My Church’s actions are shameful

Once again the actions of my Church over Israel have reduced me to shame.

I agree that Palestinians need justice and support a two-state solution. And I share the frustrations of many that both these objectives seem as remote as ever.

But I take seriously the intervention of the chief rabbi when he warned that passing the motion would do “serious damage to Jewish-Christian relations in Britain”, and when he voiced fears of a “one-sided narrative” on a complex and difficult issue.

And I listen carefully when the Archbishop of Canterbury, a president of the Council of Christians and Jews, says he wants to understand why it is that local Jewish communities are so very worried by EAPPI.
Those who are concerned are not necessarily those who take the view that the Israeli government “can do no wrong”.

It is in keeping with the scriptures of the Jewish and Christian traditions that prophets are too often ignored until it is too late. Some of the remarks made in the debate, along with the failure of the synod either to take note of or properly understand what these two most senior of western religious leaders were talking about, does make me fear that there are important lessons of the Holocaust that have yet to be learned.

Perhaps it is a generational thing. Most synod members are middle aged or older. We can only hope and pray that the ground-breaking youth and educational work of the Holocaust Education Trust, the Anne Frank Trust and the powerful, annual message of Holocaust Memorial Day will make sense to the coming generations and change things to the point and at a depth where it really can, truly, never happen again.

Meanwhile, to readers of the Jewish Chronicle, on behalf of my Church, I apologise.

Ruth Gledhill is religion correspondent of The Times

Last updated: 1:19pm, July 12 2012