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‘The Council of Christians and Jews finds the “Open Letter” brought to discussion at the Methodist Conference to be lacking in balance and absent of practical solutions to the complex issues facing both Palestinians and Israelis. The document focuses on a narrow interpretation of history and theology whilst ignoring decades of work for peace on both sides. The document is incorrect in suggesting that Christians are prevented from visiting Bethlehem and other Christian sites in the West Bank; we encourage Christians from the UK to visit Israel/Palestine and to meet local people and organisations who work cross-communally to build positive relationships between neighbours. Any attempt to refute either people’s connection with the land is counterproductive. It is only through honest dialogue and practical shared understanding that the path to peace can be pursued. We are pleased that the Conference rejected this letter by agreeing not to hold a vote on whether they should distribute it amongst churches. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Methodist Church in the aims of dialogue, education and shared peace.’

Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, Director