SENIOR Anglicans, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have called
on the Episcopal Church in the United States to demand that Israel
account for all the foreign aid that it receives from the US.
In an open letter to the Executive Council of the Episcopal
Church, the signatories, including the former Bishop of New
Hampshire, the Rt Revd Gene Robinson, and Dr Tutu, said: "Israel
must be held accountable for allowing an occupation for 45 years
that suffocates the dreams of freedom [that] the Palestinians
The letter noted that leaders of 15 religious groups, including
Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Methodists, wrote to Congress last
year calling for accountability of Israel's use of foreign aid from
the US, and said that the "voice of the Episcopal Church is
Israel has been the largest recipient of US foreign aid since
1945, receiving $115 billion in assistance.
The Palestinians were enduring an apartheid worse than it had
been in South Africa, Dr Tutu said.
The letter also demanded that the Church's financial resources
were not used "to support the infrastructure of this suffocating
The Presiding Bishop, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, however,
described the open letter as "extremely unhelpful", and said that
it "disregards due legislative processes".
She told the Episcopal News Service that such a letter only
discouraged those being criticised from entering into
The General Convention of the Episcopal Church last year
rejected boycotts and disinvestment from Israel, and, instead,
urged "positive investment" as a response to the Israel-Palestine