Lord Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, has said that he is "ashamed to be an Anglican" following a vote of the Church of England to disinvest in companies like Caterpillar, whose products are used by Israeli forces in the West Bank.
The February 6 divestment vote, which was backed by current Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, was "a most regrettable and one—sided statement," Lord Carey said, and one that "ignores the trauma of ordinary Jewish people" in Israel subjected to terrorist attacks.
Lord Carey joined Jewish leaders protesting the vote by the General Synod, the church's legislature, to adopt a "morally responsible investment in the Palestinian occupied territories and, in particular, to disinvest from companies profiting from the illegal occupation, such as Caterpillar Inc., until they change their policies."
The church's call to pressure Caterpillar and other multi—nationals to withdraw from the territories was a "one—eyed" response that "only rebukes one side," Lord Carey said, and displayed the church's "propensity to reduce complex issues to black and white."
Jon Benjamin, the chief executive officer of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, branded the synod vote "simplistic" and "unbalanced."
"What it shows is that the thinking of people who support these resolutions is not very sophisticated," he said. There were sound reasons why the Israeli government had adopted its security policies, but these were never "aired or discussed" by the synod, Benjamin said.