The United Reformed Church’s (URC) mission committee has called on local churches to lobby the UK government over plans for the annexation of parts of the West Bank.
At its June meeting, the committee considered the threat posed by the Israeli government’s proposed annexation of a significant part of the West Bank. It then passed a resolution that strongly endorsed a parliamentary petition calling on the UK government to oppose annexation and to introduce sanctions if the annexation goes ahead in July.
The committee’s resolution ended by encouraging local churches to lobby MPs who have not already signed the petition (Early Day Motion 464), asking for their support.
The move followed the publication of a joint statement from 13 senior church leaders in the Holy Land, who, on 15 May, expressed “the utmost concern” that annexation plans “would bring about the loss of any remaining hope for the success of the peace process”.
The Revd Philip Brooks, URC Secretary for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, said: “During the URC’s educational visit to the Holy Land last autumn, our team spoke with many indigenous Christians and Palestinians, witnessing at first hand their lived experiences in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
“From inadequate water and electricity supplies to severe restrictions on freedom of movement, we heard an outcry against the disproportionate actions of the Israeli government. Annexation will only serve to increase the suffering of Palestinians. We urgently ask Christians everywhere to contact their MP and get them to sign this Early Day Motion.”
At the time of writing, 76 MPs had signed the petition.
The General Assembly Israel Palestine Panel Discussion sharing the experiences of the participants of the 2019 Educational Visit will now take place live online via Zoom conferencing on Tuesday 14 July, from 7.00–8.15 pm. This will also include an audience question time. For joining details, please contact Carole Sired.
Read more about the committee’s resolution here.
Image 1: A boy and soldier in front of the Israeli wall. Justin McIntosh/Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0
Image 2: From left, Philip Brooks’ wife, Debs, and Derek Estill, Moderator of the URC GEneral Assembly 2018-20 on the URC educational trip to the IOPT.
Published: 11 June 2020