Needless to say, this news from the United States, to which he alerted his Facebook faithful around the start of his visit here, has not warmed the cockles of his heart, nor of his followers:
It's precisely that sort of thing, Christian support for Israel and Zionism, that the ex-Surrey vicar has come to Oz to endeavour to prevent and undermine, for his tour is under the auspices of such groups as Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network and Fighting Fathers Ministries:
I note with interest that he's given an interview to a Christian magazine in this country, Sight, and that the subsequent article, by David Adams, is headed 'Middle East: Anglican "Peacemaker" calls for Christians to be part of the solution in ending Israel-Palestine conflict'. It begins:
'Christians in the West need to cease giving uncritical, one-sided support to Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and instead engage with Christians in the Middle Eastern church who are working for peace and reconciliation.
That’s according to Rev Dr Stephen Sizer, an Anglican minister and founder of the UK-based Peacemaker Trust, a non-denominational Christian charity which works with churches in East Africa and the Middle East, particularly in areas where the church is marginalized or persecuted or where there are religious tensions, on projects based around evangelism, discipleship and issues of justice and peace.'Well, the church is hardly 'marginalised or persecuted' in Israel, so it is surprising indeed that Adams was not more searching in his interview with our old cobber, asking him why in particular he focuses so much time and effort in knocking the Jewish State. Inter alia, Adams writes that
'Rev Dr Sizer is spending a couple of weeks in Australia speaking at a series of events on a mission to “deconstruct” how the Bible has, in his words, been "misused" to justify what he describes as the “apartheid regime in Israel today” and how Christians can be involved in bringing peace to the region.'He can hardly be unaware of the ex-vicar's lack of impartiality on this issue, as that quoted sentence and other passages in the article make clear. Yet he naively writes of Sizer's "stance of not taking sides"!
Blithely, the article tells us that Sizer
'rejects the idea that he is anti-Israel – saying he has always been opposed to racism and anti-Semitism – and says that he wants to see Israel “survive and prosper as a nation for its citizens, for those who choose to live there or who were born there”....
He says that he prays a solution to the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories can be reached without further bloodshed but he believes that such a solution will only came about when Israel either gives up the West Bank and allows “an independent, sovereign Palestinian state” or embraces a one state solution “whereby everyone within Israel and the Occupied Territories has equal rights and the right to vote, the right to education, healthcare and so on”....'This presumably means that Sizer has reneged on his apparently unequivocal declaration of support for a one-state solution.
And his support for the so-called Palestinian Arab "Right of Return", which would doom Israel's existence in one fell swoop. I mean, a man of the cloth would hardly be likely to lie, would he?
As for Adams and perhaps the majority of Christians in Australia who are coming under Sizer's current charm offensive, I've a sneaking suspicion that they are unaware of some of our pro-Iran old cobber's excesses.
Like his cosying up to Arafat:
His notorious 9/11 post:
His vocal support in London for Al Quds Day:
here would be a good introductory starting point.
Betsy Childs's post here is a cracker too.