Statement on Gaza

by Richard on November 22, 2012

Mark Wakelin, President of the British Methodist Conference, has made the following statement on the crisis in Gaza

“The ceasefire is good news and we will be praying that this will lead to a lasting truce and progress on the political front. One of the most disturbing aspects of the recent round of violence is the implication that violence might serve some constructive end. Rather violence diminishes us all. It represents a failure of all of us who are engaged with the region to convince parties that real progress can only be achieved when respect and dignity is afforded to every individual. Many Methodists have links with the people of Israel and Palestine, all of whom long to see security, justice and peace for everyone in Israel and Palestine.”


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }


PamBG 11.23.12 at 12:11 am

Waiting to see how this gets construed as being anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.


geoffff 11.23.12 at 3:11 am

I have no idea why you should feel so defensive about antisemitism and anti-Israel Christian hysteria, PamBG. Honestly I have no idea at all.

That is an issue that only you can deal with.

The statement is a humane and perfectly reasonable observation by someone who is obviously a good and decent man.

I just wish all Christians could be like that.


Richard 11.23.12 at 8:42 am

Come, come, geofffffffff. If PamBG is being defensive (and I’m not at all convinced that she is) you know exactly why that is.

As to the President’s statement, for once we are in complete agreement. It has been very carefully written to offend none. I’m heartened that you agree that “One of the most disturbing aspects of the recent round of violence is the implication that violence might serve some constructive end.”


PamBG 11.23.12 at 11:45 am

Yes, Mark is a good and decent man and he’s also a friend of mine.

Good first approach, there, Geofffffffffffffffffffffffffff: “hysterical”. Projection, maybe?


geoffff 11.23.12 at 7:28 pm

I did not say I agree with the statement. All I said is that it is a humane and perfectly reasonable observation by someone who is obviously a good and decent man.

You sound disappointed that I have not accused him of antisemitism.

As it happens I do not agree. with him. There has been no implication from Israel or her supporters that violence serves some useful end. There is no celebration among Israelis about this.

Nor has there been any such implication from the “Palestinians”. (Another thing I disagree with by the way. Indulging these killer criminal regimes as if they are a legitimate expression of national aspiration equivalent to Israel)

The “Palestinians” haven’t implied it either. They have shouted from every roof top in Gaza that the murder of Jews is a divine duty. You would have to be deaf not to hear them.

The Jews are not deaf.


Richard 11.23.12 at 10:48 pm

OK, so we’re not in agreement after all. No surprise there, then.

Your position appears to be that Israel does no wrong. It merely responds to the evil of the Palestinians.

Mine is that all the violence in the Holy Land is wrong, but that Israel bears the greater responsibility (because it occupies the position of power).

And I’m the one that’s biased. Right.


geoffff 11.24.12 at 12:08 am

No. You are just wrong is all.

You are wrong because your frames of reference are too narrow.

You look at what you call the Holy Land and you see terrible violence and you are appalled by that as you have absolutely every right to be as a Christian and as a decent man.

You also see Israel as the overwhelmingly most powerful party and you deeply resent being suspected of antisemitism for pointing out what is to you an obvious fact.

I don’t blame you for that either.

I just wish you and all colleagues would stop being wrong.

You are much closer to Jerusalem than I am and I see something entirely different. Not just a little bit different. All the difference in the world.

I suppose you would expect that.

Richard, I want to continue this discussion but could I ask a small favour?

I believe it is important.

Will you visit my blog and listen to a short video of Colonel Richard Kemp just a few hours ago.


geoffff 11.24.12 at 3:49 am

Also sorry about all the “f”s in the name but it is not my fault.

I have a stutter.


Shirl in Oz 11.24.12 at 4:38 am

Hopefully, and I pray to G-d it might happen, we might see some peace from the latest outcome, but I know we won’t. We will have a lull for a year or so and then it will start again.
What other country in the world would show the restraint shown by Israel, given that Hamas has been targeting the Israeli Home Front since 2001 and firing rockets on a near-daily basis for years.?
Israel withdrew unilaterally from Gaza in 2005 in the hope peace. It never eventuated

These rockets didn’t just start a couple of weeks ago. This year alone some 7-800 have been fired into Israel. I was in Sderot, known as the bomb shelter capital of the world, earlier this year, ever mindful that a siren could sound at any given time and thereby giving me only 15 seconds to make it to a bomb shelter. Even Husain Bolt can’t run that fast.

