UK Embraces the Boycott

In this part of the world, where Israel seems to be regularly singled out as the world’s bête noire, recent developments in Britain have given even veteran pro- Zionism watchers a sense of alarm. Even the most optimistic observers of what is loosely referred to as the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) movement, are worried about this summer’s activities.

In late June, the Methodist Church of Britain, the fourth largest Christian denomination in the UK with 70 million members worldwide, voted to boycott Israeli-produced goods and services from the West Bank because of Israel’s “illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.”

The one-sided characterization of the Israel- Palestine conflict is based on the platform published by the World Council of Churches, which formally espoused a boycott by all its affiliates in 2009 and took its bearings from the Kairos Palestine Document that emerged from the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. The Kairos declaration brands the occupation as “a sin against God and humanity” and calls on companies, countries, religious institutions, NGOs and individuals “to engage in divestment and in an economic and commercial boycott of everything produced by the occupation.”

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