By Rachel Marder/JNS.org
(JNS.org) JERUSALEM—The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, affirmed Israel’s “right to exist in security and peace” during his visit to the Jewish state on Thursday.
Welby, on a five-day tour of Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories this week, met with members of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, and prayed at the Western Wall.
“The clear policy of the Church of England, [and] my own very clear and very fluent feeling, is that the State of Israel is a legitimate state like every other state in the world and has a right to exist in security and peace within internationally agreed boundaries,” he told a press conference at the Israeli Chief Rabbinate.
Soon after becoming archbishop in November 2012, Welby discovered that his father was Jewish. He also recently learned that he had lost relatives in the Holocaust.
In light of his family’s history, he called his visit to Yad Vashem “an extraordinarily personal and emotional moment,” but declined to go into greater detail.