Christians and Jews alike are instructed by the Ninth Commandment not to "bear false witness against thy neighbour". Yet last month the provincial synod of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa unanimously adopted a resolution which falls short of complying with that instruction.
Among other things, the resolution declared that Palestinians and Israelis both "deserve to live in peace and harmony". Current efforts by the international community were not enough, and "new initiatives towards peace, justice, and reconciliation should be pursued". The church should pursue only "non-violent solutions". All forms of "anti-Semitism and Islamophobia should be condemned in the strongest terms". Members of the Anglican church visiting the Holy Land were encouraged to "choose an inclusive and balanced itinerary".
With that, the commendable evenhandedness of the resolution ended. It went on to declare that "the military occupation of Palestine must end as soon as possible". No reference was made to violent attacks launched against Israel. The "balanced itinerary" made reference to establishing contact with Palestinian Christians, but with nobody else. Anglicans should "educate and inform ourselves about the daily reality of the situation" in the Holy Land. This notwithstanding the fact that the resolution had already declared that "in some respects" the situation in Israel and Palestine "can be described as worse than apartheid".
As for prayers, the provincial synod urged Anglicans to pray "God bless Palestine. Free all from oppression; and bring justice and peace. Amen". Apparently the synod does not believe that any others in the war-torn Holy Land are worthy of prayers.
The resolution goes on to "support any non-violent action, especially well-directed Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction actions against the Israeli state until they end their military occupation of Palestine". Thus does the Church align itself with the global BDS movement, which is dedicated to the stigmatisation, isolation, and ultimate destruction of the state of Israel. To this end it is embarked on a campaign to capture governments, international agencies, newspapers, non-governmental organisations, and academic institutions around the world.
Apart from characterising Israel as an "apartheid regime", into which characterisation the Anglican Church has now bought by formal resolution, BDS describes Israel's "large-scale assaults on Gaza" as "crimes against humanity". There is no reference to the attacks against Israelis launched from Gaza. Nor is there any reference to the possibility that the "apartheid wall" separating Israel from Gaza was constructed to keep out "suicide bombers" and other armed attackers.