Church of Sweden

Recognise Palestine!

Press release   •   Dec 03, 2012 08:55 GMT

The Church of Sweden has clarified its position on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. To dismantle settlements in the occupied territory, all people must be allowed access to the holy sites in Jerusalem and to continue supporting a two-State solution based on the 1967 borders are some of the points.

The Church of Sweden also calls on the Swedish government to campaign in favour of Palestine being accepted as a full member of the UN.

"In practice, this means that the Church of Sweden would like to see the Swedish government recognising Palestine as an independent State", says Bishop Hans-Erik Nordin. "The vote next week on whether Palestine should be accepted as an Observer State in the UN is a first step and the Church of Sweden calls on the government to vote in favour of this motion."

After 30 years of negotiations, the Church of Sweden cannot see any improvement in the situation of the Palestinians, and, as a recognised State, future negotiations would take place on a more equal basis.

"There are no military solutions to the conflict, as was demonstrated in particular by the fighting last week in Gaza; indeed what is required are strong political leaders who believe in negotiation", says Hans-Erik Nordin.

The Church of Sweden has clarified its position on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. To dismantle settlements in the occupied territory, all people must be allowed access to the holy sites in Jerusalem and to continue supporting a two-State solution based on the 1967 borders are some of the points.

The Church of Sweden also takes the view that the Swedish government should:

  • · campaign for Palestine being accepted as a full Member State of the UN
  • · within the EU, press for legislation to limit the opportunities for supporting — financially or otherwise — the illegal settlements
  • · within the EU, campaign against bilateral agreements between the EU and Israel being upgraded or entered into without any provision for compliance with international law
  • · without delay legislate on origin marking of products from Israeli settlements, in accordance with the EU directive
  • · work towards improving the humanitarian situation and respect for humanitarian actions in its bilateral relations with the public authorities concerned
  • · actively support continued initiatives promoting a sustainable solution for the conflict.

The General Synod also discussed the situation in Israel and Palestine on the basis of a number of motions.

“It’s important that the Church of Sweden should discuss and dare to take a position on this issue. Our partner churches have urged us to pay attention to the situation and work towards peaceful solutions”, says Hans-Erik Nordin.

The position advocating long-term sustainable peace between Israel and Palestine has been adopted by the Committee for International Mission and Diaconia, Church of Sweden.

Hans-Erik Nordin is Bishop of the Diocese of Strängnäs and bishop of the committee.

For further comments from Bishop Hans-Erik Nordin, please contact Miriam Arrebäck, Press Secretary, on telephone: (Int.+46)-70-257 06 68