Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Crossing The Line: The Board of Deputies complains to the Church of England about Stephen Sizer

In what is thought to be an unprecedented move, the Board of Deputies of British Jews has formally complained to the Church of England about Rev Dr Stephen Sizer, vicar of Virginia Water.  The complaint has first to be considered by the Bishop of Guildford, under whose jurisdiction Sizer falls.

The Board notes, inter alia:
'Revd Stephen Sizer is the Vicar of Christ Church in Virginia Water, Surrey.  He is now the subject of a complaint by the Board of Deputies to the Church of England, for making statements that the Board and most of the Jewish community find utterly offensive, to the point of crossing the line into antisemitism, even if this is neither his motivation nor intention.  This is not all, as we also complain of Revd Sizer posting links from his website to articles on racist and antisemitic websites where scurrilous views against Jews and others are published.  When this happens, the Jewish community has to act....
 On the subject of Revd Sizer posting links to racist websites, the complaint says this:
 The matters complained of disclose a clear and consistent pattern of activity on the part of Rev Sizer. The evidence indicates that he spends time trawling dark and extreme corners of the internet for material to add to his website. Rev Sizer re-publishes such items to support the target of his polemical writing, while at the same introducing his readers to the racist and antisemitic websites from where he draws his material. As the evidence demonstrates, there are five instances of this over the 11 month period from July 2011 to June 2012. 
Thankfully for relations between British Jews and Christians, Revd Sizer is very much the exception.  He displays an obsession with Israel and opposes its identity as a Jewish state.  The Jewish people’s belief in national self-determination, or Zionism, is shared with most of the world’s nations – but Revd Sizer displays a deep hostility to Zionism, which he writes about as if it was a term of abuse.  It is not difficult to come across his views, as he is an enthusiastic self-publicist who proclaims his preoccupation with Israel on his website, blog, Facebook and flickr pages.
 Considering his position as a Church of England vicar, Revd Sizer keeps some strange company.  He has shared a platform with and quoted from Holocaust deniers, goes on trips to Iran as the guest of the NEDA Institute which contributes to global efforts to deny the Holocaust and gave an interview with Qods News Agency, a Holocaust denying website.  Sizer is also a speaker at the provocatively named Christ at the Checkpoint conference, which features a theology called supersessionism which has antisemitic overtones.  It seems that Revd Sizer has few qualms about keeping company with anyone who shares his hostility to Israel, however dubious.
.... We make no complaint about Rev Sizer’s anti-Israel views, nor of his trips to Iran or his supersessionist theology.  While we view all of these with concern and distaste, Revd Sizer is entitled to his views and may travel where he wants.  But we draw the line at making statements that we regard as antisemitic and advertising the content of racist and antisemitic websites.  It is a matter of great regret that we are driven to make this complaint, but the Jewish community should not have to stomach material that we see as crossing the line into antisemitism.
.... [W]e are not seeking to have him stopped from his ministry or dismissed from his job.  We only ask one thing, which is that effective measures are taken to prevent him from publishing or re-publishing material that we find to be not merely offensive, but antisemitic."
Explained Board president Mr Vivian Wineman:
"Making such a complaint about a Church of England minister is not a step the Board has taken lightly or without a great deal of consideration. This action sends a clear, strong message from our community that we will not remain quiet in the face of actions and remarks capable of being seen as antisemitic even where they are disguised as anti-Zionist attacks on Israel."
Vice-President Jonathan Arkush added:
"The evidence disclosed indicates that Rev Sizer spends time trawling dark and extreme corners of the internet. Revd Sizer re-publishes items to support the target of his polemical writing, while at the same time introducing his readers to the racist and antisemitic websites from where he draws his material."
Read more here

9 comments:

  1. Dunno,but maybe for you and some your readers these photos will be interesting.(no blood and death,just daily life of Gaza city)


    "Gaza 2012" photo collection

    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1145941&page=15

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  2. Times of Israel has picked up this
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/uk-jews-complain-to-church-of-england-over-anti-semitic-vicar/

    OT
    I suspected the "Last Dance" would be naive and simplistic, David agrees, of course Margret thinks it's wonderful.
    http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/

    The videos get posted early
    http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/tv/geo/atthemovies/atm_2012_ep39.mp4

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    Replies
    1. David's comments:
      "I didn't believe one word of this terribly well-intentioned plea for understanding between Jews and Palestinians, a construct that quickly collapses under the weight of its own earnestness. There's no way Ulah wouldn't call the police when she frees herself from this young terrorist, however good looking he might be, and however he might remind her of her son, killed in the war of 1973. And when the police finally show up, their actions are pretty unbelievable too. The film is full of speeches that sound like junior class lessons in Middle East politics - again, well-meaning but contrived and unbelievable. David Pulbrook was the director and the film is distinguished mainly by its performances; Firass Dirani is good but Julia Blake, surely a national treasure, gives the material a great deal more weight than it deserves."
      http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s3615687.htm

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  3. Meanwhile, from the BBC, a curious and not altogether impartial item re the Church of Scotland's hotel in Galilee

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20126585

    The Church of Scotland is co-hosting the Balfour Project's conference in Edinburgh on 2 Nov, at which Sizer is scheduled to speak.

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  4. A sample of his flickr photos
    http://www.sizers.org/photos/alquds/index.html

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  5. Some strong views expressed here - I don't think I've linked to this before:
    http://blog.echurchwebsites.org.uk/2011/12/27/rev-nick-howard-publicly-accuses-rev-stephen-sizer-antisemitism/

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  6. Finally - the Board begins to speak out. Should have done so a while back...

    The C of E's tolerance of this awful man's disgusting views is shameful.

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