Friday, 29 June 2012


Each week, the team at the Board of Deputies send round an email update on what's been going on at the Board and in the wider Jewish world.  It's a helpful way for Deputies to keep in touch with the wide range of issues that the Board covers and where appropriate, take action.

This week, we've been encouraged to take action on three things and I share these with you in case you want to take action too: 
1.    Show your concern about the Church of England's motion at the General Synod that seeks to deepen ties between the Church and Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).  A motion has been tabled at the Church of England’s General Synod on 10th July which seeks to formally adopt and deepen the Church’s links with the EAPPI. The General Synod is the highest legislative body in the Church of England. The motion affirms General Synod’s support for EAPPI, encourages parishioners to take part in the programme and urges Churches to make use of the experiences of returning participants. If the motion is passed it will significantly raise EAPPI’s profile and legitimacy. We can: 
a.    “Like” the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Facebook page and comment on it, expressing your concerns regarding this motion.
b.   Write to the Bishop of Manchester as the chair of CCJ, expressing your concern – His address is Bishopscourt, Bury New Road, Manchester, M7 4LE.
c.    Write to the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace, London, SE1 7JU and to William Fittall, General Secretary, The General Synod, Church House, Great Smith St, London SW1P 3AZ.
d.   Write to the Church Times. This is the most influential Church of England newspaper – its address is Church Times, 3rd Floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG
2.    I've written before about the Cooperative Boycott.  If you haven't already, sign the petition created by We Believe and the Board asking the Cooperative to reverse its policy on Israeli goods.
3.    And finally, you can sign this petition that calls for the European Union to pass an economic agreement with Israel. 

Monday, 18 June 2012

Taking Action against the Co-Op Boycott of Israeli Companies

You can make a difference.  In principle, I don't agree with boycotts. I don't think they achieve their goals any quicker than building a dialogue and real understanding of the underlying issues will do.  So what can we, as individuals do about the Co-Op boycott, and what's it all about?

The Co-operative movement has refused to stock products from the settlements since 2009.  But in April, it chose to extend its policy and is now boycotting four named Israeli companies that trade with the settlements. This means that no matter where in Israel the companies' produce is sourced; it will be boycotted. The decision is seen as a slippery slope towards an across the board boycott of Israeli goods, Israeli culture or Israeli people.  

So what can you do?:

You can support the campaign that 
is aiming  to restore fairness and balance to the Co-Op's policies towards Israel.  It has already seen members of the community and their friends speak out against Boycotting at Co-Op annual meetings held across the country.  A Co-Op representative has said they have been inundated by emails objecting to the policy. Steven Jaffe, who works with the Board of Deputies has said: "There is no doubt the amount of opposition has taken the Co-Op by surprise. It is vitally important that people make their voices heard."

Sign the petition online by clicking here or print out the petition and get others to sign it.  

Success will be seen when the Co-Op drop the boycott and give positive support to programmes that improve the economy, living standards and well being of the farmers and others - many of them Palestinians - that play a role in growing most of the exports from the region.