Archbishop to go to Auschwitz

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 12, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will visit Auschwitz in November. The Archbishop divulged his plans in a meeting this week with the two chief rabbis of Israel.

The meeting on Tuesday at Lambeth Palace between Dr Williams and Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yonah Metzger was the third such meeting over the last two years. It was part of an ongoing dialogue between the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and the Church of England. Last year, Dr Williams visited the rabbis in Jerusalem.

A joint communiqué after the meeting said that the clerics were "distressed to note that the President of Iran continues to use threatening and derogatory language towards Israel".

Dr Williams told the chief rabbis he will use the Auschwitz visit to repeat his call to the Iranian leadership to stop threatening Israel's existence. Rabbi Amar said: "It was a very cordial meeting and there was a lot of goodwill to achieve joint targets."

An Israeli government source said: "Since the meetings between the chief rabbis and Canterbury have been taking place, we've noticed a much more positive position from the Anglican church on matters of boycott and divestment."

Last updated: 3:26pm, September 11 2008