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)

Friday, 12 April 2013

Sod The Jews: Pro-EAPPI Christians Lobby The Archbishop Of Canterbury

Not the Anglican General Synod
"Why does the Church of England hold Jews in contempt?" asked the prominent Anglican blogger Archbishop Cranmer last year, following the General Synod of the Church of England's endorsement of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), which he powerfully characterised as
"nothing but an insidious front for a pro-Palestinian campaign to propagate the partisan lie that, while Israel is besieged by child killers, infiltrated by suicide bombers, surrounded by Islamist propagandists and endures almost daily missiles launched at civilian areas, she is the aggressor, the terroriser, the occupying force.
The declared vision of the EAPPI is to bring ‘internationals to the West Bank to experience life under occupation’. Its mission is to ‘accompany Palestinians and Israelis in their non-violent actions and to carry out concerted advocacy efforts to end the occupation’. They ‘support acts of non-violent resistance’ in order to achieve this and, since Israel is the ‘occupying force’, it stands to reason that the EAPPI’s raison d’être is to criticise and delegitimise Israel, a country which contends daily with concerted efforts to wipe its people off the face of the earth.
The EAPPI creed is very simple: Palestinians are victims; Israelis are aggressors; Zionists are evil; the IDF are terrorists. It was spawned by the World Council of Churches which, over the years, has passed motions calling for ‘an international boycott of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories’; lauded Yassir Arafat as a hero for ‘bringing the Palestinian people together’; and called for ‘the right of return of Palestinian refugees’, despite this posing an existential threat to the Jewish homeland. The WCC unashamedly declares: ‘The EAPPI is a central element of the Ecumenical Campaign to End the Illegal Occupation of Palestine.’
Notably absent from their statements on the Middle [East] is explicit condemnation of Palestinian incitement to hatred of Israel and Jews, much of it directed at Palestinian children. Neither is any blame for Palestinian suffering laid at the door of Palestinian leaders who have squandered $billions of aid on bribes and terrorism over decades. Nor do human rights abuses by the Palestinian Authority, including the rights of Palestinian Christians, attract much WCC attention.
No, the EAPPI ascribes Palestinian misery to apartheid Israel alone, consistently turning a blind eye to Palestinian aggression, corruption, rejectionism and incitement (not to mention Islamism, homophobia, racism and the oppression of women). The EAPPI is blind to anti-Semitism and deaf to the numerous overtures to peace which have been offered. They are ignorant of Israel’s need for security, and oblivious to the fact that she alone in the entire region is a vibrant, tolerant, multiracial, multi-faith society.
Islamist persecution, widespread throughout the Middle East, is the primary cause of the haemorrhage of Christians from the region. Yet the Church of England myopically concerns itself with Israel. There was no Synod motion to discuss the human rights violations of North Korea, Iran or the Sudan." (Read the entire impressive and compelling post here)
Recently, as reported here, the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Justin Welby, who'd abstained, expressed regret that he had not voted against the motion:
'...."I wasn't quite up to speed when I went into that vote. I think the situation in the Holy Land is so complicated . . . and I don't think the motion adequately reflected the complexity."
He said that he would have added to the motion that Israel had the right to "live in security and peace within internationally agreed bor- ders, and the people of the region have the right to justice, peace, and security, whoever they are."....'
Welby's remarks sit ill with the (avowedly non-antisemitic) Reverend Stephen Sizer (pictured), the Anglican vicar of Virginia Water and ceaseless cyber-warrior against Christian Zionism and the state of Israel as we know it.  He's in fightback mode, along with chums such as Dr Stephen Leah, a member of the Methodist Conference who's secretary of the York Palestine Solidarity Campaign and writer of alternative, Israel-demonising words to well-known carols.

