”The WCC has supported the State of Israel since its inception in 1948,” noted Sauca. “The council has consistently called for an end to violence, repudiation of all forms of anti-semitism, an end to the illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and a negotiated two-state solution to the conflict there.”
Sauca also shared the history of the WCC and its consistent stance on Israel and Palestine, and how the WCC has, in recent years, renewed and strengthened its relationships with key Jewish partners, especially the International Jewish Committee for Inter-religious Consultations.
“Nevertheless, points of major contention remain, particularly concerning the policies and practices of normalizing occupation and continuing military control of the Palestinian territories since 1967, to which the WCC remains resolutely opposed,” said Sauca. “Unfortunately in some quarters almost any criticism of the State of Israel in relation to the occupation and the treatment of Palestinians is assumed to be antisemitic. We do not accept that assumption.”
The WCC is bound to respond to the experiences and suffering of Palestinians, including our own Palestinian Christian constituencyaccording to the principle of equality of human rights for all, concluded Sauca.
“Given current realities in the world, these issues – both the virulent resurgence of antisemitism and other hatreds against specific groups of people, and the continuing injustices and violations experienced by Palestinian people living under occupation – will undoubtedly be very present in discussions at the WCC 11th Assembly, as will many other crises and unprecedented challenges facing the churches and peoples of the world at this time in our history,” he said.