Jewish-Methodist dialogue

by Richard on July 15, 2010

In the Jewish Chronicle, Geoffrey Alderman welcomes the decision of the Board of Deputies to break off dialogue with the Methodist Church.

The breach with the Methodists is to be welcomed not simply because they have enthusiastically embraced a report on the Middle East that is a catalogue of lies and half-truths.

If that alone had been the case, I might have been inclined to have counselled continuing dialogue in the hope of correcting errors of fact and interpretation. The breach with the Methodists is to be welcomed not simply because they have enthusiastically embraced a report on the Middle East that is a catalogue of lies and half-truths.

If that alone had been the case, I might have been inclined to have counselled continuing dialogue in the hope of correcting errors of fact and interpretation.

The breach is to be welcomed because, behind that report, informing its contents and laying the groundwork for its adoption, is a philosophy of utter contempt for both Jews and Judaism. At last, this malignant mind-set has been laid bare for all of us to observe.

For some years a number of Christian sub-denominations, in this country and around the world, have vied with each other in their projection of Judaism as a contaminated creed, and of Jews as an accursed species.

This attitude is not merely medieval. It is pre-medieval, resurrecting and echoing as it does the view of the early church fathers that, in rejecting Jesus as the messiah, the Jews had forfeited their special relationship with the Almighty, whose favours had - as it were - been transferred to the Christians. This mind-set is fully reflected in the Methodist report. Although innocently entitled, “Justice for Palestine and Israel”, the report’s starting point is, as one of its authors, Nichola Jones, candidly admitted, the rejection of the Jewish view of God - “a racist God,” she claims, “who has favourites.”

Strong stuff, though clearly I don’t accept it. (I’m grateful to David Hallam for drawing this to our attention, though it is disappointing that he seems to agree with the assessment of the Methodist Church.)

An alternative view was set out by Leslie Griffiths in a letter to a Jewish friend in today’s Methodist Recorder. Sadly, it’s not available on line, but here’s a flavour.

“It is truly ironic that cuddly Methodists, among whom are to be found many committed supporters of the State of Israel, should be accused of rejecting a ‘two state solution’ at a time when nothing seems more likely to threaten such an eventuality more than the policies of the present Israeli Government. …

Dear Samuel, …

I’m not alone in detecting an erosion of support for Israel, even among those who have been its long term friends. …The invasion of Gaza, so disproportionate, conducted in the full glare of modern publicity, which left 1300 Palestinians (the huge majority of them innocent civilians) against the 13 Israeli dead, all of them soldiers, was shocking. The storming of the flotilla showed similar disregard for the opinions of wider public … And then there are the forged (British) passports to provide cover for an act of murder, the building of that fence/wall/barrier which many people find abominable … making it more and more difficult for the friends of the State of Israel to justify its right to self-defence. …
It may be true that the Methodist Report is flawed … But for all its inadequacies, it should cause profound anxiety that a body as benign as the Methodist Church should find itself so out of sympathy with the State of Israel and its policies

No doubt this will also be dismissed as anti-semitic ravings.

But shouting the charge doesn’t make it true.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Mark Byron 07.16.10 at 1:51 am

No doubt this will also be dismissed as anti-semitic ravings.

Anti-Zionist (at least the current Bibi incarnation) to be sure.

Ms. Griffiths seems to take the Hamas talking points right down the line, including the “huge majority of them innocent civilians.” Quite a few Hamas fighters were in the mix, often hiding in civilian areas, enough to call question to Griffiths claim.

A lot of the religious left is reflexively anti-Western (or at least anti-Western-status-quo) and pro-Third Word, even when the Third World folks are often worse than the westerners. They posit reasonable put-upon Palistinians versus callous, power-grabbing Israelis, when the reality is something different.

2

Allan R. Bevere 07.16.10 at 2:16 am

Richard,

Just for clarification– the writer’s first name is not Bruce, but Geoffrey.

3

Daniel Imburgia 07.16.10 at 3:46 am

Where could i read more about the ‘Methodist Report’ on Israel, and this whole affair, thanks.

4

David 07.16.10 at 6:27 am

Good old Ms. Griffiths… a gullible Hamas stooge… I’m sure Lord Griffiths will be amused at that…

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Richard 07.16.10 at 7:17 am

Allan - I’m grateful for the correction. I was thinking of someone else. I shouldn’t write so late at night.

Daniel - In posts and comments here you’ll find links to lots of other stuff, including stuff I don’t agree with.

Mark - but anti-Zionist does not equal anti-semitic, which is the charge that’s been laid against the church. Of course, Hamas fighters don’t wear uniforms, so numbers of civilians are hard to count. But that Israel has acted wholly disproportionately is, I think, beyond question.

I’m going to back to the question of the report’s even-handedness.

6

Kim 07.16.10 at 7:31 am

For more clarification, David (with the green hair) may just be being sarky, but just in case it’s ignorance - there is a lot of ignorance going around on this one - Leslie Griffiths is Lord Griffiths; his wife’s name is Margaret.

