June 23, 2024

Church leaders in Jerusalem warn the British against moving the embassy

Church leaders in Jerusalem warn the British against moving the embassy

JERUSALEM/LONDON, 10/10/2022 (KAP/KNA) In the wake of leaders from the Anglican and Catholic churches in the United Kingdom, church leaders in Jerusalem have also expressed concern about British Prime Minister Liz Truss’s considerations of opening the British Embassy in Israel from its current location. Headquarters in Tel Aviv moves Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “Instead of devoting valuable government resources to such a futile endeavour, we encourage the British Prime Minister and her government to instead redouble their diplomatic efforts to support the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” a joint statement said on Monday.

In it, church leaders refer to the holiness of Jerusalem and its special, internationally recognized character. The religious status quo is important for maintaining harmony in Jerusalem and for good relations between religious communities. At the same time, it assumes Jerusalem’s special status as a separate entity. This is something that most countries of the world respect because the embassies in question are not located in Jerusalem.

Church leaders said in their statement that “the proposed relocation of the British Embassy to Jerusalem would seriously undermine this central principle of the separate group and the political negotiations it seeks to advance.” It also implies that negotiations on resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are not necessary and that the continuation of the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories and the unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem are “acceptable.” Thus the considerations of Great Britain constitute another obstacle to the already stalled peace process.

The London Cardinal also warns

Speaking in London last week, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, warned that moving the embassy would seriously damage any possibility of lasting peace in the region and the UK’s international standing. Nichols said he “sees no good reason” for the move to be considered now, and urged Prime Minister Truss to focus all efforts instead on finding a two-state solution that guarantees Jerusalem a special status.

A spokeswoman for the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby spoke. Welby expressed his “concern over the potential impact of moving the British embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem before a negotiated settlement is reached between the Palestinians and Israelis.”

In May 2018, the United States became the first country to officially move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. US President Donald Trump has previously recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Both have previously faced sharp criticism in the Arab world and a lack of understanding in many Western countries. According to the international position, the final status of Jerusalem should only be clarified as part of a peace settlement. So far, Honduras, Guatemala, and Kosovo have followed the United States and moved their embassies to Jerusalem.