The poll of more than 2,800 people, conducted on The Tablet website, pointed to the widespread existence of anti-Israel sentiment among respondents and a suspicion of the Jewish State’s actions.
Despite a reduction in terror attacks since the creation of the security fence, nearly 80 per cent felt the security fence was not needed to protect the population of Israel from suicide bombers and nearly as many advocated that Churches campaign for its dismantling.
Three quarters of people who answered the survey agreed that the churches should call for the removal ofJewish West Bank settlements and that the institution should support Palestinian calls for an “independent homeland within the borders that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israel war”.
On the other hand, just 21.2 percent agreed that the churches should accept Israel “is engaged in a struggle for its survival and support its efforts to root out its enemies”.
And perhaps most worryingly, only 57.3 percent agreed that the Church should appeal for Palestinians to renounce violence and recognise Israel’s right to exist.
Respondents to the survey included Christians from several denominations, Muslims and atheists, while 10 percent were Jewish.
Claiming the results revealed a “worrying trend”, Alan Aziz, Executive Director of the Zionist Federation, told TJ:”These statistics are very distressing and it is sad that people don’t understand that what the situation in Israel needs more than anything is positive dialogue and not retribution”.
ZF President Eric Moonman said he was “disturbed that a magazine like The Tablet should perpetuate a survey which appears to be riddled with prejudice”.
The report coincided with theArchbishop of Canterbury’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land along with other church leaders.
Speaking to the BBC Radio 4′s Today programme last weekend,he said:”It is undoubtedly a fact that suicide bombing attacks have gone down since the barrier was erected but the human cost that we have seen has to raise the question: what alternative is there now? How does the long-term security implication of the barrier work out?”