desmond tutu
Desmond Tutu at One Young World. RNS photo by Jmquez/courtesy Wikimedia Commons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oyw_desmond.JPG) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. *Note: This image is not available to download.

Episcopalians battle over aid to Israel

(RNS)  A group of prominent Episcopalians is criticizing their church's stand on Israel, urging it to join 15 other denominations who call for an accounting of U.S. aid to Israel.

The public letter released on Friday (Jan. 18) notes that leaders of 15 religious groups, including Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists, asked Congress to take that step last October, and that the "voice of the Episcopal Church is woefully missing."

desmond tutu

Desmond Tutu at One Young World. RNS photo by Jmquez/courtesy Wikimedia Commons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oyw_desmond.JPG) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. *Note: This image is not available to download.

The group includes Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an Anglican, and former Episcopal Presiding Bishop Ed Browning. The group also called on church executives to ensure that financial resources are not being used to support Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories.

"Just as this church stood with South Africa and Namibia during the dark days of Apartheid," the Episcopal leaders said, "so we recognize that we need to be standing with our sister and brother Palestinians who have endured an Apartheid that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has described as worse than it was in South Africa."

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said signing "partisan letters almost always raises the conflict level" and hinders efforts toward reconciliation through dialogue, according to Episcopal News Service.

bishop katharine jefferts schori

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of the Episcopal Church addresses the National Press club on the topic of "Religion in the Public Square." during a luncheon on Dec. 16, 2008. Religion News Service photo by David Jolkovski


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“Our work must begin by listening to those who live and work and have their being in the midst of the current conflicts, and equally attend to the conflicts in our own communities,” Jefferts Schori told ENS. “We cannot build a lasting peace by directing or imposing strategies on others. We can encourage non-violent and transparent methods like those Jesus and his disciple Martin Luther King, Jr. did.”

Last year, the Episcopal Church rejected boycotts and sanction against Israel, instead pledging to support "positive investment" in the Palestinian territories.

DSB/AMB END DE SANTIS

Comments

  1. Well done the Episcopalians. Now join the boycott. RIP MLK.

  2. And the Episcopalians are relevant how???? And before you go Brothering or Sisterning those wonderful Arab folks living in Isreal, please check with the Christians that have been systematically removed via intimidation, threats, and by any means necessary in Bethlahem, Nazureth,etc.. and all through the supposed palistinian land.

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