Sizer has apparently initiated this open letter to Archbishop Welby dated 9 April which is couched in language that carefully belies the visceral hostility to the very existence of Israel as a Jewish State that he sometimes seems to evince:.
"We write as representatives of organisations and as individuals who are deeply involved in the search for peace with justice in the Holy Land to express our deep concern over the remarks that have been attributed to you in a recent interview with the newspaper “Jewish News”. Amongst the aspects of the interview with which we were most saddened were that you regretted not voting against the General Synod decision to support EAPPI ....
 We welcome the news that you are to visit the Holy Land in June. In hoping that you get the opportunity for a comprehensive view of the conflict, we encourage you to visit Israelis from all sides of the spectrum of opinion, including those who are risking so much in the campaign to end the occupation. We also encourage you to visit Palestinians who are suffering behind the walls, including the Christian community in Bethlehem, the people of the Jordan Valley, those living in refugee camps such as Aida and Balata as well as the people of Gaza who are so often marginalised and forgotten. We also encourage you to visit with international lawyers, who can provide vital background on the legal obligations, such as in the 4th Geneva Convention, that a situation of Occupation imposes...."
Signatories to date (a vigorous campaign to solicit further signatories is underway) include Anne Clayton, who coordinates Friends of Sabeel UK, Jew-turned-Christian Miranda Pinch, and Professor Mary Grey, a Catholic theologian University of Wales, who is one of the principal enthusiasts for Sizer's sinister so-called Balfour Project (about which I wrote here), Stephen Leah, and, needless to say, Sizer himself.

Let's return to Archbishop Cranmer, who remarked in the above-mentioned post:
"There was no appeal for reflection; no pause to consider the hurt which may be caused if the motion were passed, as there was over the Synod vote on women bishops. There was no apprehension; no consideration of how the Jewish minority might feel alienated or offended, as there was over black and Asian minorities over the Synod vote to proscribe the BNP.....
 So, there you have it. In today’s Church of England, the equal right of women to be bishops is worthy of serious reflection; the equal rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and the transgendered are to be respected; the equal rights of black, Asian and minority ethnic groups are to be advanced.
But sod the Jews. They can be ‘dismayed’, ‘completely dismissed’, and ‘ridden roughshod over’. Even after they have ‘suffered harassment and abuse at EAPPI meetings’ and have many ‘legitimate concerns’, the General Synod doesn’t give a damn.
As long as they’re happy about their progress on matters of gender and sexuality, and are secure in the eradication of BNP-sympathising vicars, Anglican-Jewish relations are of no consequence at all."
With a little adjustment, His Grace's words are not inappropriate in the present context.

Let's hope pro-Israel Christians within the Church of England fight back against Sizer & Co's fightback.


  1. It makes perfect sense the CoE is essentially atheism, unitarianism, communism and radical Islam all wrapped up in a neat bow that upper middle class white people can tell each other is wonderfully enlightened. It's like in the 60's in America when the 3 most public and supportive members of the Black Panthers were....Norman Mailer, Ed Asner and James Cromwell.

    1. Didn't Leonard Bernstein host the Black Panthers too? Too many Jewish guys in this little list for my liking!

    2. Same goes for the ANC. But with the likes of Tutu it came back to bite them on the tochus.

  2. Look again at the list, it's got "Stevie Krayer, signing as a concerned Jew" - that's a bit rich, she's a Quaker {tho born Jewish)

  3. None of this alters the fact that all three houses in the General Synod voted to support EAPPI's work. Use of the photograph with the banner expressing love for Israel of British Christians in the context of this debate is misleading. It is perfectly possible to love Israel but dislike some of the things it does. So in voting to support EAPPI, the church of England as a whole was not expressing hatred for Israel - merely supporting an initiative that is proven to reduce or limit levels of violence in the region regardless of which side initiates it. It is tiresome to have support for EAPPI constantly conflated into some kind of manic hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. In my opinion, this photograph alongside the blog seeks to do just that.

    1. Apologies for the late posting of your comment - have been travelling and away from the internet!