A month ago academics, church leaders, a rabbi and a retired diplomat spoke at an event in Lichfield Cathedral titled ‘Holding Palestine in the Light’.
The cathedral’s facebook page was instantly deluged with abusive allegations of antisemitism, some accusing it of holding a ‘hate fest’. Now the largest Jewish group in the UK that supports rights for Palestinians has partnered with Christian organisations and prominent individuals to commend the event organisers and uphold the right to advocate for Palestine.
They say in a statement:
“We find it disquieting that the Lichfield conference has been seized on by those who seek to silence criticism of Israeli policies.”
Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP) spokesperson Naomi Wayne said: “It is not antisemitic to point out when a nation state – in this case Israel – breaks international law and deprives an occupied people of their basic human rights.”
The full text of the statement follows.
JEWS AND CHRISTIANS FOR FREE SPEECH ON ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
We, Christians and Jews who advocate for justice for Palestinians, would like to put on record our admiration for the Dean of Lichfield, with a group of local Christians from other churches, in hosting the festival ‘Holding Palestine in the Light’ in Lichfield Cathedral last month, despite opposition from some quarters.