A shepherd herds his sheep in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, 2018. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

A shepherd herds his sheep in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, 2018. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

In a statement on 16 June, World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca reiterated the WCC’s policy position in support of international law, and corrected false media portrayals of activities in Israel and the occupied territories.

“The World Council of Churches supports the application of international law equally,” the statement reads. “The purpose of the recent joint WCC-Middle East Council of Churches letter to the EU was to appeal for nothing more and nothing less than the equal application of international law – and equal consequences for the violation thereof – to the proposed annexation of West Bank territory as to other instances of annexation of territory, and for the EU to respond to this situation in a manner consistent with its own declared principles and established precedents.”

In a letter to media outlets, including The Times of Israel, the statement corrects “a gross misrepresentation of this position” and an account that “seeks to promote a false impression of WCC’s activities in Israel and the occupied territories as being tantamount to undercover surveillance.”

The statement concludes: “This imputation is patently absurd, as the image included in your report clearly shows. All WCC’s activities in the region – undertaken on behalf of WCC member churches in the region and in response to their appeal to ‘come and see’ – are completely public, all participants therein clearly identified as such, and information concerning such activities fully in the public domain via the WCC’s websites.”

World Council of Churches, Middle East Council of Churches write letter appealing to EU for firm stance against annexing occupied Palestinian territory (WCC press release of 11 May 2020)