The World Council of Churches launched an initiative to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.At its conference last week in Jordan, the council launched the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum to formulate recommendations on how to deal with Israel and the Palestinians based on Christian ethics.The forum is designed to “catalyze and co-coordinate new and existing church policy for peace” aimed at “ending the illegal occupation in accordance with United Nations resolutions,” according to Reuters.The forum’s founding document said that both sides of the conflict are “imprisoned in a deepening cycle of violence, humiliation and despair” and that “the role of the churches is to heal and bring all sides to reconciliation.”The initiative drew sharp criticism from the Anti-Defamation League, which called it one-sided. “It is particularly shameful that the WCC chose to call on churches to ‘launch a worldwide rally for an end to Israel’s ‘occupation’ at a time when Israeli civilians are the target of unprovoked rocket attacks from Hamas, which supports the eradication of the State of Israel, and ongoing threats from Hezbollah, a terrorist group supported by Iran,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman wrote in a letter to the WCC’s secretary-general, Rev. Samuel Kobia.
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