the commitments made in multiple United Nations resolutions, including the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.  The occupation of Palestine and the ongoing harassment of Palestinians cannot continue.  We call on Unitarians to join the boycott and divestment movement as the best means of non-violent protest.

9 thoughts on “A call for peace between Israel and Palestine”

  1. Two short points: Fred should read the published Ph.d thesis of Mahmoud Aabbas, the leader of the Palestinian Arabs. In it, he falsifies Jewish history, denying the magnitude of the Holocaust – he claims “only 890,000” were killed by the German Nazis. He could also read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, that classic anti-Semitic forgery, a best-seller in Ramallah and Nablus and available in all Palestinian bookshops and in comic book format circulated in elementary schools.

    On Fred’s other point about Jews being God’s people – this emphatic statement is repeated multiple times in the holy scriptures of the Palestinian Muslims known as the Koran and in those of the Jews known as the Torah and in those of the Christians known as the Apostolic Writings or New Testament. There were millions of witnesses to God’s declaration at Mount Sinai, unlike the personal visions of Jesus and Mohammed who received their revelations in a distraught state of mind regarding their personal callings. The successors to Jesus who became Romanized, resented the gift bestowed upon the Jews, persecuted them, and had the audacity to proclaim the Christian Church as the New Israel and the New Chosen People.

  2. Fred L.’s comments on the Palestinian Muslims are so off base, it would take a book to set him straight. Let him begin with reading the classic “The Siege” by the former Irish ambassador to the UN Conor Cruise O’Brien.

    Fred’s comments also reflect the monumental ignorance among Canadian Unitarians in the social justice group about the Middle East. It’s no wonder its discussion paper is completely one-sided in favour of the horrific illegitimate Palestinian aggression project against the tiny Jewish state of Israel. Shame on Rev. Deverell for blackening the reputation of all Unitarians by acting as a brazen apologist for Palestinian crimes!

    As I am also a historian, I want to set Fred straight on his immature and juvenile points. These are made with a view to him becoming a more intelligent and informed personality on the Israeli-Arab conflict (it is not just Palestinians who want to destroy Israel but every single Muslim nation with the exception of Egypt and Jordan which signed peace treaties with Israel)

    Firstly, the Palestinians were ardent supporters of Hitler – their leaders were indicted at Nuremberg but escaped to Iraq in 1947. No one should forget this fact.

    Secondly, the Palestinians also ethnically cleansed the Maronites and Ebionites from the Holy Land after its conquest by Omar in 639 AD.

    What stupidity to claim Jerusalem as the centre of other faiths! For Islam, the centre of the world and faith is Mecca. Never forget this. For Christianity, it is Rome where Paul and Peter were decapitated. Only the Jews are the rightful owners of Jerusalem and the Holy Land – after all, were there no Jews thousands of years before the monotheistic religions, there would be no Jesus Christ or Allah.

    Egypt and the Palestinian territories are the largest recipients of foreign financial support, not Israel as claimed. The former received $7 billion last year. Israel’s foreign aid support has rapidly declined to the point where it now only receives loan money, much as Ontario does through its bond flotations on world markets.

    The use of the term “West Bank” is a modern invention by the Palestinian aggressors. Note that nobody refers to Jordan as “East Bank.” UN resolutions explicitly call the area “Judea and Samaria” –UNGA Res.181, 194, etc.

    Under international law, occupation of another country in time of war can be “legal” or “illegal.” It depends who the aggressor is. The Palestinians and their patrons in Egypt, Syria and Transjordan decided to launch a war of annihilation against the formation of Israel in 1947 contrary to international law and the UN decision to partition the Holy Land into “Jewish” and “Arab” states. The Palestinians lost the war and many fled 25 miles away to Lebanon and Jordan. Since that time, these losers seek to recover their losses by preying on simpletons in the Unitarian community who simply haven’t the foggiest idea of what the bloodthirsty Palestinian Arabs are after.

    In the meantime, from 1948-49 , the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria ethnically cleansed
    all the Jews living there and their 150 million brothers and sisters in North Africa and the Near East brutalized the ancient Jewish communities there, expelling 955,000 of them and stealing their property. Anyone can get the details of this genocidal tragedy and humanitarian catastrophe from the recent report of the Parliamentary Committee in Ottawa on this matter.

