Israeli ambassador tells bishops how Bible can be used to achieve peace


Israel's ambassador to Britain has led a fringe session at the Church of England's General Synod.

Daniel Taub spoke to around 80 bishops, church ministers and lay leaders about applying biblical lessons to the Middle East peace process.

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu was among the participants who heard Mr Taub discuss his past experience as part of Israel's negotiating team.

The ambassador used biblical texts including the conflict of Jacob and Esau to show how contemporary problems could be resolved.

“I no longer think the standard negotiator’s toolbox is wide, deep or rich enough to solve the most difficult disputes," Mr Taub said. "Faith and our faith texts offer untapped tools for transforming our dialogue.”

Mr Taub said the session had combined "two of my great passions - textual study of the Hebrew Bible and our continuing search for peace in the Middle East.

"The wonderfully lively and rich discussion about the biblical passages we looked at and their possible lessons for contemporary conflicts, served to deepen my conviction that our shared texts can serve as a vital place for meeting and deepening understanding”.

The session was co-ordinated by the Council of Christians and Jews together with the Board of Deputies and the Israeli Embassy in London.

Rabbi Natan Levy, the Board's interfaith consultant said: "The Bible gives both of our Christian and Jewish faiths hope for teshuva, meaning transformation in Hebrew.

"Only a year ago a Synod debate on Israel divided our communities, but the ambassador has opened the door now towards healing and wisdom.”

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