In recent days some emails have been brought to our attention claiming to be from His Eminence the Very Rev Charles Edgbaston, D.D., Ph.D., which have been sent to members of Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP) and/or other groups such as Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods and Jews Against Zionism. These emails make claims about ‘reliable sources’ at Anglican Friends of Israel (AFI) and, in one case, ‘extensive consultations’ with AFI. The emails go on to accuse the recipients of slander against Israel, announce a judgment of a supposed Ecclesiastical Court, specify various actions to be taken against the recipients (including forwarding their names to authorities for inclusion on no-fly lists and applying for their passports to be confiscated) and request money and other actions if such a sentence is to be set aside.
We do not know at present if these emails are genuinely from Charles Edgbaston but, whatever their origin, we strongly reject any claim that Anglican Friends of Israel has been or ever would be involved in such activities. Our legal representatives are writing to Charles Edgbaston to establish whether the emails came from him and to demand that, if so, he desist from any such claims about AFI’s involvement.
We note too that one of the emails also claims extensive consultations with Labour Friends of Israel and the World Muslim Zionist Association. While we cannot find any record of the latter group, we shall accordingly forward details of such claims to Labour Friends of Israel.
We shall be writing to Jews for Justice for Palestinians to reiterate the points in this legal note.
Note: All references to Anglican Friends of Israel should also be taken to include ‘Anglicans for Israel’, our former name, which has also been used in these emails.