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Old 02-17-2006, 08:45 AM
SeC SeC is offline
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Default Appeal for shareholder value in christian churches

Appeal for shareholder value in christian churches

Jewish leader attacks Anglicans over Israel vote

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's most senior Jewish leader has condemned the Church of England for voting this month to review its investments in companies whose products are used by Israel in the occupied territories.

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said the Anglican vote on whether to pull money from "companies profiting from the illegal occupation" was ill-judged and would inflame relations between the two religions.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the world's 77 million Anglicans, sparked anger by supporting the vote at a meeting of the church's governing body.

"The vote ... was ill-judged even on its own terms," Sacks wrote in the Jewish Chronicle newspaper on Friday. "The timing could not have been more inappropriate. (Israel) needs support not vilification."

He warned that the row would reduce the church's ability "to act as a force for peace between Israel and the Palestinians".

"The church has chosen to take a stand on the politics of the Middle East over which it has no influence, knowing that it will have the most adverse repercussions on a situation over which it has enormous influence, Jewish-Christian relations in Britain," Sacks added.

The Archbishop of Canterbury sought to take the heat out of the growing controversy last week, saying the vote was an "expression of concern" rather than a policy shift.

Williams said it would have no bearing on church investments in companies such as U.S. heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc., whose bulldozers are used by Israel to demolish Palestinian houses.

Caterpillar has said it has no control over how its products are used once they have been sold.

"Much distress has been caused, especially to our Jewish friends and neighbours," Williams wrote to Sacks last week in a letter released on the church's Web site (www.cofe.anglican.org). "This distress is a cause of deep regret."

He added that although the demolition of Palestinian homes raised "moral issues of some seriousness", the Anglican church did not want to start a boycott or question Israel's legitimacy or right to self-defence.

The vote angered many within the Anglican church and drew criticism from Jewish groups around the world.

Williams' predecessor as Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, said the vote made him "ashamed to be an Anglican".

In a letter to the Times newspaper, Carey said it was a "one-eyed strategy to rebuke one side and forget the traumas of ordinary Israelis who live in fear of suicide bombers and those whose policy it is to destroy all Jews".

comment: in my opinion all official churches should be as much transparent as possible... what is amazingly shocking to me that these churches do invest their assets more or less in "worldly" companies, instead of improving the life for example in 3rd world countries to help the people which starve to death... what are they waiting for??? Do they wait for judgement day until they start to help their brothers and sisters in need or is it easier to preach in their churches how to behave "godly" to receive their collects to invest afterwords in blue chip companies? It might be interesting to analyse which teaching the churches follow when god/jesus teached them disinterestedness...

What an upside down world we're living in...

best wishes from Switzerland


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