    Unitarians should not focus on the so-called occupation of “Palestine.” It is entirely legal under the 4th Geneva Convention just as the American occupation of Germany and Japan was after 1945. It is also entirely moral since Judea and Samaria belong to the Jews – how easily Unitarians forget Abraham’s purchase of this land! Unitarians instead must focus on Canada – do we not realize that our nation’s capital is occupied land owned by the Algonquin? Have we forgotten the Supreme Court’s rulings that the bulk of British Columbia is First Nation land, illegally occupied by British settlers – now transmogrified into “Canadians” – many of whom nonchalantly sip their High Tea at Victoria’s Empress Hotel? Do we not understand that English Canada occupies Quebec, the homeland of the Quebecois? The hypocrisy in Fred’s comments and those of CUSJ’s Rev. Frances Deverell
    is staggering!

    Finally, on the matter of religion and legality. Under Islam, and in the eyes of the Palestinians and 1.2 billion Muslims all over the world, there is no separation. I hate to shatter Fred’s illusions but here is the fundamental Palestinian position – and you can verify this from the transcripts of the Arafat-Clinton-Barak peace negotiations at Camp David – to wit: the Sunna and the Hadiths declare that in 629 AD their prophet Mohammed was transported to Jerusalem in the dead of night by a winged horse called al-Burak. This horse alighted on the Jewish Temple Mount of King Solomon. From there, Mohammed conversed with Moses and Jesus and was raptured with his horse to the 7th Heaven. Upon this fairy tale is the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem based.

    Should Fred ever deign to tell a Palestinian that his religion cannot be the basis of a claim in law to Jerusalem, Fred would not be among us for long. Such is the reality among the barbaric Palestinians who daily lust for Jewish blood.

    There simply is no point to Rev. Deverell and her clique, along with Fred L., continuing with their Israel-bashing in light of the facts I have set forth – unless, of course, they have an agenda reeking from the 1930s.

  3. There are two reasons why I think Karen’s contribution is a diversion of the boycott outlined in the heading of this topic under discussion..

    1. The issue is not Israel and its merits or otherwise, or its justification of its existence but its illegal occupation of the West Bank.

    2. You cannot use points of belief in a discussion of legality. What one believes is not an argument before a court which can only deal with facts. It is legally irrelevant that I believe a god had promised me a land.

    For me to fully understand Karen she might want to join a dialogue and help us out with definitions of the terms she has used as well us tell me the relevance of these point to the discussion.

    1. Her first sentence, the belief that Jews are God’s people has two problems for me. First how do we know? And what/who is that god reported to have said so, and who did the prophets hear say that. Think about it this way: Is there another god for other people than the Jews? (Was there an agreement between gods as to who the gods of others than the Jews were?)

    2. How would she define a ‘spiritual center of the universe’ and one city to be the ‘source of Judaism’? Is it not also the Center of Christianity and Islam?

    3. Has the – indeed impressive intellectual achievement to become the – ‘largest per capita research center’ anything to do with massive foreign financial support

    4. It would be useful to have a listing of these so-called falsified accounts of Palestinian Arab society against the Jews.

    5. Indeed, the role of women and the disrespect toward them in Arab lands is a serious issue. But we should also consider the disrespect towards those 700.000 who were displaced, some are still oppressed and their property stolen.

    6. Can we really speak of Jews being the owners of the Holy Land? How do you define ‘ownership, the borders of the Holy land? Are the North American natives the owners of the NA lands?

    7. Can we speak of Muslim Arabs of Palestine are interlopers who came from Egypt and Arabia as illegal invaders when the Holy Scriptures tell us that Moses led his people there and his tribe fought others in that area?

    8. Can we say that Muslim Arabs of Palestine brutally expelled the Latin, Greek and Byzantine Christian populations there as well as the Jews?

    9. And why, for god’s sake – what ever that means – must we say ‘Above all, we must never forget that the Arab Palestinians were allies of the Nazis in World War Two in which thousands of Canadians were killed by these cruel barbarians. Some might have fought English and French Imperialism, but to draw the conclusion they would have supported Nazis and be responsible for Canadian deaths and to make this a justification in a discussion about today’s illegally occupied territories throws the discussion completely off topic.

    I believe there are two types of terrorists – those who throw exploding bombs and those who throw mind-poisoning ideas which can inflame the minds of thousands. We always need to be aware of that risk.

    For us to consider in future: If the occupation were defended in the UU media, it would use our media to defend injustice. What defines international justice is known by the rules the world has given itself.

