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Yale chaplain’s resignation shows debate within churches over Israel/Palestine

Yale chaplain’s resignation shows debate within churches over Israel/Palestine

“Episcopal chaplain at Yale University [seeming suggestion] that Jews were culpable for Israel’s actions against Palestinians and a related rise in global anti-Semitism, his comments not only led to his resignation but rekindled a debate within mainline Protestant churches about how to respond to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” , writes Sarah Pulliam Bailey at Religion News Service:

While the Episcopal Church supports a two-state solution and advocates for peace and reconciliation between both sides, Shipman’s flare-up reflects ongoing debate within several mainline denominations about divestment from Israel, sensitivities around anti-Semitism and uneasy attempts to strike a balance.

220px-Israel_and_Palestine_Peace.svg-2.pngAdvocates for peace between Palestine and Israel within the Episcopal Church see a growing divide, said Linda Gaither of the Palestine Israel Network within the independent group Episcopal Peace Fellowship. “There’s a gap between the leadership of the church and networks within the church,” said Gaither, whose group has defended Shipman’s comments. “It is not anti-Semitism to raise the question of the actions of the state of Israel. We must differentiate between the need for all of us to stand firm against anti-Semitism (and) the need to continue the Episcopal Church’s stance against occupation.”

Israel and Palestine Peace“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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Rev. Steve Holton

Benedictine hospitality is the heritage and hallmark of the Episcopal Church. It is the gift the world needs from us today.

The Benedictine Rule writes: "Everyone who presents himself as a guest shall be welcomed as Christ, for he himself said: "I was a stranger and you welcomed me."

In the context of this highly charged topic of Israel and Palestine, it means that all guests to the dialogue, whatever their opinion, are to be welcomed as Christ. We eat at the common table and Eucharist. We pray the same prayers. We are welcome to radically different opinions. In this way, we may hear the opinion of the Divine Guest whom no one can control, and learn something, and teach the world something

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