Saturday, March 5, 2011

Anglican bishop of Jerusalem sues Israel over visa refusal

From The Guardian-

The Anglican bishop of Jerusalem has launched legal action against the Israeli government after it refused him and his family a residency visa for the city.

The Right Reverend Suheil Dawani, who is Palestinian by birth and US educated, has been denied the visa for more than six months after anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations against him of illegal land transactions and forgery. There are suggestions the accusations may have spilled over from an internal Anglican dispute within the diocese.

A letter in Hebrew from the Israeli interior ministry accused the bishop of "acting with the Palestinian authority in transferring lands owned by the Jewish people to the Palestinians and also [helping] to register lands of the Jewish people in the name of the church".

Dawani has denied the allegations and demanded details including the names of his accusers – so far unsuccessfully. He has been told he and his wife and daughter must leave the country immediately, though the order has not been enforced.

William Hague, the British foreign secretary, and the US state department have raised the matter with the Israeli government. Dawani has been supported by Israel's chief rabbi, Shlomo Amar. Dr Rowan Williams, who as archbishop of Canterbury leads the worldwide Anglican communion, and Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, the US Episcopal church's presiding bishop, have complained to Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister.

More here-

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