THE controversy over the
General Synod's decision last year to support a private members'
motion endorsing the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in
Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) continues. More than 280 people have
signed a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, expressing "deep
concern" over comments he made to a Jewish newspaper last
Archbishop Welby told
The Jewish News that he wished he had voted against the
motion rather than abstaining, saying: "I think the situation in
the Holy Land is so complicated . . . and I don't think the motion
adequately reflected the complexity" (
News, 28 March).
The campaigners' letter
states: "The main criticism that was levelled against EAPPI before
the vote was . . . that it created 'a cohort of very partisan but
very motivated anti-Israel advocates who have almost no grasp of
the suffering of normal Israelis'. However, EAPPI seeks a just
solution to the problems in the Holy Land."
On Tuesday, the Revd
Stephen Sizer, Vicar of Christ Church, Virginia Water, said that
the letter was intended to be "conciliatory". "We genuinely want to
advocate for EAPPI. We fear they have been misunderstood by the
Archbishop, or those who advise him."
Speaking about Archbishop
Welby's planned visit to the Holy Land in June, Mr Sizer said he
hoped that he would be "an advocate for the Church in Israel and
Lambeth Palace said that they would not comment on the letter
"at this stage".