NGOs Continue to Promote Divestment
May 16, 2006
Representatives of numerous NGO's, including War on Want, Friends of Sabeel UK, Interpal, ICAHD UK and Pax Christi as well as Reverend Stephen Sizer, wrote to the Church of England's Commissioners to reiterate their support for disinvestment from companies which do business with Israel. The letter was sent in anticipation of a meeting of the Commission's "Assets Committee", scheduled for May, which may make a final decision on disinvestment. War on Want coordinated the letter and signatories.
Sizer also sent a letter, dated April 7, to the secretary of the Church of England's Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) on behalf of the Interfaith Group for Morally Responsible Investment (IMRI). The letter criticized the EIAG's decision not to sell the Church of England's investments in Caterpillar Inc. and said that through its refusal to divest, the Church of England "is condoning these [human rights] abuses and at worst is complicit."
Sizer, the Vice Chair of Friends of Sabeel UK, is active in coordinating the "Living Stones Network" which describes itself as "an informal network of friends and supporters of the indigenous Palestinian Christian community" in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The network draws its membership from organizations and individuals who subscribe to the agenda and narrative that Sizer and Sabeel disseminate which, among other policies, advocates disinvestment from Israel. Sizer also gave a presentation at the Friends of Sabeel UK's AGM on April 8. Reverend Sizer is a major proponent of replacement theology and calls Israel an "apartheid regime." He also has strong ties with the Bishop of Chelmsford John Gladwin, a patron of Friends of Sabeel UK and Chair of Christian Aid's Board of Trustees.
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