Bishop of Southwark on Middle East Peace and Role of Churches in Delivering Aid

On Thursday 28th May the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Rev Christopher Chessun, spoke during the debate on the Queen’s Speech. He focused on the Middle East, the importance of a two-state solution for Israel/Palestine and the partnership role between churches and Government in delivering overseas aid. The full text of his speech is below and a video can be viewed here.

Bp Southwark May 2015The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, it was encouraging to hear the commitment of Her Majesty’s Government in the gracious Speech to various foreign policy objectives in the Middle East. The chaos in the Middle East is all too familiar and arises not from isolated pockets of trouble but from multiple interconnected challenges. Syria’s misery shows no sign of ending; Libya appears torn in half; ISIS continues to make gains in Iraq; and Yemen appears to be sliding into a humanitarian crisis. We are confronted by a Middle East that is coming apart at the seams. These are problems that will not just evaporate. They need careful attention and strategic patience, and I encourage Her Majesty’s Government to remain vigilant to broader aims throughout the region, as well as giving appropriate attention to the constituent parts. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark on Middle East Peace and Role of Churches in Delivering Aid”

Bishop of Southwark speaks about Israel & Palestine and the Two State Solution

Southwark 2The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun spoke in a short debate about the Israel Palesine two state solution. Bishop Christopher spoke of the importance to maintain freedom of religion across the region and some of the issues he had seen with the building of the ‘peace and security wall’ following a recent visit to the region.

Baroness Anelay  responded to the debate for the Government and addressed a number of the bishops points. Her comments can be found below.

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Bishop of Southwark takes part in debate on Palestinian statehood

On 29th January 2015, Lord Steel of Aikwood moved that the House of Lords take note of the Resolution of the House of Commons of 13 October 2014 that “this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel, as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”, and that this recommendation has also been adopted by the European Parliament, and the Parliaments of Sweden, France, Ireland, Portugal and Luxembourg. The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke during the debate on the motion. He reflected on a recent visit to the region, as an Anglican participant in the annual visit of the Holy See’s co-ordination group of bishops in support of the church in the Holy Land. He raised questions about how best to protect the rights of minority groups in the region and the need for a strong commitment to religious freedom to ensure the participation of all parts of the population in diplomatic and reconciliation efforts.

Southwark 2The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I was privileged earlier this month to spend a week in Gaza and the West Bank. I went as an Anglican participant in the annual visit of the Holy See’s co-ordination group of bishops in support of the church in the Holy Land. It was very challenging to see at first hand the current situation in Gaza and more widely in the West Bank.

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Bishop of Truro receives answers to written questions on settlements in East Jerusalem

Written Questions, answered on 24th and 25th March, 2014:

The Lord Bishop of TBishop of Truro 20.6.13ruro: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel regarding the recent announcement by the Jerusalem municipal authorities of their approval of building permits for 558 new units in East Jerusalem, in Har Homa, Neve Yaakov and Pisgat Zeev.

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The Bishop of Wakefield asks question about humanitarian assistance in Gaza

Baroness Falkner of Margravine asked Her Majesty’s Government what assistance they have given to the people of Gaza over the last three months.

The Bishop of Wakefield asked a supplementary question:

The Lord Bishop of Wakefield: My Lords, following Egypt’s closure of the tunnels, which has already been referred to, will the Minister give an assurance that the Department for International Development will adjust its aid package accordingly, to try to address some of the terrible suffering to which we have already heard reference?

Baroness Northover: The United Kingdom and the EU are putting in a massive amount of assistance, which is much needed in Gaza for the reasons the right reverend Prelate has given. Gaza has suffered a lot from the closure of the tunnels. However, the tunnels themselves help to fund Hamas and this is an opportunity to encourage Israel to open the borders there and to support the moderate elements in Gaza. Certainly, at the moment, the international organisations are saying that the underlying causes of the problems need to be addressed. The immediate shortages are being dealt with adequately.

(via Parliament.uk)

Israel and Palestine: West Bank – Written Questions

On 2nd December 2013, the Bishop of Worcester received answers to three written questions related to the situation in the West Bank.

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to Worcesteraddress impediments to the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the West Bank such as the confiscation of humanitarian aid and the prevention of access to communities in need of emergency assistance.

Baroness Northover: We are concerned at reports that the Israeli military authorities have blocked the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank. Where humanitarian aid is needed, Israel is obliged under international humanitarian law to facilitate the work of humanitarian relief schemes. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv has raised this issue with the Israeli National Security Adviser and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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