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Dear Archbishop Justin Welby,

Along with other English Anglicans, I would like to thank you for your endorsement of the Oxford service of repentance for anti-Semitism, in May 2022, and of the run-up document 'Love Never Fails', both of which drew attention to how church teaching helped pave the way for the Holocaust. On this occasion the Bishop of Lichfield, one of those representing you, reaffirmed this, saying, "So much anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism can be traced back to distorted Christian teaching."

Owning the guilt of the past is a mark of integrity. You yourself wrote in view of this event "Let us pray it inspires Christians to reject contemporary forms of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism ..."

Thus it is hard to understand your public cautioning of British PM Liz Truss against transferring the British embassy to Jerusalem. Fear of potential violence was mentioned as a reason for your warning. Is this an accurate view? Not so, according to various Christian commentators, such as Charles Gardner and Hugh Kitson (Writer, Director & Producer of 'Whose Land?'). Kitson writes:

"History shows that the main reason for the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs has nothing to do with where the British embassy in Israel is situated. Rather, it is the Arab rejection of recognising the right of Jewish self-determination in their historic homeland, which is enshrined in international law through the Mandate for Palestine.

"The Arabs of Palestine were first offered their own state alongside a Jewish state west of the Jordan River as a result of the 1937 Peel Commission, then the UN Partition Plan in 1947 and again following the Oslo Accords – in 2000, 2008 and 2009. They were offered at least 95% of the territory they were officially demanding. They have rejected the offer of their own state living in peace beside the Jewish state, and resorted to violence, each and every time.

"The oft repeated mantra of 'From the River to the Sea Palestine will be free' is evidence of their intention to destroy the Jewish state. Moreover, Jordan's invasion of Israel in 1948 and its subsequent annexation of the Old City of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – which they renamed 'the West Bank' – was in direct violation of Article 2 of the UN Charter, and therefore every bit as illegal as Russia's invasion of Ukraine and subsequent annexation of Ukrainian territory. It is interesting to note that neither Jordan nor Egypt did anything to promote an independent Palestinian state in the 19 years they occupied 'the West Bank' and Gaza."

Coming from a church leader, your warning has ominous overtones. In Nazi Germany theologians promoted an Aryan Jesus and a dejudaized Bible ('The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany' Susan Herschel). Is this any different from trying to promote a non-Jewish international Jerusalem? How can that serve the purposes of peace? Peace is possible only where there is truth.

It seems like a subtle move to delegitimize Israel. In the Bible, Zion, a synonym for Jerusalem, is also used interchangeably for the Jewish people and the land of Israel as a whole. Allow me to quote our late founder Mother Basilea Schlink in her book 'Israel, My Chosen People':"The covenant of God with Abraham and His people does not speak of a possession and inheritance in heaven; rather, it refers to the land of Canaan, which God Himself has granted Israel in the covenant He made with her as a people living on earth. All the biblical prophecies about the regathering of dispersed Israel declare that she shall be brought back to her own country, the land of her fathers, the land of Canaan, which was promised to Abraham. There 'the Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem' (Zechariah 2:12 RSV, emphasis added).”

If we as the British people fail to honour Israel by doing them the courtesy of acknowledging their ancient capital city, are we not acting against the express will of God? Will this not indeed bring His curse upon us as a nation? We read God's pledge to Abraham: "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse" (Genesis 12:3 NIV-UK). In some Bible translations "curses you" is rendered as "dishonours you or treats you with contempt”. So in God’s eyes dishonouring Israel or treating her people with contempt amounts to a curse and will bring a curse upon ourselves.

I belong to a community that grew out of a movement of repentance in Germany at the end of WW2. With hindsight, many of the future members saw a clear connection between failing God’s people Israel in their time of need and the bombing of German cities.

I write with deep regret. Surely no one watching the late Queen's funeral will forget your sermon, which was truly outstanding. Nor has the Jewish community been remiss in expressing their gratitude for her life-long dedication for the good of our people. In 1991 HM Queen Elizabeth gave royal assent, over opposition of the House of Lords, for a bill enabling the prosecution of Nazi criminals who had illegally found refuge in Britain

Given the obvious sympathy of the royal family for the Jewish people, I can't help wondering at the implications of your warning about transferring the embassy. Such a warning surely places our new King in an uncomfortable position as nominal head of the Anglican Church.

Respectfully yours

Sister Anastasia Kennedy, Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, Darmstadt, Germany

Sister Anastasia Kennedy is of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, an interdenominational, Lutheran-based religious order. She sent this article to Arutz Sheva through a Jewish friend.