As the politicized agenda of Christian Aid regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict is gaining increasing attention through campaigns such as Bethlehem’s Child and Pressureworks, it is also important to examine the key decision makers in this very powerful NGO.

The following summary provides a list of key quotes and activities related to Middle East politics and ideology among members of Christian Aid’s Board of Trustees and its Director, Daleep Mukarji. As will be seen, while the intensity of the commitment varies, the pro-Palestinian views are consistent, and explain the sharp bias of this organization’s activities.


  • 62-year-old Rev John Gladwin, Bishop of Chelmsford and Chair of Christian Aid’s Board of Trustees, is an Evangelical Christian, a member of the Church of England’s General Synod since 1990, and speaks frequently on Israeli-Palestinian political issues.

  • In a July 2002 speech to the General Synod, Gladwin claimed that terrorism and violence are the result of "Israel’s illegal occupation of the 1967 territories", thereby ignoring the decades of war, terror and rejectionism prior to 1967. He also set out a number of conditions for peace, including the Palestinian ‘right of return’ but failed to call for an end to Palestinian terror.

  • According to journalist Melanie Phillips, writing in The Spectator, 16 Feb.2002, Gladwin "shares the view that the Jews have no particular claim to the promised land. Christianity and Islam, he says, can lay equal claim. And although he says Israel’s existence is a reality that must be accepted, his ideal is very different. A separate Palestinian state would be merely a ‘first step’. ‘Ultimately, one shared land is the vision one would want to pursue, although it’s unlikely this will come about’."

  • Gladwin is a patron of the Friends of Sabeel UK, whose other major patron is Afif Safieh, the long-time PLO representative in the UK. The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center describes itself as "an ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians", promoting Palestinian Liberation Theology which "hopes to connect the true meaning of Christian faith with the daily lives of all those who suffer under occupation, violence, discrimination, and human rights violations" and "promotes a more accurate international awareness of the current political situation and encourages Christians from around the world to work for justice and to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people."



  • Member of Christian Aid Executive Committee

  • Ecumenical Chaplain at St Albans Abbey

  • Addressed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a 12 October 2002 speech,(Link has expired) mentioning his attendance at a 2001 conference of the highly-politicized Sabeel Center as well as visits to Bethlehem, Hebron and the Gaza Strip.


  • Member of Christian Aid Executive Committee

  • General Secretary, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

  • November 2003: Initiated letter to the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, which echoed Palestinian political claims regarding Israeli security barrier: "The erection of the ‘separation wall’ or ‘security fence’ poses a very serious threat to many facets of Palestinian life, with over 210,000 people in danger of being effectively cut off from their farmlands, workplaces, schools and health clinics. It also further undermines the search for peace itself." There was no mention of the Palestinian terror that led to the construction of the barrier.


  • Executive member, World Federation of Occupational Therapists

  • Delivered 6 April 2003 sermon at St. John’s Church, Edinburgh stating: "In the complexities of the links between Palestine and the Iraqis who saved Jenin, the turmoil in the Holy Land, where the building of the wall round the occupied territories brings back memories of Berlin, the divisions between Palestine and Israel seem even greater."


  • General Secretary of the United Reformed Church

  • Signatory on 10 October 2001 letter to Tony Blair stating: "We would wish to remind Government of the risk of creating Muslim solidarity against the West if energy is not also perceived to be put into dealing with long-standing concerns over the Israel-Palestinian crisis and the situation in Iraq."


  • Bishop of Exeter

  • Spoke at January 2003 launch of Christian Aid’s "Losing Ground – Israel, poverty and the Palestinians" stating: "It is quite impossible to engage in any serious study of the history of the present conflict without becoming aware of the self-serving, and at time deeply duplicitous, policies of various western governments which have made victims of Israeli and Palestinian, Arabs and Jews alike."


  • Born in India

  • Became Director of Christian Aid in April 1998

  • Profiled in The Guardian, 5 May 2004:

  • "Liberation theology has inspired many of us; we want to be part of a movement to change systems and structures, including the use of civil disobedience and protest, though never the use of violence."

  • Following a June 2003 visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Mukarji referring to Israel’s security barrier stated: "It appeared that huge, open-air prisons were being built, to destabilise and demoralise Palestinian communities."