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Monday, January 30, 2006

Archbishop's Holocaust statement

'He emphasised the significance of the 350th anniversary of the Resettlement of the Jewish community in the country:

“As a nation we should celebrate this anniversary, marking as it does not only an attempt to right some of the terrible wrongs earlier inflicted on Jewish people but also as an opportunity to celebrate the quite remarkable contributions of Jewish people to every aspect of the life of this country. Without the resettlement, it is hard to imagine what our history, culture politics or economy would be like today. Without doubt we would have been greatly the poorer.”'

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, released a statement for Holocaust Memorial Day last week. Anglicans for Israel have posted a qualified welcome which I would go along with. I would, however, give a wholly unqualified welcome to the section quoted above, particularly since it addresses concerns I raised in a post a while ago - on this point I am very glad to be proved wrong. That the Jewish presence in Britain is something to celebrate is a message that needs to be heard a lot more often. I'd urge the Archbishop to find more opportunities of saying it, and especially at events which have not (unlike Holocaust Memorial Day) been boycotted by the Muslim Council of Britain.

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