Monday, October 29, 2007

Top U.K. churchman to visit Israel next week

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, is expected to visit Israel next week for meetings with the chief rabbis.

Williams, the chief religious figure of the Church of England and symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, blasted Israel's security policy on previous visits.

He is not expected to meet Israeli politicians, although he frequently speaks out on political issues.

Williams objected strongly to the war in Iraq and said three weeks ago in Syria that the talk of a military strike against Iran or Syria was "criminal, ignorant and potentially murderous folly."

On a visit to Bethlehem last year Williams said the separation barrier was "a sign of all that is wrong in the human heart."

On another occasion he attacked Israel for not ensuring the safety of the Christian communities in the Holy Land.

Two years ago at a Church of England gathering he supported practicing "morally responsible investment in the Palestinian occupied territories" and divesting from "companies profiting from the illegal occupation."

Rabbi David Rosen, chairman of the International Jewish Committee and one of the organizers of Williams' visit, said that "the archbishop is committed to Israel's existence and the good relations between Jews and Anglicans."

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope Rowan Williams protests against the restrictions the Israelis have just placed upon the travel of Arab Christian clerics in the Holy land as reported in the Associated Press and also in an Israeli broadsheet.

Arab Christian clergy will be severely limited - to just one visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories. That includes Bethlehem, which is in the West Bank.