|Not the Anglican General Synod
"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."....'
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.