  4. As a life-long Unitarian growing up in the United states, I always was taught that the Jews were God’s people and hatred of them represented hatred of God.
    Now living in Canada, I have savoured the values of my upbringing by spending some time in the Jewish homeland. The world does not appreciate that Israel is the spiritual centre of the universe and that Jerusalem is the source of Judaism. In spite of barbarian Muslim populations surrounding her with aggressive intentions, Israel has become both a nation of refugees and the world’s largest per capita scientific research centre.
    In contrast with the apartheid regimes in Palestinian society and the Arab world, against women, Christians and Unitarians, Israel is a haven for Christians which are increasing their numbers yearly in the Jewish state. I do not for one moment accept the falsified accounts of Palestinian Arab society against the Jews, who are the owners of the Holy Land. The Muslim Arabs of Palestine are interlopers who came from Egypt and Arabia as illegal invaders and brutally expelled the Latin, Greek and Byzantine Christian populations there as well as the Jews. Above all, we must never forget that the Arab Palestinians were allies of the Nazis in World War Two in which thousands of Canadians were killed by these cruel barbarians.

  5. The decision to create a state based on race or religion is a high-risk step for those it is meant to serve, because the global future does not favour the narrow ideology of tribalism. In that sense, a small religious state has a long-term existential problem. It becomes an increasing risk to its population and its neighbours, particularly if it depended on external support and caused animosity with its neighbours. Although short-term gains support current interests (investments, militarization, pride of ethnicity, and growth of population, increased housing through settlements) these measures may risk the long-term future in that an evolution to a healthier cooperative system becomes more difficult.

    In the case of Israel, is it reasonable to assume a Jewish state will exist forever? If not, the question will be its long-term evolution, the fate of its children and grandchildren. One wonders what the current leaders long-term perspective is when walls are being built, which risk their people drifting into another ghetto.
    One can agree with what Lynn Armstrong reported in a recent mail: “I felt dismayed by the numbers of individuals speaking against the Resolution with statements such as “…we shouldn’t be telling other people how to get their house in order” and “…we should be looking at issues closer to home.” This would be short-sighted isolationism if the situation had global consequences, as we know it has.
    We need to be more concerned. Fred

  6. In addition to my previious note and more to the point, I hope:
    Friends of Israel could help and support Israel regaining legitimacy and acceptance by discussing the following points.

    1. One could argue that a shadow of doubt was cast on Israel’s legitimacy almost immediately when at the time of its founding it expulsed hundreds of thousand of Palestinian – against the UN resolution – and without compensation took over their property – as it still happens – and denied their right to return. By that the current Israel had lost part of its political legitimacy.

    2. But has it not lost even its religious justification as it continued to violate its 8th Commandment, ‘You shall not steal ‘(Exodus 20:13) by the practices of occupation, confiscation and the destruction of property.

    3. When Arabs deny Israel ‘the right to exist’ they should be asked whether they refer to the basic right the UN has granted, or to the current state, which has taken the liberty to go well beyond what it was granted by the UN?.

    4. A friend of Israel would be expected to express deep concern that its current path is most likely to fail, bringing increasing hardships and finally great harm to the people of Israel and its neighbours.


  7. Israel –
    the expansion of a Jewish state is politically, ideologically and religiously unsound and even illegal by such criteria.

    Contradictory religious reasoning.
    There is no justifiable reason – not even religious – for Jewish settlements outside Israel’s’ borders. If we believed the prophets spoke the words of god and promised that land to the tribe – a case that would certainly not stand up before court – then we then also not accept at least one of that god’s commandments not to desire others’ property.

    Israel supports burning down others’ olive trees and destroys houses. Even if we accepted that God had promised his tribe some land, this would certainly not include properties and assets constructed by others on that land. Shakespeare’s offered a judgment which Israel has still not learned today – Shylock might have the contractual right to a pound of flesh but not to a drop of blood.

    Democracy within religion. How many religious Jewish religious leaders would support the opinion that the prophet’s words are god’s words? If there should be no clear majority on this decision – quite apart from its relevance – how valid would such argument be? Is it political or religious?

    Distorting democratic principles.
    Can a state, based on an area from which a majority of its population was driven out forcefully, then take a vote which affects the new land in which these exited people now live as refugees? What is its authority to do that? What is the legality of the process? Does this not at least violate international law?

    Is it democratic for a state to make decisions against people outside its territory, particularly derived from a process that might be against the will of the majority of its own people, but does so because a small but aggressive coalition partner has the deciding vote?

