Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has condemned the decision of Quakers in Britain to divest from, in its words, “any companies profiting from the occupation of Palestine”.
Marie said: “The appalling decision of the Friends House hierarchy to divest from just one country in the world – the only Jewish state – despite everything else going on around the globe, shows the dangers of the obsessive and tunnel-visioned approach that a narrow clique of church officials have taken in recent years.
“There was no particular trigger incident for this decision, just the ongoing insistence of certain Quaker bureaucrats of feeding a diet of one-sided propaganda to those unfortunate enough to rely on them for information.
“While other churches have reached out to the Jewish community at this time of rising antisemitism and polarisation to work together to tackle prejudice and promote peace in the region, the Quaker leadership has chosen to import a divisive conflict into our country, rather than export the peace that we all want to see.
“Israel, the Middle East’s only true democracy and most thriving economy, will be untroubled by this biased and petulant act, but the Quakers, who have for so long been at the forefront of peace activism, have now marginalised themselves from being a credible voice on the issue.
“We urge the Quakers to reverse this decision, to stop promoting division, and to join those of us looking to build bridges instead.”
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