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, 28 March 2014

Springtime, Piccadilly: Another Anti-Israel Bash At Lucy's Place?

On 20 May this year the London Anglican church that hosted the despicable anti-Israel "Wall" stunt, Rev. Lucy Winkett's St. James's Church, Piccadilly, is hosting an event in conjunction with the NGO Embrace the Middle East (formerly BibleLands), which is headed by an arch-critic of Israel, Jeremy Moodey.

To quote publicity material issued by the church and posted on the NGO's website:
"We are thrilled to announce that His Beatitude Gregory III Laham, the Syrian-born Patriarch of the Church of Antioch, will be the speaker at the Embrace Annual Lecture this year. Patriarch Gregory will be speaking on the role of Christians in Syria and in the Arab world and the challenges they face. The lecture will be chaired by His Eminence Metropolitan Mor Eustathius Matta Roham, Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Jazirah and Euphrates...."
Now, it seems fair to say that in the West the 80-year-old Gregory is not exactly an household name, and information about him, in particular his attitude towards Israel, is seemingly sparse online.  Naturally, he, like Archbishop Roham, is centrally concerned with the welfare of Christians in the Near and Middle East, as this article indicates.

However, we might be forgiven for inferring, from some of the snippets of information that appear online, that he is, towards Israel, not the warmest of friends.

Wikipedia (providing footnoted sources for its statements) tells us that
'In December 2010, [he] was quoted by the Lebanon Daily Star as claiming that attacks against Levantine Christians, were part of a “Zionist conspiracy against Islam.” [He] reportedly stated that "All this behavior has nothing to do with Islam... But it is actually a conspiracy planned by Zionism and some Christians with Zionist orientations and it aims at undermining and giving a bad image of Islam.” He further added that media portryal of the attack the Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad was "a conspiracy against Arabs and the pre-dominantly Muslim Arab world that aims at depicting Arabs and Muslims in Arab countries as terrorist and fundamentalist murderers in order to deny them their rights and especially those of the Palestinians.”....'
So, will the event in May prove to be an anti-Israel bash?  It's futile to jump to conclusions, and we may be in for a pleasant surprise, but if I was a betting person, given that Gregory seems to have form on the issue and given who will or will in all likelihood be present, I'd wager that Israel will come in for its unfair share of attention.

As for the vicar of Virginia Water, who I understand is expected to attend the event, he clearly does not support Israel's right to exist as the sovereign country it is; anyone who still believes that he does, take note of this:


By the way, there's a nice simply-expressed clerical Kiwi rejoinder to Sizer's anti-Israel nonsense here

4 comments:

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    1. btw, now nauseating that a marginal figire like Loewenstein ("author and jounalist") is welcomed onto ABC panel discussions like this; http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-27/the-drum-thursday-march-27th/5350552

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    2. I don't think I could sit through 40 minutes of ABC hacks agreeing with each other.

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