    Is Israel accepting the original UN decision in its favour – granting it statehood – but afterwards refuses to accept other resolutions not in our favour? Is Israel accepting the UN authority as representing international justice or state politics?

  8. I strongly7 support the general premises, the evidence provided, and the conclusions to support boycott, divestment and sanctions. However, some improvement should be made.
    1) Information in depth about Administrative Detention should be given. Palestinians, especially those politically active and leaders are held without charges or trial or access to lawyers from 6 months, usually extended repeatedly. Palestinian prisoners so held have resorted to prolonged hunger strikes to win an end.
    2) Not much information is given about the hardship imposed on the people of Gaza by Israel’s destruction of their infrastructure (water treatment, sewage disposal) leading to serious shortages of drinking water, pollution of aquifers, and damage to farmland and ocean. Israel navy regularly attacks Palestinian fishermen with live ammunition, damaging their boats and killing`fishermen. In conjunction with Egypt, Israel has cut off most supplies to repair and construct buildings. Israel has set up what amounts to a free fire zone at Gaza’s eastern borders, keeping farmers from their land,and killing farmers regularly by varying arbitrarily the extent of this zone. The loss of farmland and fisheries has led to poor and malnutrition in Gaza. (I urge you to cotact Kevin Neish for more information on Gaza.)

  9. In order to understand if a boycott is morally or in any other aspect of it is justified, we have to start from the beginning, (about 100 years ago), with the ideology and the intentions of the original Zionists.
    It is well documented in Israeli military archives, that a clear plan was devised by the Zionists much before 1948, to come to Palestine, expel as many indigenous inhabitants as possible and exterminate the rest, in order to establish a white Jewish state.
    One of the means of achieving this goal, was to get rid of British soldiers, by blowing them up, so there will be no witnesses.
    Ben Gurion, (first prime minister of Israel), in 1947 when the UN came up with the partition plan, said: “We’ll take what is given to us now, and take the rest later”.
    Of course the “later” opportunity came in 1967. From than to present time, every Israeli government pursued building settlements and practicing ethnic cleansing. All along violating every human right and International law.
    Itzhak Shamir, the 7th Israeli prime minister said: “I’m going to engage in negotiations with the Palestinians for the next ten years and all along we’ll build settlements as fast as possible”.
    About 18 month ago it was revealed in Viki Leaks documents, that the Palestinian authority agreed almost to all Israeli condition, yet Israel rejected all. (much to the embarasement of the PA, as to who gave them this permission).
    By now there are over 600,000 settlers in West Bank, many of them religious and utmost radical and violent, which lawfully carry machine guns and inflicting atrocities on the Palestinians on a daily basis. Same goes for the army. All with planing and authorization from the government.
    No one should be fooled that any tangible outcome will materialized with recent negotiations. This is one more ploy of Israel, US and the western governments, to enable Israel to continue with what they are doing . Is there anything more absurd than forcing the Palestinians to negotiate as to how Israel will retreat from the occupied parts of Palestine, while Israel continues to steal more land during the negotiations?
    There’s no way that Israel will willingly give any meaningful lands to the Palestinians !!!
    So by us trying to stand for a movement to boycott Israel, is the absolute minimum that any decent human being should do, in order to peacefully pressure Israel. Not that this really will have much effect, due to Israel, with the help of many countries and the Jews outside of Israel, amassed enormous power, politically, military and economically and managed to destroy the Palestinian economy, education and all fabric of life. But as I said it’s the least we can do.
    This is our obligation to stand up and show our disapproval. This has nothing to do with Antisemitism or hating Jews or Israelis. We should be certain in our humanity by trying to alleviate about 100 years of Palestinian suffering. We together with others, including Iran, are not talking against Jews or Judaism or Israelis, for what they are, but for what Israel does.
    Not to mention the siege on 1.7 million people in Gaza for years, which it became a normal state of affairs. Let me make it clear, Gaza situation has nothing to do with “The rockets”.
    Although Israel convinced most people that this is the reason. I could go into an explanation, as to the real reasons, but it is a story by itself, which I can share , if anyone is interested.
    By the way, I was born into the Jewish religion and lived in Israel for 20 years. Most of my family lives there.
    By supporting the boycott movement, there is a hope that we with others can open the door just a touch to educate others as to the ongoing injustices.
    Our children and grand children may ask why we stood silent and came up with all kind of excuses and didn’t act.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.