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)

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Sizer's Supporters Size Up Antisemitism

Stephen Sizer the one without the keffiyeh
"That Stepehn [sic; i.e. Stephen Sizer, Anglican vicar of Virginia Water] is not an anti-semite and has not knowingly endorsed anti-semitism, I have no doubt. But what worries me is the growing bravura with which all critics of Israel or supporters of the Palestinians are charged with the – rightfully – damning slur of anti-semitism.

Just as the government of Israel has lurched to the far right, so “official” Jewish institutions in the UK have abandoned their once notable liberalism. The Board of Deputies used to deserve high respect and be a pillar of reason. It is astonishing to me that it has launched this absolutely unfounded attack on an Anglican priest. The Jewish Chronicle has lurched so far to the right as to be off the scale. There seems to be such a disconnect now between these institutions and the views of the Jewish people I know that I hope this state of affairs cannot last."

So maintains a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan,  the leftwing Craig Murray, on his blog. Murray was reminding readers that a defence fund has been opened for Sizer , and that donations may be sent to Meesrs J. Moodey and S. Leah.

The former is presumably Mr Jeremy Moodey, head of this organisation (formerly Bible Lands) and apparently also a former FCO diplomat.  The latter is presumably the Methodist minister and York PSC stalwart Dr Stephen Leah, author of alternative Israel-demonising lines (you can find them here) to a traditional carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem.

As I mentioned here, the Board of Deputies, in a formal complaint to his bishop, has accused Stephen Sizer 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."
Obviously, this commenter's never heard of Wilhelm Marr
On Craig Murray's blog are a number of comments, nearly all in support of Sizer, and some betraying decidedly dodgy views.

For example:
"the sexist homophobes are calling him [Sizer] racist."  [I don't think this comment refers to Islamic extremists!]
 ".... You talked about Matthew Gould, British ambassador to Israel, being Jewish.  Never mind that Gould grins as he openly helps out a foreign power’s propaganda effort in Britain. (Hasbara, Leeds, if anyone wants to check.) Never mind that we couldn’t imagine an ambassador to Moscow or Tehran doing the same. The KGB or the mullahs would have nowhere enough clout in the FCO, elsewhere in Whitehall, or SIS, to put them in such a strong position.
For the Zionists, there’s a race (sorry, ‘ethno-religious’) war on, and you’re on the other side.
By the way, this stuff about the Board of Deputies being once upon a time ‘liberal’, and about ‘Israel’ being something other than ‘far right’. You’re joking, right? The front that’s chosen is whatever works for the perceived ethnic interest. Although even that’s a vague way of putting it. As I keep on saying, Zionism is not just an ideology – it’s an organisation.
If you think Israel was once good and has turned bad, you suffer from historical amnesia. Need I say ‘Deir Yassin’? The ‘good turned bad’ idea is propaganda. It’s putting up defences on the Green Line and arguing over what happens on the more recently conquered side of it. Do you get this? Push, push, push. Obscure the debate. Lie. Nazi! There’s only one language the Zionists will understand, and it isn’t diplomacy or guilt-tripping."
"Is this board Of deputies as one unanimously fervent Arab-haters and apologists for genocide or are there moderates who simply wish to kill everyone but their lot and let $deity sort who was really good or bad? ...."
"The dubious accusation of being an anti-semite is now so toxic that any successful defence is unlikely .... I wonder if anyone has lost their job for being an anti-gentile."
" ....Zionist and pro-Israeli Jews have by now completely devalued the accusation of anti-semitism by its massive and unwarranted application to anyone who criticizes the actions of that appaling “state” stolen from the Palestinians. It has become the first refuge of the scoundrel.
But what is really shocking to me is the knowing application of the financial mis use of the law (ie, knowing that their enemies will be bankrupted in the effort to clear their name, while they [the Board of Deputies]are bankrolled by zionist money)...."
"It is no secret that Ahmadinajad is himself descended from an Iranian Jewish family and that the largest population of Jews in the Middle East outside of Israel is in Iran. Not those East European converts mind but the real deal with Hebrew genes – which may explain their reluctance to embrace the extreme form of racism and hatred of humanity that is the modern state of Israel – and despite the Israeli government offering them piles of money and land (not their own of course)."
A sober voice opined:
"As for Sizer, I have no idea whether he’s anti-Semitic (and, by the way, the word is plain to anyone but the dumbest or playing-dumbest pedants), but I had a look at that I Am The Witness website and it is about as obviously an anti-Semitic and conspiratorial website as there is. If you had difficulty locating the Protocols on that site then the big adverts for “Syanagogues [sic] of Satan”, the links to articles on “Jewish Bolshevism”, the accusations that Jews ran the Atlantic slave trade, the accusations that Jews funded the Nazis, the apparent praise for Father Charles Coughlin (if you’ve read Philip Roth’s Plot Against America you will know who he was) sort of give the game away. Same with Veterans Today which is one of the most obsessively anti-Israel Troofer sites.
Of course, it is possible that he’s not remotely anti-Semitic and many of his best friends are Jews, and I also hope that people don’t lose their jobs for their wacky beliefs. That said, I think it was clueless of him to not see something like that coming; if he’s going to link to the rather bizarre conspiracy theory sites, it must, at the least, lose him credibility."
Still on the theme of antisemitism, below is brief footage of Tom Wilson from the inter-faith organisation StandforPeace participating in the "BBC Big Questions" discussion programme on Sunday morning from Leicester, when debate turned from the issue of preferential recruitment of black police officers to whether criticism of Israel is antisemitic.


Regarding that segment, "Is criticising Israel anti-semitic?" (I guess no one has told the usually oh-so-politically-correct BBC that the hyphen is not the done thing these days), Hadar Sela of BBCWatch has a penetrating piece here.

8 comments:

  1. Incidentally, this is a must-read piece:
    http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/middlesex-university-bans-concerned-public-from-free-palestine-society-hate-speech-event/

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  2. More Douglas Murray
    Michael Coren with Douglas Murray: The new anti-Semitism in Britain
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdby6fmFLUk

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  3. T, couldn't post your comment - it breaks British defamation law!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't insult Edward Longshanks, can we?

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    2. Indeed not - he might make us "shorter by the head"!

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  4. On Facebook today Daphne





    Stephen Sizer


    ‎"who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness." (Micah 3:10)

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