A national Church of England leader has branded Israel Apartheid Week “neither helpful nor constructive,” in comments likely to reverberate throughout congregations across the country.

Dr Michael Ipgrave, who is the Bishop of Lichfield and Chair of the Council of Christians and Jews, made the comments this week, as events take place across British campuses highlighting perceived social injustices in Israel and the West Bank.

He said: “Apartheid Week is not a helpful or constructive way to address the serious challenges of Palestinians and Israelis. Over time it has become a source of great tension between Jewish students and others on UK campuses.”

He added: “Rather than informing the dialogue around this complex issue it can often close down dialogue and leave Jewish students feeling intimidated, vulnerable and insecure at a time of rising anti-Semitism in the UK and beyond.”