Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East are dismayed by remarks made by Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah in Jerusalem rejecting Israel’s Jewish identity and claiming a Jewish state is discriminatory.

“We must be careful to distinguish between the Jewish people and the Jewish religion.  Presumably His Beatitude supports the creation of a state for the Palestinian people.  Why would he deny this same fundamental right to the Jewish people? ” asks Rev. Dr. Bruce Chilton, the Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College.

Sr. Ruth Lautt, Fair Witness National Director, points out “Jews, like any other people, defined in terms of a shared ethnicity, language, history, culture and/or religion, have the right to constitute an autonomous, sovereign political community.  We have been very concerned about recent attacks on the legitimacy of a Jewish state.  It is dismaying to see Patriarch Sabbah jump on this bandwagon and take the position that a Jewish state is somehow inherently discriminatory.” 

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