Posts tagged ‘EAPPI’

“I do not believe that the EAPPI programme offers a balanced and fair insight into the conflict” Rabbi Dr Jonathan Wittenberg

“I deeply support the work of the Parents Circle, and many other organisations striving for peace, understanding, awareness of the other, and reconciliation. It is essential, if peace is to be achieved, that the narratives, sufferings and fears of both sides be understood and appreciated. As a Jew who loves Israel, I have witnessed and am deeply pained by the sufferings of many Palestinian people. This situation cries out for remedy.  But I do not believe that the EAPPI programme offers a balanced and fair insight into the conflict. It doesn’t offer an adequate opportunity to appreciate the genuine dilemmas and struggles facing ordinary Israelis and Palestinians. I do, however, believe that an approach could be found – beyond EAPPI - enabling Christians to testify with deep feeling to all sides of this tragic conflict which we must work together urgently to heal.”

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of the UK Masorti Movement, Patron of Parents Circle-Bereaved Families Forum and President of The Council of Christians and Jews. 25 June 2012

EAPPI – Unbiased?

This is a post by Jeremy Newmark, CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) claims that “We want to serve all parties in this conflict in a fair and unbiased manner in word and action” a noble and just cause that no reasonable person could object to. With only two hours out of the two weeks training given prior to the trip putting forward the Israeli perspective, and just one day spent over the Green Line during a four month trip, it’s clear (unless you’re a certain Ben White) that there is an underlying agenda.

What about when the Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) return? Do they “serve all parties in this conflict”? There are far too many voices that suggest otherwise. Reports of talks given and organised by EAs have shown just how partisan they are, with the EAs sometimes articulating incorrect and extreme positions on the conflict. One example was a meeting held in The Friends’ Meeting House in Chelmsford.  In other arenas EAs adopt elements of the Boycott Israel (BDS) agenda.  Concerns about EAPPI extend far beyond the Jewish community, as shown by the recent statement by Rev Canon Andrew White, a senior CoE cleric based in the Middle East.

EAPPI clearly has some questions to answer on the content of its programmes, and the activities of some of its alumni.

Equally worrying, are the positions and people that EAPPI appears happy to associate with.  A quick visit to the EA facebook page further proves what the programme is really about – demonising Israel under the guise of pushing for peace with clear support for Boycott, Divestments, Sanctions and the notoriously anti-Israel PSC.

An arm’s length facebook group created by supporters of EAPPI to express their personal views counts among its members Rev Sizer, the Surrey Pastor with a penchant for citing hate websites on an increasingly regular basis.

So, is EAPPI really an unbiased organisation acting with  ‘principled impartiality’? The evidence clearly throws up some questions.  That is why we have called for an independent investigation into its activities before the General Synod of the Church of England discusses a motion to extend its relationship with EAPPI.  If it really has nothing to hide why are EAPPI supporters such as veteran Anti-Zionist Ben White working so hard to fight this?

“I do hope Synod will reject the motion calling for endorsement of EAPPI” Rev Canon Andrew White

“As someone who has spent many years living in the Middle East-the Land of the Bible-, risking life and limb for peace and who is proudto be a friend of Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims, I do hope Synod will reject the motion calling for endorsement of EAPPI.

The motion is unjust and has caused deep pain in the Jewish Community. It neglects the wars against Israel’s very right to exist. It overlooks the persecution of Jews in the Middle East that preceded the establishment of the modern State of Israel. Israel-like all countries-is not perfect, but she sincerely wishes to find peace.

It is not clear why Synod is being asked to adopt a one sided “NAKBA” narrative against Israel while our fellow Christians are dying in Iraq, Sudan, Egypt and Syria. There are many wonderful peace-loving people in the Palestinian territories who are entangled in a conflict they do not endorse, but the culture of incitement against Jews and Christians as well as the continuing rocket bombardments on Sderot are factors that Synod is being asked to ignore or at best discount.”

Rev Canon Andrew White, St George’s Baghdad. 21 June 2012