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Archbishop Justin Welby; where is your moral compass?

Updated: May 9

On April 30th, campaigners took this message to the front door of Lambeth Palace.

Here is the flyer the Lambeth Witness Group distributed to members of the public outside. When you read it, please remember that we are challenging Archbishop Welby in this way because other avenues have not produced the desired results. Since our Open Letter of April 2023 we have been seeking a face-to-face dialogue with the Archbishop, and in September we asked him to join the late Desmond Tutu and countless others in acknowedging that Israel was an apartheid state - so far to no avail. Please feel free to comment at the bottom.

Archbishop Justin Welby

where is your moral compass?

Archbishop Welby; see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

As leader of the Church of England, your job involves standing up for human rights, peace, and justice.

BUT, when it comes to Israel, you never go to the heart of the matter.

We are glad you have called out the killing and starvation of Palestinians in Gaza, but you never denounce the root cause, which is Israel’s long-term ethnic cleansing programme. Nor do you call out our government’s enduring diplomatic and military support for Israel. 

As Israel starves, burns and bombs the civilian population of Gaza and the West Bank, you treat it as if it were acting out self-defence, on a higher moral plane from Hamas.


We see no rationale for this. Some of Hamas’s actions on October 7 were war crimes, and need to be investigated. However, it is Israel’s ethnic cleansing project that drives the whole cycle of violence.

As far back as 1937 the father of the Israeli nation David Ben Gurion wrote: We must expel the Arabs and take their places”. And since 1948, Israel has killed, maimed, dispossessed and exiled Palestinians, occupying their land, destroying their homes and infrastructure, and stealing their natural resources. These are WAR CRIMES.

Too often, you have denounced British people who stand up for the Palestinians as anti-Semitic, fanning the flames of culture wars. And you have not backed up your assertions with hard evidence.

And when Iran attacked Israel, you tweeted a prayer for Israel – but you didn’t denounce Israel’s provocative attack on an Iranian consulate, which is a WAR CRIME.

As head of the established Church, and with 26 bishops in the House of Lords, you can and should do better. It is time to hold Government to account.  So please show moral leadership and demand that the British government immediately:

  • Insist on a permanent ceasefire

  • End all diplomatic, military and logistical support for Israel’s war

  • End all arms supply to Israel, a move that polls show would have overwhelming public support, and

  • Renew funding for UNRWA, Gaza’s crucial provider of food and humanitarian aid that Israel has dishonestly sought to discredit. (NB: the UN-commissioned Colonna report found that Israel had provided no evidence to support claims that UNRWA staff has been complicit in attacks by Hamas).

And here are the speeches we gave outside Lambeth Palace

Click the image below to see the speeches by:

  • Sharen Green, of Lambeth Witness Group, from 0.40 mins into the clip

  • David Cannon, of Jewish Network for Palestine (JNP), from 4.50 mins.

  • Syed Hassani, of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), from 8.45 mins

  • Miranda Pinch, of CAMPAIN, from 11.05 mins

Syed Hassani spoke for all of them when he said:

I am happy to see people following different spiritual teachings are joining hands

to make this world a better place to live

David Cannon shared a similar sentiment saying:

JNP promotes a single secular state as the sole sustainable solution - - -

we call it “Convivencia”, living together for Jews, Muslims and Christians


Sadly the Church of Scotland is also following the same passive view on the genocide in Gaza. The leaders of the Christian Churches in the UK all seem to have lost their moral compass, they seem to think that calling for peace is sufficient. Nobody seems willing to call out ethnic cleansing. These are very dark days for the Christian Church and utterly catastrophic for the people of Gaza.


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