Monday, 9 April 2012

Archbishop risks row with Israel after lobbying Hague over Christians 'displaced by security barrier'

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has risked a row with the Israeli government after it emerged he lobbied William Hague over the plight of Christians in the West Bank.

Matthew Holehouse writes,
The Most Rev Vincent Nichols urged the Foreign Secretary to address the “tragic situation” facing of Palestinians displaced by the building of the Israeli security barrier in Beit Jala, a predominantly Christian town a little over a mile from the Church of the Nativity.
He said the “expropriation” of land by Israel had a “catastrophic impact” on the village and risked furthering the conflict. Much of the land has been owned by religious orders and Catholic families dating back 200 years.
The letter is one of the strongest indications yet of the Archbishop’s views on the Middle East conflict. Pope Benedict XVI has described the barrier as "tragic".
But Israeli diplomats said they were “taken aback” by the correspondence and insisted the allegations were “unfounded”.
Read the rest of the article by published in today's Telegraph