The Israel-bashing Anglican cleric, who in January 2015 infamously made an odious post on Facebook suggesting Israel's involvement in the 9/11 atrocity, has advised:
"Easter 2017 will mark my 20th anniversary as vicar of Virginia Water. After prayerful reflection and in consultation with our Church Council, I plan to retire from parish ministry on Easter Sunday, 16th April.
God willing, I will then dedicate the rest of my active life to serving the Lord wherever the Church is under-resourced, disadvantaged or persecuted, where human rights are denied, or justice, peace and reconciliation needed.
Friends have helped set up a charity to facilitate this. We will launch the charity at a reception on Saturday 3rd December, 19:00 at Christ Church, Virginia Water. Garth Hewitt, one of our trustees, will be performing songs from his new album, Peace at Christmas...."
|A message from Balfour Project stalwart Mary Grey|
The six-month ban from social media imposed on Sizer by his bishop as a result of that 9/11 post has long since expired. As far as I'm aware, the vicar (whose posts suggest political support for Jeremy Corbyn) has avoided directly mentioning the subject of Israel on his Facebook posts since his ban expired, being content to "like" posts on that subject by such "Friends" of his as the Israel-demonising Jenny Tonge.
Sizer's resignation of his pulpit will presumably unshackle him, or perhaps "unmuzzle him" would be a better way of putting it, and we can presumably expect him to resume his active campaigning against Israel and Christian Zionism. After all, 2 November 2017 will be the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, and Israel-bashers galore (many of them connected with the so-called Balfour Project) are seemingly preparing to shift into high gear for that.
Closely allied to Sizer is former British diplomat, Rothschilds Bank executive and thwarted would-be Conservative parliamentary candidate Jeremy Moodey, CEO since 2009 of Embrace the Middle East (a Christian charity formerly known as Biblelands).
As a Christian Moodey-watcher, aghast at Moodey's turning that organisation into 'an anti-Zionist propaganda mill,' observed in 2012 (a statement as true now as then):
".... Unfortunately, mixed in with Embrace’s good work is an alarming amount of hostility toward the Jewish state. Israel is regularly cast as the villain in the story Moodey tells about the Middle East. The undeniable misdeeds of Arab and Muslim leaders in the Middle East are selectively ignored.
Moodey [has] directed all his ire at Israel and offered hardly a word of criticism toward Hamas, which has turned the Gaza Strip into an open-air gulag for its inhabitants – its Christians especially – who recently went public with complaints of forced conversions.....
No reasonable commentator can ignore the role Hamas has played in making the lives of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip miserable and its cynical use of the suffering it has caused as a tool to lambaste Israel. No reasonable commentator would fail to hold Hamas to account for the rockets it launched, or allowed to be launched into Israel.
....Moodey insists that Israel withdraw its citizens from the West Bank, but what assurances can he give that such withdrawals will lead to peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors?...."Here is Moodey defending the execrable anti-Israel stunt at St James's Church Piccadilly a few years ago.
And here he is talking enthusiastically and sickeningly at SOAS when a member of an anti-Zionist, anti-Israel panel in 2013 foreshadowing the establishment of an anti-Israel grassroots campaign in the churches to, as another speaker explained to applause from the audience, oppose and defeat "the Zionist Project". (Richard Millett video):
Richard Millett ably challenged Moodey here
Other examples of Moodey's longstanding jaundiced attitude towards Israel can be seen here and here and here and here
He appears to be more interested in slamming Israel for supposed offences against Christians than he is in condemning the real crimes of Muslim regimes against them. He clearly has scant sympathy for the scriptural underpinnings of the Jewish People's attachment to Eretz Israel. He dismisses the Religious strand within the Zionist movement and approvingly cites instead a minority of ratbag "Liberal Jewish" anti-Zionists. And as we see on this Christian website he keeps up a relentless round of anti-Israel propaganda.
the 'checkpoint' exhibit at London's Hinde Street Methodist Church.
That's the display which attracted such antisemitic comments in its visitor's book as "IDF soldiers are the scum of the earth. They are disgusting filth and animals and need to be burned alive" (see here)
And see Jonathan Hoffman's observations here.
Last month, too, Moodey paid a visit to Salisbury, Wiltshire, to address the group Sarum Concern for Israel Palestine (SCIP). A one-sided Methodist group, it seems One of the fruits of that squalid initiative launched at SOAS, perhaps?
That Moodey's propaganda ("Israel/Palestine: Where's the Hope?") fell on receptive ears is indicated by the title of an ensuing report entitled "Charity chief brings message of Palestinian hope to Salisbury".
It summarise Moodey's talk. And, what d'you know? Right away his cited authority is no less an Israel-basher than Avi Shlaim. Not much in the way of objectivity here, then. No presentation of Israel's case. Just the drip, drip, drip of anti-Israel agitprop.
"Can there be hope for Palestinians, he asked, when the state of Israel controls 90% of historic Palestine including most of the Palestinian West Bank, and with a decades-long failure to reach agreement on borders between Israel and a Palestinian state? Quoting the British/Israeli historian Professor Avi Schlaim [sic] he said that negotiations had been like trying to decide how to divide a pizza while one side had already gobbled most of it up.
Jeremy's answer is an unequivocal 'yes'. Even in Gaza, with 1.8 million inhabitants the most densely populated area in the world and still devastated following Israel's 2014 onslaught, there is cause for hope today. Jeremy cited projects initiated by the tiny 1,200 strong Christian community and part funded by Embrace. These include therapy for children traumatised by war, vocational training for young people and a highly regarded health clinic used overwhelmingly by Muslim women and staffed by Christians and Muslims. In Jerusalem the YMCA rehabilitates Palestinian children who have emerged brutalised from Israeli military detention."It goes on:
"In the immediate future 2017 marks a number of significant anniversaries - a decade since the start of the Gaza blockade, 50 years since the Israeli occupation, 70 years since the UN Partition Plan, and 100 years since the Balfour Declaration - which it is hoped will increase public awareness of the Palestinian cause and strengthen demands for governments around the world to shift their Israel/Palestine policy. Attitudes are already changing. A Pew Research Center study published earlier this year found that the percentage of 'millennials' - children born after 1980 - in the US who sympathised with the Palestinians had increased to 27% from just 9% in 2006. Those who sympathised with Israel fell from 51% to 43%."The inevitable nod to BDS, which Moodey favours:
"In the UK, according to Jeremy, demands will focus on the recognition of a Palestinian state, a ban on trade with illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, an end to the Gaza blockade and support of divestment from companies profiting from the occupation."Finally, an ominous hint of a one state solution, perhaps?:
"And the long-term hope? That Israelis and Palestinians will one day live in peace and recognise that no empire lasts for ever - not least in Palestine where, as Jeremy points out, no fewer than 26 empires have come and gone since 2000 BC."Yes, 2017 should prove to be a bumper year for anti-Israel agitprop. The excitement over at the so-called Balfour Project is almost palpable.
Meanwhile, will Sizer and Moodey be attending this Friday and weekend's anti-Israel fest sponsored by Lichfield Cathedral, which I blogged about a few days ago?
Super blogger David Collier has vowed to be there. It will be most interesting to read his take on matters.
Update: here is David's gut reaction. The cathedral should be deeply ashamed.