Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

December 03, 2013 14:45 ET

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center Condemns United Church Prayer Service Against Jews and the State of Israel

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 3, 2013) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) is horrified to learn the United Church is intensifying its campaign against the Jewish people through a prayer service in support of the "Unsettling Goods" boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against the Jewish state being launched in cities across the country today.

"Despite Hamas' repeated calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews, based on Article 13 of the Hamas Covenant, which states 'There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors', and despite calls by Fatah officials for a third violent intifada against Israel, the United Church sees fit to pray for a successful boycott against Jewish businesses in Israel, while ignoring the ongoing incitement to violence and genocide against Israel and Jews coming from Palestinian leaders," said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo.

"This call to prayer for anti-Israel boycotts is nothing less than an assault on the Jewish people by the United Church. The echoes of the past history of Church-sanctioned antisemitism continue to grow stronger; the bond forged through the 'Bearing Faithful Witness' document that helped heal centuries of anti-Jewish abuse by the church has been completely destroyed by these one-sided attempts to undermine the legitimacy and existence of the Jewish state, and by the tacit support for the hatred and terror against it. That the church is actively praying for this is truly beyond my comprehension."

United Church Moderator Rev. Gary Paterson's request of church members to join him in "worship, prayer and study" in support of this hostile and discriminatory initiative is based on anti-Israel resolutions adopted at the Church's 41st General Council in August 2012. The church does not currently have any campaigns which address the ongoing slaughter of Christians in Muslim countries around the world, nor does it make any statement of support that recognizes Israel's right to exist. The church has partnered for this campaign with organizations known for their ongoing efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state.

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is a leading Canadian non-profit human rights foundation directly representing over 30,000 members. FSWC is committed to countering racism and antisemitism and to promoting the principles of tolerance, social justice and Canadian democratic values through advocacy and educational programs including workshops, Freedom Day, Spirit of Hope Benefit, Tools for Tolerance and its widely acclaimed new Tour for Humanity. FSWC is affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization headquartered in Los Angeles, which has won two Academy Awards, has built two Museums of Tolerance (with a third being built in Jerusalem) and is an NGO at the United Nations, UNESCO, OAS, OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament. Visit us at

Contact Information

  • Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies
    Stacey Starkman
    Communications Manager
    416.864.9735 x 32