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Song of the Watermelon: National Post Letter

Should any readers take a look inside today’s National Post, they might find a letter of mine defending Canada’s United Church and its boycott of goods from Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Click here to read my letter and scroll down to the heading “… or is it just?”

Filed under: Letters to the Editor, Middle East Tagged: boycott, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, National Post, Palestine, settlements, United Church

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The New Blackberry 10 – Time to ditch Apple and Google both

The Blackberry 10 has just been unveiled, and the question returns: Blackberry, iPhone or Google-based Android smart phone? Here are some thoughts, techno-weenie talk aside. We’re talking pure functionality and ethics here, not who has the best gizmo-gadgetry whiz-bang for the buck. Google is a partner in evil, willingly collaborating with the super-creepy NSA’s deeply [...]

Art Threat: Stevie Wonder to perform at Israeli military fundraiser

Muscial icon Stevie Wonder will perform for a fundraiser to support the Israeli military, who recently ended their week-long bombing campaign of Gaza that killed 160 Palestinians and injured one thousand more, mostly civilians. According to Israeli news website Ynetnews, Wonder will appear at an annual gala hosted by the Friends of the Israel Defense [...] . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Stevie Wonder to perform at Israeli military fundraiser

Song of the Watermelon: Israeli Settlements and the United Church Boycott: Three Common Distortions

*** Note: An unfinished draft version of this post mistakenly went out to e-mail and feed subscribers yesterday. Please do your best to scrub it from your memory and enjoy the updated post — as its author intended — below. Many thanks and apologies. ***

After months of controversy and negative media attention, the United Church of Canada, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, finally made it official. The church’s General Council voted today to call on its members to avoid buying products coming from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Presbyterian and Methodist churches in the United States have

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Song of the Watermelon: Israel, the Settlements, and the United Church: Three Common Distortions

- proposed United Church boycott of products from Israeli settlements

Distortion #1: Why Israel? The world is full of tyranny and injustice. Of all the places and issues, why boycott the Middle East’s only democracy?

Three assumptions are packed into this distortion: that the United Church is boycotting Israel, that Israel’s critics routinely let others off the hook, and that Israel is a democracy. All three assumptions are false.

First, it is true that the United Church has never in its history chosen to boycott any other country except for apartheid South Africa, but it is not boycotting Israel

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Drive-by Planet: United Church should adopt boycott of Israeli settlement goods

The United Church of Canada’s governing body is meeting this week to decide if the Church will adopt a boycott of goods that come from illegal Jewish “settlements” in the Israeli-occupied territories.

If the proposed UC boycott flies it will be a bold stand for principle, in-step with a global community that considers the settlements illegal under international law. It could in fact be argued that the very act of purchasing the goods amounts to aiding and abetting a settler movement that actively threatens peace in the region, not to mention undermining the potential for a brokered resolution to the

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CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: On Canada’s Independence Day, #DenounceHarper & #HappyCanadaDay

This is Canadian political dissent like never seen before. For two reasons. First and especially, the dissent is taking place on Canada’s Independence Day. Second, it’s directed against a prime minister supposedly elected with a majority just over a year ago, on May 2. Once again, Canadians are using the social media, especially Twitter, to voice their democratic grudge against Stephen Harper, the “Harper Government” and government dictatorship-style policies. The most popular hashtag at the moment is #DenounceHarper, followed closely by #HappyCanadaDay.

Across the Great White North, activists, led by the Occupy movement, are engaged in “Stop Harper Day” vigils.

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CuriosityCat: Abortion: The Liberal Party should respond with a boycott

Stephen Harper promised before the election not to reopen the  abortion debate if he was re-elected. Now one of his MPs is tabling a motion to reopen the debate. Harper is using the Woodward motion to slip past his pre-election promise not to reopen the debate on abortion. In doing this, he is copying the Wildrose Party, whose leader left the door open for all kinds of right wing bigotry to be tabled in the Alberta legislature by ordinary WRP members. Like Harper, Smith tried to have her cake and eat it: she pretended to be against bigotry and right . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Abortion: The Liberal Party should respond with a boycott