On November 28, 2019, the United Church of Canada Taskforce, Chaired by Rev. Dr. Martha ter Kaile sent a message to the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel, asking them for “valued interlocutor “for advice with consultations and research. Subsequently, others learned of that email request, which read:
The Executive of the General Council of The United Church of Canada has appointed a reference group of 4 persons to:
· undertake a review and consider current United Church of Canada policies on Israel and Palestine in light of the current reality and partner requests;
· receive perspectives from members of the United Church and of partners and other relevant organizations; and
· provide advice and recommendations to the Executive of the General Council.
The Task Group is asking for your input on the general question of the appropriateness of the existing United Church policies, of which a summary is attached, given the current reality on the ground in the region. In addition, we would be grateful to have your reflections on three specific issues, which have been highlighted by our partners. From your perspective, what would be the potential impact of:
1. the United Church continuing or discontinuing to express support for Israel’s right to exist “as a Jewish state”?
2. using of the word ‘apartheid’ to talk about Israel’s actions in the Occupied Territories?
3. altering our position on BDS, either by expressing support for the BDS movement or by pulling back from limited economic action against settlement products?
If it is possible to let us have your reflections before December 20th, it would be very helpful. Thank you for sharing your ideas and recommendations with us.
Rev. Dr. Martha ter Kuile
Chair, GCE Just Peace Task Group
Bloor Street United Church
416-924-7439 ex 44
 Reference group members include: Rev. Dr. Martha ter Kuile (chair), Rev. Brenna Baker, Right Rev. Jordan Cantwell, Rev. Jim Cairney, and Rev. Michael Blair. The staff resource person is Wendy Gichuru, Regional Program Coordinator, Africa/Middle East Partnership Program.