The Anglican Church of Canada & Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Adopt Misguided “Resolution on Peace and Justice in Palestine and Israel”
CALGARY, AB – July 5, 2023 – On Friday, June 30
, the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) in assembly with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), passed a Resolution on Peace and Justice in Palestine and Israel
at the 43rd Session of General Synod and Special Convention. This resolution will guide the churches’ future work of research, advocacy, and partnership in Israel and Palestine. While the resolution claims to “provide safe spaces in Canada for conversation and collaboration in pursuing truth, and working for a just and lasting peace among all people of the region,” the imbalanced resolution is replete with misunderstandings of Judaism and Israel.
In response, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and Canada’s rabbinical associations from across the country, including the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus, Montreal Board of Rabbis, the Toronto Board of Rabbis, the Rabbinical Association of Vancouver, the Rabbinical Assembly of Ontario, the Reform Rabbis of Canada, and the Winnipeg Council of Rabbis, released the following joint statement:
“The mainstream Jewish community is dismayed by the adoption of this anti-Israel resolution. It is our hope that, if the ACC and the ELCIC wish to have a healthy relationship with Canada’s Jewish community, they will accept our offer for structured and respectful dialogue.
“The resolution views Jews as an exclusively religious community, ignoring the role of peoplehood and ties to the land of Israel in Jewish identity, and it therefore delegitimizes both documented Jewish history and the Jewish people’s right to self-determination. We have many misgivings about the resolution. An important one is the onus it places on Israel alone for the breakdown of the peace process that has led to the current impasse, while ignoring the rejectionism of Palestinian leadership. The letter we wrote to ACC and ELCIC leadership about our concerns regarding the resolutions has gone unanswered.
“We are concerned that there was little concerted effort in advance of this resolution to engage the mainstream Jewish community in discussion. We are also concerned that this resolution may compromise the relationship between Christians and Jews in Canada.
“When Christian churches in the West, and in Canada, speak about policies and actions endorsed or engendered by the government of the state of Israel, it affects the Jewish community both in Canada and around the world.
“Our desire, much like the ACC and ELCIC, is to see a Middle East where Christians, Jews, and Muslims can freely observe their traditions and coexist in a state of peace and safety, while treating each other with respect. We believe that religious leaders, churches, and synagogues should work together to accomplish this. This resolution represents an impediment to that goal.”
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