Quite wrong indeed.
Occasionally the Israel-denouncing, anti-Zionism crusader from Virginia Water in Surrey will venture onto other tracks, as he has in the past day or two with this
Rum sort of stuff for a clergymen, eh?
This is even rummer (no explanation necessary as to why):
Ah, yes, the vicar will have his little joke. ( It is a joke, isn't it, vicar?)
In a recent speech in Manchester, British Board of Deputies' vice-president Jonathan Arkush (for his statements on behalf of the Board regarding the vicar see here and here) stated:
"In July and August Israel was at war for 50 days. It was a war started by Hamas who fired 4,000 rockets at Israel. But when Israel defended itself by acting against the launching sites from where the rockets were fired, the world reacted with condemnation. Why ?
In its 66 years of existence Israel's Arab neighbours have not allowed it a single day of peace or even recognition. They began war after war, and ever since 1967 whenever Israel defended itself the world reacted with condemnation. Why ?
Here in the UK, just 2 months ago, we witnessed ugly demonstrations of hatred for the world's only Jewish state, including here on the streets of Manchester.
Did we imagine the placards and social media proclaiming 'Hitler was right' ?
Did we imagine the attacks on synagogues ?
Did we imagine the trashing of supermarkets by mobs intent on destroying kosher food ?
Did we imagine the 311 incidents classified by the CST [Community Security Trust] as antisemitic in July alone ?
Did we imagine the manager of Sainsburys in Holborn removing the kosher section because he feared a demonstration ?
Did we imagine the Tricycle Theatre's attempt to expel the Jewish Film Festival ? ....
And did we imagine the debate in the House of Commons just 6 days ago when MPs lined up to direct their bigotry and bile solely against the world's only Jewish state ? It was a depressing and shameful spectacle which only served to demonstrate the shocking ignorance to too many of our elected Members of Parliament."He went on:
"Friends, Natan Sharansky was right to point to 3 indicators of antisemitism when it comes to criticism of Israel:
One, demonisation - treating Israel as somehow uniquely evil.
Two, delegitimisation - depriving Israel of having any right to exist
Three, double standards - reacting towards Israel in a way you wouldn't react towards any other country.
The "3 D's". we have seen far too much of them in recent weeks."And concluded:
"How then do we react against antisemitism, the world's longest hatred ?
I will tell you how we react. First and foremost, we must be proud of our Jewishness and never be afraid to show it. We must turn up the volume of Jewish life. We must defend ourselves against attacks from wherever they may come - and that includes robustly defending attacks on shechita and brit mila.. we must promote the extraordinary achievements of the State of Israel and rebut the slurs.
And we must do so calmly, rationally and on the facts.
We must win allies, because we Jews cannot fight antisemitism alone. And that is why we must appreciate the presence of our friends here with us today, including Jim Murphy MP, Christians for Israel, the Kurdish community, Rev Mike Fryer and all of you who have come to show your support, and we thank you....
The Board cannot stop antisemites but we can lead the fight against antisemitism - and we do.
We shall continue to remind Government, opposition and everyone in the public space that prejudice may start against the Jews but it never ends with the Jews. As Lord Sacks has said, a society that cannot tolerate difference loses its humanity.
Friends, with your support, our pride in our Jewishness has achieved so much for our country. This is a battle we dare not walk away from. And we won't."
Also involved in this eyebrow-raising exchange are Methodist preacher Stephen Leah, secretary of the York branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and a changer of the verses of much loved traditional English hymns into Israel-demonising lyrics, plus a scurrilous blogger whose hallmark is this sort of nonsense and whose alias is a spoof on the respected (pro-Israel) blog Harry's Place (and with whom the vicar not infrequently engages in a spot of childish banter which includes a quite unbecoming cattiness about certain pro-Israel activists):
Shamefully, the vicar is all-too prone to belittle the concerns regarding antisemitism of the Board of Deputies and the Community Security Trust; one wonders what his diocesan superior, the new Bishop of Guildford, would make of a Church of England clergyman acting in such a gratuitous mocking manner towards members of the Jewish community.
