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UPDATED: Norway’s YMCA Boycotts Israel, Jewish NGO Objects

Facebook page of Norway's YMCA, announcing its boycott of (all of) Israel

Facebook page of Norway's YMCA, announcing its boycott of (all of) Israel

PLEASE SEE UPDATE AT END OF ARTICLE (GOOD NEWS)

Late last month the Norwegian branch of the YMCA, the Young Men’s Christian Association, aligned itself with the economic warfare movement known as the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against the only Jewish State, Israel. This salvo goes beyond the Peter Beinart version of BDS, and calls for an economic boycott of all goods and services from all of Israel, including the areas within the 1949 Armistice Line.

The Norwegian branch of the YMCA, which in Norwegian is abbreviated, “KFUK-KFUM,” is one of the largest and oldest youth groups in that country.

The KFUK-KFUM announced on its Facebook page that it “encourages broad economic boycott of goods and services from Israel and Israeli settlements to pressure the Israeli government to follow up on U.N. resolutions and end the illegal occupation of Palestine.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center responded to KFUK-KFUM’s boycott by dashing off a letter to the Secretary General of the Geneva-based World Alliance of YMCAs, urging the parent body to denounce the Norwegian branch’s action.

“This proposed boycott of the only democratic state in the Middle East is totally opposite of the principles expressed in the World Alliance of YMCA’s Mission Statement of “fostering dialogue and partnership between people of different faiths and ideologies and recognizing the cultural identities of people,” wrote the Weisenthal Center’s associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper.

Ironically, as the SWC noted, the boycott action targets all citizens of Israel, Jews, Christians and Muslims. Cooper pointed out that the activities endorsed by the BDS movement “don’t improve the life of a single Palestinian.” Instead, its “sole goal is to demonize and isolate the lone democracy in the Middle East, the Jewish State of Israel.”

Cooper’s letter called the Norwegian YMCA’s boycott action an “unjust, one-sided, anti-peace policy.”

“It is outrageous that any branch of a respected organization which prides itself on inclusion and tolerance would embrace the anti-Semitic poison of the radical anti-Israel BDS campaign,” he noted.

UPDATE MARCH 14, 2014: We received news from a European reader that the Oslo chapter of Norway’s YMCA – the largest chapter in the country – is not a part of the Norwegian YMCA boycott. This chapter stated on its website that it neither “stands behind or support the campaign,” and that it was “not informed of the campaign before it was launched.”

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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19 Responses to “UPDATED: Norway’s YMCA Boycotts Israel, Jewish NGO Objects”

  1. Sue Johnson says:

    How upsetting. I have to chalk it up to ignorance.

  2. so much for “christian” word in Y M Christian A. they will lose in the long run. Stupid people

  3. Maynard Miller says:

    How much does Norway currently buy from Israel? Probably very little so, Maybe it is time for Israel to counter and boycott all Norwegian products. Let them know that they are not that important!

  4. This is terrible, no wonder my ancestors left Norway. We need to stand behind Israel not desert them.

  5. DrJLD1 says:

    The reason that Scandinavians are antisemitic comes from allowing all kinds of Muslim radicals into their countries.

    I have long felt that since the time of Frederick Augustus, the Scandinavians have lost any moral courage along with the right to tell the rest of us, including Israel, how to behave.

    That they cannot even be Christian or be fair is due to the collapse of real democratic principles.

    What is odd is that the Scandinavians do not require Arab oil. So why do they toady to the extreme Muslims? It does not make a lot of sense, except that they fear the ones they have recklessly allowed in already.

  6. why don’t Israeli’s boycott Norway!!

  7. let them boycott all discoveries made in israel their loss stupid people

  8. Absolutely disgusting .

  9. Carolin Knox says:

    Never been a fan of any Y’s. They help the desperate as long as they go to church services.

  10. If you are not a supporter of the YMCA then you are a Muslim terrorist….
    Wake up America, stop all Muslims in the USA……..

  11. Shameful behavior Norway! I have Norwegian
    Ancestry on my dear Mothers side , and her Dad was a Norwegian; and
    From their lofty view from
    Heaven, I am sure they would agree with me on
    This : DO NOT BOYCOTT
    ISRAEL !!!!

  12. Boycotting Israel is like trying to boycott technology… where do you intend to start and stop? Israeli ingenuity is so much a part of our lives we don't even notice it; it would be impossible to fully back away from it. Ignorance is bliss.

  13. Cena Abergel says:

    Just as in the Purim story, everything can turn on a dime in a moment! V’naafochu!

  14. Karen Bryant says:

    We should boycott the ymca world wide.

  15. They say that they are Christians, but they are not, they are pagans.
    If they were really Christians they would love the Jews and Israel.
    Shalom

  16. This definitely goes against the mission statement of the YMCA, which was set up to give the youth a place to play sports while giving older perverts a place to prey on them. This call to boycott may still be considered a perversion of the youth, but The Village People would still not approve.

  17. Carlos Font says:

    I can't believe something liike this coming from Norway. I have lived there and always admired them, especially the way they resisted the Nazis diring WWII, unlike their "neutral" neighbors next door. And also from some Young Mens CHRISTIAN Association Chapters makes it especially tasteless.

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