The United Church of Canada has wisely adopted a resolution that urges its members to invest only in companies that "contribute to peace" in Israel and the occupied West Bank.
The decision is a sensible alternative to a one-sided proposal originally promoted by leaders of the Toronto section of the church, who wanted a boycott targeted only at companies and products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Instead, United Church leaders adopted a fairer resolution on Thursday at the church's annual general council meeting in Thunder Bay that urged members both to invest in companies that recognize Israel's right to exist and in firms that refused to purchase products from businesses operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
The vote was hailed by Jewish leaders, who had voiced strong opposition to the initial resolution, which only called for divestment in firms that backed or maintained the Israeli occupation. Ed Morgan, head of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said the church's new position "demonstrates its understanding that the refusal to recognize the Jewish state is one of the fundamental reasons for the conflict."
While the final resolution still contains the original proposal, it now also prominently urges its members not to do business with governments or companies that won't recognize Israel's right to exist.
Also, the United Church will work to raise $1 million to support faith groups working for peace in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Boycotts and similar campaigns are invariably controversial. But when they are unfair or vastly one-sided, they need to be reconsidered.