Here's a brief exchange between Reading Palestine Solidarity Campaign organiser Tony Gratrex, whose continuing flirtations with antisemitism (as shown up on my blog and on Harry's Place) should have ensured that Sizer de-friended him long since:
More conduct unbecoming? Here once again we see Sizer joining in the poke-fun with the scurrilous blogger calling himself Harriet whose obsession, indeed purpose in blogging, appears to be posting codswallop about the Board of Deputies and the "Hasbarafia":
Elsewhere on Facebook in recent days. The vicar cheerleading for Hamas? Surely not.
See, by the way, the Rosh Pina Project's recent post (complete with video) about Sizer here:
"Rev Stephen Sizer, notorious anti-Zionist, appears yet again on Iranian propaganda channel Press TV, denting his academic credibility even further, as he claimed his fellow Christians who support Israel – Christian Zionists, are really no different from ISIS or Al Qaeda (3:38)! However Christian Zionists, even in their “extreme form”, (which is defined as supporting building homes for the wrong people (Jews) in the wrong place), are not chopping off people’s heads, slaughtering people who hold the wrong theology or practice, nor selling non-Muslim girls in to sex slavery. When Christianity was involved in its own Jihad during the Crusades, it was not Christian Zionists who took up arms, rather those who believed God had cast off the Jews and taken their land from them who went to war, urged on by clergymen like Sizer!
Sizer claims Christian Zionists have no place for Jews in their final End Times scenario (at 6:30mins) so why would Jews want their support for the here and now. However Sizer himself holds, as a conservative Anglican Evangelical, that all outside Jesus (including Muslims and Jews) face an eternity in hell. Sizer is disingenuous as he makes this cynical ploy to try to destroy what support Israel does get from Evangelicals.
Sizer seeks to position himself as a kind of martyr for Christian resistance against Zionist supporters, claiming the mere challenge against Zionism has caused him to suffer. However Sizer failed to grasp that people have no problem with criticising actual failures and proven wrong-doing, it is his dalliances with the edges of anti-Semitism, the re-branding of its canards and theological rehabilitation of Crusader Christian Jihad ideology, that worries so many of his detractors."Championing Iran (the vicar seems inordinately fond of Iran):
Not supporting BDS for Iran, then, vicar? Despite all the human rights abuses there, including the persecution and putting to death of religious dissenters including Christians?
Are you unaware of crimes such as these against Iranian women?
How about this recent horrific spate of executions in Iran?
And Iran's death sentence on and subsequent putting to death of a 26-year-old rape victim Reyhaneh Jabbari, in defiance of pleas for mercy from various sources?
Surely someone as au fait with Iran as you are couldn't have been ignorant of that. Did you protest that sentence on Ms Jabbari, as you have Saudi Arabia's death sentence on a Shia cleric?
Surely you did not turn a blind eye?
Sceptical Sizer, and the company he keeps. The vicar on 9/11 yet again, though no snide reference to the "five dancing Shlomos" this time.
An oblique response to the murder by a Palestinian hate-merchant of three-month-old babe Chaya Zissel Braun in Jerusalem, the beloved daughter of parents who had longed for years to have a child, and who are now bereft, heartbroken, and traumatised:
Ah, and the Lobby, about which the vicar spoke recently in Teheran:
I'm sure the antisemites among your followers will have lapped that one up, vicar.
But are you sure, are you absolutely sure, that you want such people as your Facebook friends?
Postscript: Off to Bethlehem, where he's attending the Christ at the Checkpoint 4 planning meeting for 2016. He does get around, doesn't he? Let's hope it was not El Al that upgraded our old mate. Nah ... he wouldn't fly El Al, would he?
Having linked yet again to an article by chum-in-arms Ben White disparaging the pro-Israel Christian analyst Dexter Van Zile (who clearly gets under their skin):
Hat tip: reader P