Church of Scotland Call to Label Products From Israeli Settlements Is Biased
New York, NY, May 26, 2006 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) named the Church of Scotland General Assembly's call for European authorities and the World Council of Churches to clearly identify products made in Israel's West Bank settlements, "discriminatory and counterproductive." The church, a Presbyterian body, said such clear labeling of products would enable consumers to "make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase them."
The endorsement by leaders the Church of Scotland - the largest in Scotland - came after General Assembly delegates were informed that the church does not have any investments in companies that they believe contribute to the oppression of the Palestinians. The General Assembly had been debating disinvestment in Israel.
"The Church of Scotland appears to have fallen into the trap of believing that a biased, one-sided policy against Israel can be productive, when such a policy could really do harm to the people they are trying to help, who may have jobs related to the production of such goods in these areas," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
Noting the practical issues with labeling products from a specific area of a country, and the danger of such labeling affecting all products from Israel, Mr. Foxman added: "The Church of Scotland's action is bizarre and counterproductive. Church leaders should reflect on the potential financial harm their decision can have for all the people in these areas, and reconsider it."
The Church of Scotland's actions come on the heels of a shocking one-sided statement by the World Council of Churches blaming Israel alone for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, while ignoring the grave new threat to the Jewish state posed by the terrorist Hamas-led Palestinian government and Iran.
The WCC's May 19 statement urged the international community to deal directly with the terrorist Hamas-led Palestinian government, despite its refusal to recognize Israel, abide by existing agreements and renounce terrorism.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.