The Quakers in Britain are to stop investing in companies profiting from the occupation of Palestine.
The decision by church officials has angered Jewish organisations.
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl condemned an “appalling” decision by the Friends House hierarchy to disassociate itself from “one country – the only Jewish state”.
Ms de Zyl noted that it showed the dangers of an “obsessive and tunnel-visioned approach” from a small clique of church officials over recent years.
“There was no particular trigger incident for this decision, just the ongoing insistence of certain Quaker bureaucrats of feeding a diet of one-sided propaganda to those unfortunate enough to rely on them for information,” she explained in a statement.
“While other churches have reached out to the Jewish community at this time of rising anti-Semitism and polarisation to work together to tackle prejudice and promote peace in the region, the Quaker leadership has chosen to import a divisive conflict into our country, rather than export the peace that we all want to see.”
Ms der Zyl added, “Israel, the Middle East’s only true democracy and most thriving economy, will be untroubled by this biased and petulant act, but the Quakers, who have for so long been at the forefront of peace activism, have now marginalised themselves from being a credible voice on the issue.”
The Bod chief called on the Quakers to reverse their decision, to stop promoting division and join those looking to build bridges.
Paul Parker, recording clerk for Quakers in Britain, reportedly claimed that the organisation had a long history of working for a “just peace” in Palestine and Israel and would not to “shy away” from difficult conversations.