The General Synod of the Church of England, which has started this weekend, will be debating this Monday and Tuesday whether the Church should pass a motion to support the work of the “Ecumenical Accompaniement” programme of EAPPI.
In a recent Sabeel conference entitled “God, Faithfulness and Resistance”, EAPPI volunteers led groups from the Sabeel contingent around Bethlehem.
Sabeel’s leader Naim Ateek infuses antisemitic conspiracy theory with unpleasant theology about Israel, conjuring images of Christ-killers who have “turned Palestine into one huge Golgotha”, and who run their government in a similar way to Herod’s massacre of innocents. The UK Friends of Sabeel group boasts antisemites and terror supporters as patrons.
An EAPPI volunteer beams at how an EAPPI team was warmly greeted by Bethlehem’s mayor Victor Batarseh, who is a supporter and key ally of the terrorist group PFLP.
On a website run by the biographer of the PFLP terrorist hijacker Leila Khaled, Sarah Irving, we see an image of Khaled holding a gun, which an EAPPI volunteer admired enough to send to Irving.
EAPPI has teamed with Mayor Batarseh alongside the antisemitic Atallah Hanna, for a joint Christian event in Bethlehem. Another speaker at this event was Sheikh Taysir Tamimi.
Tamimi still features on the EAPPI website, alongside Hanna, as someone who supports hunger strikes in protest against Israel.
EAPPI has not a word of criticism of Tamimi or Hanna, with whom they have previous allied. Rather, EAPPI references Archbishop Hanna positively on the EAPPI website in 2009, and in a 2012 document entitled “Faith Under Occupation” published by EAPPI.
According to reports in popular evangelical magazine Christianity Today, Atallah Hanna supports suicide bombings – a position that drew outrage from the paper. Hanna apparently said this:
As you know, political parties in Palestine agree to the continuation of the intifada, which includes different approaches of struggle. Some freedom fighters adopt martyrdom or suicide bombing, while others opt for other measures. But all these struggles serve the continued intifada for freedom. Therefore, we support all these causes.
We are part of the intifada, so you don’t expect us to keep distance and watch. We are in the struggle, whether it’s martyrdom or any other means, we are part of it.
Hanna has since denied saying these things, although Islam Online claims that he did say these things. Here you can see Hanna ranting about “Satanic” and diabolical Zionism, and promising that Palestine will be free “from the river to the sea”.
EAPPI volunteer Richard Goodman held a cartoon competition, encouraging Palestinian children to portray Israel as a dragon, which he adds “needs slaying”, and Palestinians as St. George fighting the dragon.
EAPPI would stain the Church of England.