The representative organization of British Jewry – the Board of Deputies – said it was “dismayed” by this week’s decision by the Church of England’s Synod to pass a motion endorsing the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), which sends “internationals” to the West Bank to “experience life under occupation.”
The Board of Deputies criticized what it called a decision to “promote an inflammatory and partisan program at the expense of its interfaith relations, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
“Justifying its decision using the views of marginal groups in Israel and the UK, the Synod has ridden rough shod over the very real and legitimate concerns of the UK Jewish community, showing a complete disregard for the importance of Anglican-Jewish relations,” the board said in a statement.
“As has been repeatedly stated, whilst EAPPI’s aims may appear admirable, its program lacks any kind of balance and shows nothing of the context of a hugely complex situation. Unsurprisingly its graduates return with simplistic and radical perspectives, giving talks against Israel which do nothing to promote an understanding of the situation in the Middle East, much less promote a peaceful and viable solution to its problems. Members of Jewish communities across the country have suffered harassment and abuse at EAPPI meetings and yet Synod has completely dismissed their experiences,” the board argued.
According to EAPPI’s website, during their visit to the West Bank “Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor and report human rights abuses and support Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace.
“When they return home, EAs campaign for a just and peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through an end to the occupation, respect for international law and implementation of UN resolutions,” the website states.
Prior to the vote, Britain’s Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks warned that by endorsing EAPPI the General Synod would risk damaging Christian-Jewish relations.
Source: Ynet News