Christian aid agency attacked over Church's disinvestment decision
A Christian aid agency has been attacked and publicly linked with the decision by the Church of England's General Synod to disinvest church funds from companies profiting from Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.
Sarah Mandel, an associate editor of 'NGO Monitor', alleges that Christian Aid "focuses primarily on political and ideological denunciations of Israel."
Writing in the Jerusalem Post, she says; "this EU-funded NGO focuses primarily on political and ideological denunciations of Israel, including active promotion of 'apartheid' rhetoric and justification of terrorism."
"It is driven by a radical anti-Israel ideology that exploits humanitarian and human rights claims to pursue these goals."
She alleges that evidence presented by leaders of Christian Aid "entirely erases the context of conflict, incitement and terrorism."
The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre, also comes in for criticism, which Mandel suggests is spearheading the international campaign for divestment.
Although the group pursues "a spirituality based on justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation" Mandel suggests that it is "an extremist Palestinian organization that pays lip service to a two-state solution while promoting the "right of return" for all Palestinians, which is a euphemism for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state."
Sabeel's activities are a clear example of the "Durban Strategy," she says, "a campaign to undermine and delegitimize the State of Israel by falsely comparing it with apartheid South Africa and pursuing boycotts and divestment as a response."
A senior bishop also comes in for criticism.
Bishop John Gladwin, who is a member of the Church of England Synod, is highlighted as a link between Sabeel and Christian Aid. The bishop is both a patron of Sabeel UK and also chair of the Board of Trustees of Christian Aid.
"Christian Aid is a major British charity, and as its head, Gladwin is well placed to influence the wider church on questions regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict" Mandel alleges.