Affirm the following resolutions of the 12th Anglican Consultative Council relating to conflict in the Middle East, numbered F1, F2, and F3 below:
This Anglican Consultative Council notes with increasing concern the continuing instability and violence in Israel/Palestine and the resulting economic and social disadvantage in vulnerable groups and communities, as well as the widespread destruction, fear, injury and loss of life in the area;
a) believes that the best way to achieve longer-term security and a lasting basis for peace is for each side to recognize the legitimate aspirations, rights and needs of the other;
b) condemns all violence against civilians;
c) while recognising the legitimate right to its own defence, believes that the present conduct of the State of Israel has raised the level of threat to Palestinians and thus escalated the violence, with its consequent threat to the security of all families and individuals within the State of Israel;
d) calls upon the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority, as well as individual politicians, religious groups and community leaders, to find a way of breaking the spiral of revenge violence by entering into a new joint formal process of negotiation, based on international, religious and humane values of truth, forgiveness and reconciliation, in order to move towards genuine peace, justice and stability in the area;
e) calls upon the Israeli Government to implement UN resolutions 242, 338 and 194; and supports resolution V.20 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference;
f) urges the member churches of the Anglican Communion and associated agencies to find new ways of supporting collaborative projects between Israeli and Palestinian, Jewish, Muslim and Christian individuals and groups;
g) assures the people of Israel/Palestine of its prayers for peace; that its prayers will be offered in the name of God who calls us all to a greater love for each other, our neighbours, those who are strangers to us and our enemies.
This Anglican Consultative Council:
1. Welcomes the proposed return of UN Weapons Inspectors to Iraq;
2. Calls on the government of Iraq to comply fully with UN resolution 687;
3. Believes that, on present evidence, military action against Iraq is not morally justified;
4. Calls, subject to reports from UN Weapons Inspectors, for sanctions, except for materials that could be used for Weapons of mass destruction, to be lifted.
F.3. Solidarity with ECUSA Position on Iraq
This Anglican Consultative Council affirms its solidarity with the position taken by the Episcopal Church, USA, in June 2002, in opposing unilateral military action against Iraq by the United States, and with the view expressed by the Presiding Bishop in his statement of 6 September 2002, that:
1. war holds the prospect of destabilizing the Middle East and we will all be better served to see our national energies and resources expended in resolving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, such that Israel finds security and peace with its neighbours and Palestinians achieve statehood;
2. military action would surely inflame the passions of millions, particularly in the Arab world, setting in motion cycles of violence and retaliation, further straining tenuous relationships that exist between the United States and other nations;
3. the United States has the opportunity to express leadership in the world by forging a foreign policy that seeks to reconcile and heal the world's divisions and reflect its values and ideals by focusing upon issues of poverty, disease and despair, not only within the US but throughout the global community of which it is a part. CARRIED #34-11-02
Note re F2.2 It was noted that there has been a United Nations' resolution subsequent to 687.
Toronto -- Anglican Archbishop Michael Peers, Primate of Canada, today expressed his disappointment that the Canadian Jewish Congress has issued a statement attacking his recent pastoral letter, sent last month to Anglican clergy.
Archbishop Peers recently toured the Middle East as part of a delegation of Canadian church leaders. The group met with Jews, Palestinians, and Israeli government officials.
The pastoral letter dealt with three issues: Christian unity in the Middle East; Christian-Jewish history; and the human rights of Palestinians, especially in the occupied territories.
Archbishop Peers said he regrets the fact that his letter has been misunderstood as an attack on the Jewish people. In fact, he notes, a major section of the letter reviewed the "unfortunate and at times tragic" history of Christian Jewish relations, and called for "repentance about the history of Christian anti-semitism." It reminds clergy of the importance, especially during Holy Week, of avoiding any reference that might suggest anti-Jewish feelings.
The letter does not attempt to deal with the Arab-Israeli conflict, nor with Jewish experience, nor with the history of Israel. Enclosed with the letter was a "Prayer from Jerusalem", written by the heads of churches in Jerusalem, and commended to Canadian Christians at their request.
"We value the relationships we have built between the Anglican and Jewish communities over the years," Archbishop Peers said. "These have resulted in significant changes in our teaching and liturgy. We need continued dialogue and openness over matters in which there are sincerely held differences of opinion."
EXCERPTS FROM THE PASTORAL LETTER
The holy sites which testify to [Jesus'] ministry and sacrifice also testify to the continuing disunity of Christians after two thousand years.
On every site you find at least two altars, sometimes two churches (sometimes three!). Catholic, Orthodox, Armenian and Protestant monuments situate themselves side by side in almost every place. Sometimes, to my eyes, they seemed to jostle and compete, though I tried hard to look at them as offering a united witness.
...in Cyprus, we saw concrete proof that the desire for unity is genuine. For the first time in 1500 years the leaders and representatives of the four "families" of churches in the Middle East gathered together to confront the issues that divide them and the region. It is, as the world knows, one of the most bitterly divided regions on earth. Christians, Muslims and Jews all have a special responsibility for the people who live there and for the future of peace in the area.
