Reverend Bruce Shipman, chaplain of Yale’s Episcopal Church, resigned Thursday after he was accused of anti-Semitism.
In an Aug. 21 letter to the New York Times responding to Deborah Lipstadt’s Aug. 20 op-ed “Why Jews Are Worried,” Shipman wrote that Israel’s actions in Gaza contributed to growing anti-Semitism in Europe. He added that stalled peace negotiations and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank were also factors. As a result, Shipman faced a wave of criticism claiming he was anti-Semitic.
Shipman responded in an Aug. 28 post to the News, writing that he simply believed that there is a correlation between increased anti-Semitic violence and the events taking place in Israel, Palestine and Gaza.
He added that he should have mentioned these views in his original letter to the Times.
“My patriotism runs deep, as does my love for Israel and Palestine and for the two peoples locked in a tragic fight over the land,” he said. “If I seemed to suggest in my letter that only Jews who actively oppose present Israeli policies have a right to feel safe, that was not my intention nor is it my belief … Nothing done in Israel or Palestine justifies the disturbing rise in anti-Semitism in Europe or elsewhere.”
In response, the University distanced itself from the Reverend in a statement last week when it noted that Shipman was not employed by the University or the Chaplain’s Office.
According to the Episcopal Church at Yale, Shipman, on his own initiative, resigned as Priest-in-Charge of the Episcopal Church at Yale on Sept. 4.
The organization’s statement said that the dynamics between Shipman and Episcopal church’s Board of Governors contributed to his resignation. While the statement did not specifically mention Shipman’s comments, it did allude to the recent controversy.