THE Archbishop of Canterbury
has said that he should have voted against a General Synod motion
that endorsed the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine
and Israel (EAPPI).
Archbishop Welby abstained
on a private member's motion on Palestine and Israel that was
passed by the Synod last year (
News, 29 June 2012, Synod, 13
July 2012). The Board of Deputies of British Jews objected to
the motion's calling for the Synod to "affirm its support" for
EAPPI. It said that EAPPI's "ecumenical accompaniers", who monitor
human-rights abuses of Palestinians, had "almost no grasp of the
suffering of normal Israelis".
In an interview with The
Jewish News, published on Thursday of last week, Archbishop
Welby, who is scheduled to visit Israel in June, said: "On
reflection, I'd have voted against. I wasn't quite up to speed when
I went into that vote. I think the situation in the Holy Land is so
complicated . . . and I don't think the motion adequately reflected
He said that he would have
added to the motion that Israel had the right to "live in security
and peace within internationally agreed bor- ders, and the people
of the region have the right to justice, peace, and security,
whoever they are".
Dr John Dinnen, the Synod
member for Hereford diocese who proposed the motion, said on Monday
that he was "sad" that Archbishop Welby "now feels he should have
voted against my private member's Measure".
He said: "The Measure was
carefully drafted with the advice of Archbishop Rowan [Williams]
and it was passed by a large majority by General Synod. It was also
strongly supported by many British Jews and Jewish groups, such as
Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Israeli Committee Against
House Demolitions. . .
"When he visits Israel and
Palestine, I hope Archbishop Justin, like Archbishop Rowan before
him, will visit the West Bank and speak to ordinary Palestinians
whose lives are disrupted by the separation wall built on their
land, deep in their territory, and by demolitions, movement
restrictions, and other manifestations of the military occupation
of Palestine. I hope he will see the work of EAPPI and will meet
Palestinians and Israelis working for a just peace."
Archbishop Welby also told
The Jewish News that he had been "really pleased" to
discover evidence of Jewish ancestry. He said that he was looking
forward to meeting up with some cousins he had never met.