news from ekklesia

news from ekklesia

By staff writers
29 Jan 2004

Israel warned by Archbishop over apartheid wall

-29/1/04

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has warned Israel that the wall it is building in the occupied territories is seen as "a terrible symbol of fear and despair".

The archbishop, on a week-long visit to the holy places of Israel and Jordan, used his address at an ecumenical service in St George's Anglican cathedral in Jerusalem to criticise the failure of negotiations to build communities regarding each other with mutual respect.

He said: "The security fence stands as a terrible symbol of the fear and despair that threaten everyone in this city and country, all the communities who share this holy land ... it is seen by so many as one community decisively turning its back on another, despairing of anything that looks like a shared resolution, a truly shared peace."

Risking criticism from Israeli authorities who have been angered by British politicians criticising their policies in the past, Dr Williams, who joined other British faith leaders on Holocaust memorial day in condemning anti-semitism, warned that denying citizenship increased the risk of attacks.

Archbishop Williams said: "Where there is no creative freedom to discuss and to modify how we live together and where there is no law, no predictability and equity and openness, no guarantees against arbitrary violence, there is no citizenship ... If people are held back from responsibility and liberty in the places where they live it is usually a good deal harder for them to see themselves as citizens in God's kingdom."

"What is needed is not only the refusal of violence and the continuing work of local and international peacemakers but the steady effort to create citizenship ... If two neighbour communities can begin to become truly civil societies in which law and human dignity are taken absolutely seriously, there is the chance of growth towards a human fellowship in which the presence of God can become visible."

Israel warned by Archbishop over apartheid wall

-29/1/04

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has warned Israel that the wall it is building in the occupied territories is seen as "a terrible symbol of fear and despair".

The archbishop, on a week-long visit to the holy places of Israel and Jordan, used his address at an ecumenical service in St George's Anglican cathedral in Jerusalem to criticise the failure of negotiations to build communities regarding each other with mutual respect.

He said: "The security fence stands as a terrible symbol of the fear and despair that threaten everyone in this city and country, all the communities who share this holy land ... it is seen by so many as one community decisively turning its back on another, despairing of anything that looks like a shared resolution, a truly shared peace."

Risking criticism from Israeli authorities who have been angered by British politicians criticising their policies in the past, Dr Williams, who joined other British faith leaders on Holocaust memorial day in condemning anti-semitism, warned that denying citizenship increased the risk of attacks.

Archbishop Williams said: "Where there is no creative freedom to discuss and to modify how we live together and where there is no law, no predictability and equity and openness, no guarantees against arbitrary violence, there is no citizenship ... If people are held back from responsibility and liberty in the places where they live it is usually a good deal harder for them to see themselves as citizens in God's kingdom."

"What is needed is not only the refusal of violence and the continuing work of local and international peacemakers but the steady effort to create citizenship ... If two neighbour communities can begin to become truly civil societies in which law and human dignity are taken absolutely seriously, there is the chance of growth towards a human fellowship in which the presence of God can become visible."

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