Australian Jewish officials have blasted local Christian leaders for a â€œserious lack of balanceâ€ on Israel and the Palestinians. Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot chided 50-plus ecumenical leaders on Wednesday for being â€œconspicuously silentâ€ on the explicit policies of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran to eliminate the Jewish state, in a statement they issued as part of an international week of action on Israel and Palestine. Goot also said the church leaders â€œlose moral authorityâ€ by failing to condemn attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists. The statement, issued in Canberra by the Australian Heads of Churches at the start of a week of action supported in 17 countries, refers to the â€œdispossessionâ€ of the Palestinians, but ignores the 1947 U.N. resolution to partition Palestine, Goot added. â€œIt is surprising that a statement by Christian leaders fails to acknowledge that Jews and Christians elsewhere in the Middle East are often persecuted, and their holy sites desecrated, whereas Israel has a proud record of protecting all faiths and their respective holy sites, ” he said. â€œMost tellingly, the statement entertains the possibility of a so-called one-state solution, which all realistic observers of the Middle East recognize would mean the destruction of Israel.â€ The statement, backed by the leaders of the Uniting, Anglican and Catholic churches, as well as other Christian groups, implored the Australian government to â€œbecome much more active in the cause of peace in the Holy Land.” The signatories also appealed to the government to quadruple its aid to the development of Palestine.
The statement was prepared by Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, who incurred the wrath of the Jewish community last year when he slammed Israelâ€™s separation barrier, saying it had â€œinhumane effectsâ€ on Palestinians.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.