Church leader may sue over City ‘slur’

A senior Church of England figure is taking legal advice after the Israeli anti-Zionist Gilad Atzmon claimed that he was suggesting the financial world should be "de-Judified".

John Reynolds, chair of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group, which advises the Church on its assets, argued in The Observer last month that more Christians should work in the City.

But Mr Atzmon, a British-based jazz musician with outspoken views on Israel, wrote on the web: "By pleading the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to send more Christians to the City, he may try to suggest to us that our financial world must be spiritually de-Judified."

Mr Reynolds said he was consulting lawyers on how best to respond. He described Mr Atzmon's remarks as "deeply offensive - and I cannot see how he can possibly interpret my article in this way. I am in favour of all faiths working in the City... and believe that the faiths individually and collectively are important in promoting strong ethical standards."

Mr Reynolds wrote: "We need politicians to be less in awe of money and less influenced by the seemingly munificent gestures of companies seeking to show they aren't just greedy bastards (when in fact they are). Above all, we need more individuals to make a stand. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York should go further and call for more Christians to work in the city."

Mr Atzmon was unavailable for comment. He has previously described Israel and Zionism as the "ultimate evil with no comparison" and that Zionism was "a crime still unfolding".

In a recent talk in Cambridge, Mr Atzmon said: "As the picture of the current economic disaster becomes ever more clear, it becomes rather obvious... that... the people who keep the Palestinians starved behind walls are unfortunately very much the same people who are responsible for a class genocide of millions of disenfranchised Americans who are now on the brink of total dispossession."

 

    Last updated: 11:47am, October 16 2008