From Quakers and Judaism to Pacifism
Quakers and Judaism
Thank you for Elizabeth Coleman’s article on the now-lost traditions of Jewish Christianity (‘Finding a way’, 1 April).
It often seems to me that theologically liberal Quakers, such as I am, have more in common with Reform Judaism than we do with any contemporary Christian church. I understand that the Quaker Committee for Christian and Interfaith Relations (QCCIR) is moving its attention away from ‘ecumenical’ work within the family of Christian and Christian-heritage groups towards more broad inter-faith work. I would welcome closer connections and better understanding between Quakers and Jewish worship groups, and perhaps QCCIR can facilitate that?
Our moral high ground?
I want to return to the question of ‘our’ moral high ground. At the same time as our government is (rightfully) condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is helping to rain destruction on Yemen, providing Saudi Arabia with weapons, training and logistical and command support. Save the Children has recently released a report describing the country as being turned into ‘a true hell on earth’.
There have been over 377,000 deaths as a result of the conflict. Half of Yemen’s schools and healthcare facilities are shut after being damaged or destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes, while a Saudi-led blockade (Yemen imports eighty-five per cent of its food and medicine) has also led to fuel shortages resulting in hospitals having to turn off ventilators and incubators. Numerous children are on the brink of famine.
What is the difference? Well the difference is that the published value of UK arms licensed for export to the Saudi-led coalition since the bombing began is £8.4 billion.
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