The Church of England’s most senior bishop has backed Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas, and condemned the rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Britain.
In a statement on his website, Justin Welby says that he “fully accepts that Israel has the same legitimate rights to peace and security as any other state and to self-defence within humanitarian law when faced with an external threat”.
He goes on, however, to condemn the bombing of civilian areas, making clear reference to Israeli attacks on schools and UN buildings, although he also condemns Hamas for turning such areas into targets in the first place:
“The bombing of civilian areas, and their use to shelter rocket launches, are both breaches of age old customs for the conduct of war.”
The archbishop also condemns the “spike in violence and abuse” against Jewish communities in the UK that has followed recent protests against Israeli action in Gaza. Welby says:
“While it is acceptable to question and even disagree with particular policies of the Israeli government, the spike in violence and abuse against Jewish communities here in the UK is simply unacceptable.”
Last week, Breitbart London reported on how anti-Israel protests are becoming increasingly anti-Semitic, with protestors in London last Saturday proclaiming their support for Hamas and others calling for Israel to be wiped off the map.
The situation in Germany is now so bad that the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany has said the community is experiencing “an explosion of evil and violent hatred of Jews, which shocks and dismays all of us,” adding: “We would never in our lives have thought it possible anymore that anti-Semitic views of the nastiest and most primitive kind can be chanted on German streets.”
Blogger and Anglican commentator Archbishop Cranmer writes that Welby’s unequivocal support for Israeli statehood is highly unusual among Anglican clergy:
“…if Israel has the same rights to self-defence as any other state, it has a moral right and an ethical obligation to wage a “war on terror”. When did you last hear an Anglican bishop, let alone the Archbishop of Canterbury, support Israel’s historic and legal rights? When did you least hear a bishop of the Church of England advocate militarised self-defence as the only rational path to peace when confronted by murderous Jew-haters who conceal their bombs below hospitals, their rockets in clinics, and their guns and grenades in schools and mosques?”