The representative organization of British Jewry has condemned the Church of England’s Synod for choosing to “promote an inflammatory and partisan programme at the expense of its interfaith relations.” (For A7's Giulio Meotti explaining the story behind the vote, click here.)
In a strongly worded statement, the president of the Board of Deputies expressed its concern over the decision at the Synod on Monday to pass a motion endorsing the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), The Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported.
The EAPPI’s website claims that it “brings internationals to the West Bank to experience life under occupation. 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,” the website claims, “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 program had previously been described by the Board as the activities of “very partisan but very motivated anti-Israel advocates who have almost no grasp of the suffering of normal Israelis.”
The resolution, which was overwhelmingly backed by delegates, called for support of the “West Bank” volunteer program.
Vice President of the European Jewish Congress, Vivian Wineman, said the Synod explained that there is a clear imbalance in the EAPPI program and noted that it does nothing to promote an understanding of the situation in the Middle East.
Even Wineman, who has been a Chairman of both Peace Now and the New Israel Fund of Great Britain, two organizations known for, what many deem to be anti-Israel agendas, has claimed that, “Members of Jewish communities across the country have suffered harassment and abuse at EAPPI meetings and yet Synod has completely dismissed their experiences.”
“As the motion was being debated, it came to light that EAPPI had issued a publication, entitled ‘Chain Reaction,’ which calls on supporters to stage sit-ins at Israeli Embassies, to hack government websites in order to promote its message and declares EAPPI’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel,” he continued.
“To hear the debate at Synod with references to ‘powerful lobbies,’ the money expended by the Jewish community, ‘Jewish sounding names’ and the actions of the community ‘bringing shame on the memory of victims of the Holocaust,’ is deeply offensive and raises serious questions about the motivation of those behind this motion,” Wineman added, according to the JC.