Mere Anglicanism

Church support for Palestinian statehood

The House of Bishops of the General Synod of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have released a joint statement urging Parliament to back a motion recognizing Palestine as an independent state.

The House of Bishops of the General Synod of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have released a joint statement urging Parliament to back a motion recognizing Palestine as an independent state.

MPs will vote on the resolution today (13 Oct 2014), which will not bind the British government. Last week Sweden formally recognized the Palestinian Authority as an independent state – the first European state to do so.

The statement signed on behalf of the bishops by the Rt. Rev. Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry – lead bishop for foreign affairs in the House of Lords, and the Rt. Rev. Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton — chairman of the department for international affairs of the Roman Catholic Bishops Conference, stated:

At a time of great uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa, we hold that it is the reasonable aspiration of all peoples to belong to a state and enjoy the merits of full and active citizenship on their own lands. We equally believe that the right of Palestinians for such statehood has been long overdue.

Given the benchmarks established by international law and universal legitimacy, and in light of the support offered by the Christian Church in the Holy Land, we believe Palestinians should also have a state that they can at long last call home.

Such a principled recognition by our Parliament and Government will facilitate rather than hamper the negotiations that would inevitably follow between Israelis and Palestinians to agree upon the details of this new and sovereign state created next to a secure Israel. Peace needs a bold vision.

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