Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has spoken out against a London Methodist church’s decision to exhibit a “life-sized copy of a border control point at the separation barrier between Israel and occupied Palestine”.
You cannot pass today: Life through a dividing wall, held at Hinde Street Methodist Church in Marylebone, began on Monday drawing criticism from CUFI and Jewish organisations for failing to depict the reasons behind the needed security barrier.
Lord Carey told Christian Today, “Jewish people across Europe are increasingly being targeted and killed by terrorists, who often attempt to justify their actions by demonising Israel. It is therefore particularly sad to see a church in London demonising and singling out Israel’s defensive actions against terrorism.”
He added: “Checkpoints in Israel are sadly needed in order to save lives. The methods used by democracies to defend their civilians should not be undermined by religious leaders in places of worship and brotherhood.”
After representations by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Zionist Federation, the church agreed to include a table of information prepared by the Federation. In a statement, the two organisations said it was talking to the church about a panel discussion including a pro-Israel speaker.
It said: “The church has expressed regret that a letter about the exhibition sent to a local rabbi did not get through, and in future we would hope to see more rigorous consultation around such sensitive events, for the sake of good interfaith relations.
It is one of a number of events taking place around the country this September as part of “World Week for Peace in Palestine & Israel” organised by World Council of Churches.