EAPPI Fallout Should Worry Church

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) has been described as grotesquely partisan.

At the end of July, I wrote about the duty of care owed by the Church of England to decades of interfaith work in the United Kingdom. The General Synod of the church voted in favour of the adoption of Dr. John Dinnen’s private motion regarding EAPPI, despite grave warnings of the damage this risked to Judeo / Christian relations.

Times religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill decried the vote, stating that the church’s action was shameful.

A row has broken in Newcastle, England with relations deteriorating between local Jewish representatives and the Bishop of Newcastle Right Reverend Martin Wharton.

Bishop Wharton voted in favour of Dr. Dinnen’s motion at General Synod in July. It is reported that he plans to attend a conference in November at which the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign will present a session on boycott, divestment and sanctions.

It is not surprising to learn that EAPPI (specifically the north-east branch) is taking a leading role in organising the event.

Of deep concern is a statement from the presidents of the Representative Council of North-East Jewry which states that Bishop Wharton’s actions

makes any further contact with the Jewish community in the North-East impossible

I hope that a softening of this position and reconciliation are achieved quickly. The Church of England must respond with sensitivity and understanding to the concerns of the Jewish community over EAPPI’s agenda.

About the Author
Steve Nimmons is a technology entrepreneur and writer with interests in Innovation and Digital Transformation in Defence, Security and Policing.