The Occupied Territories
...Christians in the Middle East are almost entirely Arabs. In Israel/Palestine the Church is made up largely of Palestinian congregations. From the time of Christ to the present they are the people who have borne continuing witness to the Gospel in the land of its origin. Now, through our churches, they are appealing to us to hear them, to see them, and to pray for them.
They have written a prayer which we are asked to offer in public worship on April 8...
The history of relations between Christians and Jews has been unfortunate and at times tragic. The earliest stages of it, in apostolic times, were characterised by Jewish objections to Christian preaching and ministry. Because these were the times in which the New Testament was being formed, echoes of anti-Jewish attitudes are discernable in the Scriptures, and later contributed in forming the basis of Christian feeling toward Jews in different times and circumstances when the power relationships were completely reversed.
In my mind there is no doubt that anti-Jewish sentiments in the Church laid the social and cultural groundwork for economic and political action against Jewish people from expulsion of Jews from England and Spain, for example, to the pogroms of the 19th century and, ultimately, the Holocaust in Europe. Jews today rightly point to the relative silence of Christians during that period of their suffering, and condemn us for selective indignation when we look critically at some of the complex issues in the Middle East.
I believe we must engage in acts of repentance about the history of Christian anti-semitism. I do not think we may deny it, avoid it, or justify it. Broken relationships can only be reconciled when there is a willingness and honesty to confront both pain and responsibility.
Palestinian Human Rights
One of the false stereotypes many of us have is that of the Palestinian people. They are frequently portrayed to us as terrorists. While terrorist acts have been committed in the Palestinian cause, it is a distortion when applied to the people as a whole. Those who live in the occupied territories do so, for the most part, in misery and oppression. They suffer daily assaults upon their dignity and freedom, and I believe we must not allow our sense of guilt toward Jews to silence us in the face of the reality of the Palestinians.
As Christians, we are called to solidarity with all who suffer. When they also happen to be our brothers and sisters in Christ, who have borne witness to the Gospel in the land where Jesus died and rose again, we have a double responsibility. That is why Holy Week and Easter this year will be particularly important to me. When I walk the way of the Cross next month symbolically in a Church in Canada, I will be seeing the faces of the Christians I met in the Holy Land, and I will be praying for peace and unity for them and for all the peoples of the region.
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Leaders of two Christian Churches in Canada today appealed to both Arabs and Jews to settle their differences by peace conference.
Most Reverend E.W. Scott, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Right Reverend N. Bruce McLeod, Moderator of the United Church of Canada have called upon their "Arab and Jewish brothers to condemn the inhumanity of war."
In a joint communique the church leaders say; "Some of us in the Christian community recognize the mixture of pride and fear which has fed the continuing crisis in the Middle East from both sides.
"We affirm, however, our belief that Israel has the right to live, and to live in peace."
"We declare also our concern for the right of the Palestinians and all people in the Middle East to live in peace."
"We call upon our Arab and Jewish brothers to condemn the inhumanity of war, and to urge upon their leaders an early peace conference which would satisfy the reasonable claims of the Palestinians and guarantee Israel her safety."
The Primate read the following telegram to the House of Bishops from Canon Shafik Farah of Toronto:
"I pray you take a stand and speak out for peace with justice regarding the Palestinian/Israeli situation and for an end to the ongoing massacres in the occupied territories on the Gaza strip. How many more should die? And for how long should we wait ?"
That this House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada deeply regrets the acts of violence in the occupied territories of the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. The Bishops endorse the proposal by the Anglican Consultative Council for an international conference for peace in which all parties affected would be present.
The Bishops call on the Government of Canada and all peace-loving citizens to promote and support such a proposal." CARRIED
Archbishop Andrew Hutchison spoke at the 20th annual neighbourhood interfaith dinner and assured the Jewish community that the Anglican Church of Canada has no plans for disinvestment from companies with ties to Israel.
Some denominations are reviewing their investment policies with companies that do business with Israel. Cynthia Patterson clarified that the Anglican Peace and Justice Network had not called for divestment.
"The Anglican Church of Canada in January  joined other members of the Anglican Communion and churches worldwide in calling for a ceasefire and a redoubling of efforts to secure lasting peace in Gaza, where thousands have been killed or injured after renewed fighting between Israeli military forces and the militant Palestinian group Hamas". "Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, called for 'an immediate cessation to the horrific violence' in Gaza which erupted on Dec. 27 ." "The national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), Susan Johnson who was part of a delegation that traveled in the Middle East last month [January 2009], urged Prime Minister Harper to reconsider the Canadian government's position that solely blamed Hamas for the violence". "During a meeting with Israel's chief rabbis, visiting Lutheran bishops also told Israel's chief rabbis that the conduct of Israel's military campaign raised questions about a 'just war theory', noting the 'proportionality and killing of innocents', reported Ecumenical News International." The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) "also responded to the emergency appeals from ACT (Action by Churches Together) with an initial grant of $20,000". The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, Suheil S. Dawani "asked for prayers and financial support as the Al Ahli Arab Hospital, an institution supported by the diocese, struggled to provide critical health care in the area".
Article also includes photo with caption: "About 700 protesters demonstrate on Parliament Hill, against Israel's military action in Gaza. Among speakers condemning the attacks were Jews and Christians, including Anglican priest Robert Assaly of Ottawa."