Newcastle bishop pulls out of EAPPI meeting following Jewish protests: The Church of England Newspaper, November 4, 2012 p 7. November 8, 2012Posted by geoconger in British Jewry, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Judaism.
Tags: Board of Deputies of British Jews, Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine, Jewish Chronicle, Martin Wharton
The Bishop of Newcastle has withdrawn from a conference organized by the north-eastern branch of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine (EAPPI) after leaders of the Newcastle Jewish community warned Bishop Martin Wharton that his participating in the two-day meeting in Gateshead next month would end inter-faith relations.
The controversial motion had been a focus of discussion at this summer’s meeting of the Anglican-Jewish Commission of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel which stated the vote had “caused much distress within the Jewish community in Britain and also within the Christian community as well as in Israel and beyond.”
The presidents of the Representative Council of North-East Jewry, Brian Mark and Eric Joseph, also wrote to Bishop Wharton about his vote in favour of the EAPPI motion. They were perturbed he had endorsed EAPPI “despite…our grave concerns about that proposal, especially that it would encourage anti-Semitism.”
The bishop also aroused their ire by agreeing to attend a meeting sponsored by EAPPI “in Gateshead in November, which plans to include a session on boycotts and divestment by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.”
These actions make “any further contact with the Jewish community in the North-East impossible,” they said.
Last week, Bishop Wharton said he would withdraw from the meeting “for the sake of good relations between all the faith communities in Newcastle”.
The Jewish Chronicle reported that Bishop Seamus Cunningham, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle had also withdrawn from the meeting. A spokesman said that “after becoming aware that many Jewish people in the north-east were angry and upset. They feel that EAPPI speaks for only one side of a complex situation and that, as the conference is to be held on a Saturday, they could not attend and present an alternative view.”
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.