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The United Church of Canada and the State of Israel

The Impact of The Holocaust
  • Haim Genizi
Chapter

Abstract

During the Holocaust, the United Church of Canada, the largest Protestant denomination in that country, did not speak in one voice: there were harsh antisemitic and pro-Nazi expressions on the one hand, and protests against anti-Jewish persecution and support for the admission of Jewish refugees into Canada on the other. While individuals stood out as exceptions, the institutional United Church (UC) was part of the general silence in Canada. Statements by official UC members and courts were rare and vague. United Church members who sympathized with the suffering of the Jews during the Holocaust and felt guilty for their own silence supported the establishment of the State of Israel. They realized that the only guard against a repeat of mass destruction was a strong Israeli nation with secure borders. A strong opposition rose in the United Church against this uncritical support of Israel. Led by Ernest M. Howse, a former Moderator, and A.C. Forrest, editor of the United Church Observer, this group maintained that an attempt to meet one refugee problem has created another similar injustice. The result of the establishment of the State of Israel was the creation of injustice to Arab refugees. The arguments of this group prevailed, and from 1956 the United Church adopted a constant pro-Arab policy. The aim of this article is to show how the shadow of the Holocaust hovered over the debate regarding the attitude of the United Church towards the State of Israel.

Keywords

Jewish People Church Leader General Council Protestant Church Refugee Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    John Webster Grant, The Canadian Experience of Church Union (Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1967), pp.5–101;Google Scholar
  2. J.W. Grant, ‘What’s Past Is Prologue’, in Voices and Visions: Sixty Five Years of the United Church of Canada, ed. by Peter G. White, et. at. (The United Church Publication House, 1990), pp.125–129.Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    Silcox, ‘The Impasse in the Holy Land’, The University of Toronto Quarterly 16 (January 1947): 132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 15.
    Arnold Ages, ‘The United Church Observer and the State of Israel’ (1969), p.2. (13-page MS., Ontario Jewish Archives, Toronto, MG8/S, b. 53, f. 161. The archives hereinafter cited as OJA.)Google Scholar
  5. 16.
    Reuben Slonim, Family Quarrel: The United Church and the Jews (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Co., 1977), pp.52–53.Google Scholar
  6. 23.
    Edward H. Flannery, ‘Anti-Zionism and the Christian Psyche’, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 6:2 Spring 1969: 174, 178–179, 181.Google Scholar
  7. 26.
    Alan T. Davies, ‘Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism and the Christian Mind’, The Christian Century, 89, 19 August 1970: 987–989.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haim Genizi

There are no affiliations available

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