Since 2001, close to 13,000 rockets and mortar have been fired into Southern Israel, an average of 3 a day. Given these statistics, of course Israel has a right to defend herself

It’s a proven fact and confirmed by Hamas that people are used as human shields. Their own videos released during this latest conflict confirm that fact. Most unfortunately when people are used in this situation there will be casualties no matter how careful one is. No other fighting force in the world takes the care to avoid civilian casualties as Israel does. As Ret. Colonel Kemp so admirably puts it. “Israel has the most moral fighting force in the world”

The Hamas Charter says “The day of Judgement won’t come until the very rocks and trees call out ‘Oh Muslim, there’s a Jew behind me, come and kill him’”

Until the people of Gaza stand up against Hamas, very unfortunately there will never be peace.


geoffff 11.28.12 at 2:28 am

Good morning Richard.

I promised you another comment and I have waited until the dust has settled in Gaza and tempers in the West have cooled as the hudna holds and the news cycle moves on.

Let’s reflect on Pillar of Cloud for a moment in isolation and see if there is anything in it that the outspoken West has to learn.

I use the word hudna carefully by the way. This is a hudna. It is not a cease-fire or a truce and even less an armistice and it would be a good idea for those with an opinion to learn the difference.

From the standpoint of Hamas and its defenders ( the entire Islamic world and especially Iran of which Hamas is a proxy) this is a tactical cessation of just one form of the attack on Israel and the West while Hamas regroups and rearms.

From the standpoint of Israel and its defenders they don’t care what you call it so long as Hamas and the other killers agree to stop trying to murder people at random in Israel in this way. And if they do try again they and the world can expect another Pillar of Cloud.

The process of rearming Hamas and the other terrorist gangs has already begun. Iranian missiles have already been intercepted on their way to Gaza.

That is what the “blockade” is about incidentally. The one do good pests from Europe like to try to run for the stunt mad international media.

It is not a blockade on Gaza at all. It is a blockade on Iran and and al-Qaeda and the Salafist gangs many of which are based in Egypt.

Israel supplies Gaza. Egypt does not. Nor does Jordan. Even at the height of Pillar of Cloud Israel was still able to get vital supplies of food medicines and other essentials through to the civilian population.

Even after Hamas shelled the crossing.

No doubt Hamas and its occasionally warring allies and their armies totalling 20 000 or more ate the food too. And drank the water and used the power nearly all of which Israel supplies.

I am going to make a proposition that I think can not be honestly denied.

There is nothing to celebrate about Pillar of Cloud. It’s cost in resources is enormous and together with Iron Dome, the other wing of Israel’s defence, it is a heavy burden that Israelis must bear way beyond you and me.

But that it was extraordinary skilful, and achieved a level of precision and sheer moral care for the innocents tragically caught up in war, never before approached by a modern military and way beyond the capability of any European country is just the simple truth.

The suggestions that it breached international law are absurd.

I invite you and others to examine your instinctive reactions to this affair from the start, because it is an on going affair.

What we have here is the double standard that has become so much a part of the West’s and especially European perspectives that it is barely noticeable. In fact the double standard is so vast in this case it is obscene.

Israel has behaved far better in the face of these attacks on her civilian population than any European country ever has or would or could if faced with anything like Israel is. Another simple truth.

I suppose we could excuse Czechoslovakia that when betrayed simply surrendered. Is that what you would have Israel do?

The Jews of the Middle East in living memory were once dispersed throughout Muslim lands but are concentrated now almost entirely in one remarkable little country where they form about half the Jewish population. The other half (and they are quickly intermarrying ) are largely the descendants of Jews that in living memory were dispersed throughout Christian lands in Europe and who too were uprooted and dispossessed.

Some one here said that these Jews acted disproportionately. Christians would not do this was the clear inference or at the very least Christians should not do this.

This is not a religious argument for me . By any common definition I am not a religious man. I have not seen the inside of a functioning synagogue for more than forty years. I take no pride in that. It just is, is all.

But I call bullshit.

You can not expect the Jews to behave with more care for the civilian population of an enemy regime than they do for their own. You can not expect them to stand by while their own are threatened and murdered and to do nothing because they value the lives of their own less than they do the lives of others.

Christians never have. Christians never would.

What do you expect these Jews in their own homeland to do when faced with such unrelenting genocidal hatred on such a scale and subject to continuous attacks with a ferocity that almost ranks among the attacks by the Muslim states and groups on one another?

Behave like Super Christians?

That is not a rhetorical question. Because this double standard has become so universal that it strikes me that it amounts to this.


geoffff 11.28.12 at 4:13 am

A fuller letter is here


Richard 11.28.12 at 2:50 pm

I’m sorry geoff: I don’t see that we’ve got any basis on which to continue this conversation. Your presentation of Israel simply as an innocent victim of Arab aggression suggests we have no common ground at all. Let’s leave it there.


Adam 12.26.12 at 11:34 pm

No common ground because you have no common sense.

You really can’t help yourself, can you Richard?


Richard 12.27.12 at 10:35 am

Thanks Adam. That was a very helpful contribution.

Merry Christmas.


Kim 12.27.12 at 11:03 am

And as 2012 trolls to an end …, Happy New Year!

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