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WCC Dismisses Israel Bias Accusations

Wednesday March 6 2019

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has dismissed Israeli press accusations of bias as ‘unsubstantiated accusations and false innuendo’.

A Jerusalem Post report on February 20, one of several in the paper that have been critical of the WCC in recent months, described the ecumenical organisation as ‘biased’ and ‘anti-Israeli’.

It accused participants in the WCC’s Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) of posing as tourists to gather information about Israeli Defence Force operations in Jerusalem; and on their return of speaking about the Israel-Palestine situation in terms ‘loaded with antisemitism’.

It also accuses the EAPPI of working with a spokesperson for a Palestinian terror group, and quotes a spokesperson for NGO Monitor (an Israeli group which investigates the work of non-governmental organisations in the country) describing it as ‘a political project in disguise of human rights’.

In a statement released yesterday (March 5), the WCC said that the EAPPI had been established in response to an appeal from Palestinian churches, and provided ‘a protective international presence for members of the communities they visit’. It said that there was no evidence provided for the accusations of antisemitism or for links with terrorists.

The statement adds: “The WCC is confident that its activities in Israel are in no way illegal under relevant Israeli laws. Certainly there has been no court ruling or official sanction against EAPPI or its activities by Israeli authorities.”

It also reaffirms the right of the State of Israel to exist ‘within its internationally accepted borders’, but adds that it will continue to criticise Israeli government policies and practices that obstruct and impede the rights of the Palestinian people.

The WCC is an organisation of 350 churches worldwide, including the Church of Scotland.


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