The voices on one side of these conversations confirm, for me, that the Muslim is the new radical Other, i.e., ironically, the new Jew.

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Richard 07.16.10 at 8:33 am

Clarification is always good. Agree with your comment about the Other. So much of this ‘conversation’ is being driven by fear of Islam. (But I’m certain that David knows who Leslie Griffiths is)

To be fair to Mark, I shouldn’t really have expected anyone beyond these shores to have known who Leslie Griffiths is, though. And blokes who go around with girls’ names should expect a bit of confusion occasionally. ;)

8

PamBG 07.16.10 at 1:35 pm

As someone who doesn’t have access to “The Methodist Reporter”, can I point out that I’m having a hard time making sense of your snippet from Leslie Griffith’s letter. It appears that I don’t have enough context in which to read this letter; I’ve tried reading it 3 times and I still don’t really understand it the way it’s been snipped.

I’m saddened by this view of Methodists as racist, but all I can say is “so be it”. I simply can’t, in all good consciousness, buy into the worldview that says it’s OK for Israel to kill Palestinians because Europeans killed Jews. This may be one of the times when one simply has to accept being reviled.

Whilst some conservative Christians may well agree with the “Israel right or wrong” stance, it’s not because they have the integrity of the Jewish people in mind either. They want to convert Jews to Christianity and they are looking for a secure State of Israel for their own ends - the second Coming of Christ - rather than for a secure homeland for the Jewish people.

How messed up life gets when we take an approach of “You must agree with my immoral acts if you want to be my friend.”

9

Richard 07.16.10 at 2:58 pm

I’m sorry if my snipping was inadequate, Pam.

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dh 07.16.10 at 4:45 pm

“..buy into the worldview that says it’s OK for Israel to kill Palestinians because Europeans killed Jews.” That is not what supporters of Israel believe in any way. It isn’t Palastinians for the sake of Palastinians to support Israel that sraeli attacks are supported. It is attacks against Hamas and Hezbollah wherever they may be that is supported. I know of no one who wants Palastinians in and of themselves attacked. That is a gross overgeneralization and in fact is not true. Also, there is no support for attack based on your premise that support for attacks on Palastinians because Europeans killed Jews.

Your premises and observations of these things are totally off and totally wrong and are a misrepresetation of the positions of people who support Israel and Israel as a state.

Also, Evangelical Christians support a secure homeland for the Jewish people. Where do you get that? Attacking Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Quada, Syrians supporting those groups, etc. DO serve the purpose for securing the homeland for the Jewish people. I would go further that anyon who doesn’t support attacking Hamas and Hezbollah are NOT supporting a secure homland for the Jewish people based on the fact that these two organizations are known terrorist organizations that desire noneother than the entire destruction of Israel as a nation.

“How messed up life gets when we take an approach of “You must agree with my immoral acts if you want to be my friend.”

Keep accusing (sarcasm) Israel of immoral acts without addressing in any way the immoral acts of Hamas, Hezbollah or those who don’t support Israel being a nation in any way.

11

PamBG 07.16.10 at 4:58 pm

“..buy into the worldview that says it’s OK for Israel to kill Palestinians because Europeans killed Jews.” That is not what supporters of Israel believe in any way.

Sigh. Well, I don’t think that the Methodist Church means to be anti-Semitic either.

But, if folk are going to claim that boycotting goods from the disputed areas in Palestine is automatically racist and anti-Semitic (why? I presume because it fails to automatically endorse anything and everything that Israel does), then I’m going to have to endure being called anti-Semitic.

Having a Covenant theology that says that God makes a covenant with all races, not just the Jewish race is not, in my opinion, antiSemetic either. It’s classic Methodist theology and it’s the foundation of the Covenant Service. If others don’t like that, then I’m going to have to endure being called anti-Semitic.

As I understand it, much of non-Orthodox Jewish theology has at it’s center that God’s Covenant is for all races and that the Jewish people are to be a light to the nations and spread ethical monotheism. Can we call them anti-Semitic as well? I guess I’m just going to have to hang out with my anti-Semitic Jewish friends from now on, but I’m totally willing to be called a name if it’s a choice between speaking out for what is right or having to endorse everything the modern State of Israel does.

12

Richard 07.16.10 at 5:06 pm

>> “…but I’m totally willing to be called a name if it’s a choice between speaking out for what is right or having to endorse everything the modern State of Israel does.”

On the nail, Pam.

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dh 07.16.10 at 5:32 pm

Well, just to clarify my position. I don’t necessarily go to the level that Methodist Church is to the level of anti-Semetic. I don’t think any of my statements one could conclude that. I did say that it is near to being that (Richard, MP and I have already discussed the term “near”) or at the least is “anti-Israel” if one fails to address in any way the terrorist organizations of Hamas and Hezbollah who do not support in any way Israel beinga nation and the destruction on a grander scale in the region than any other has done. I don’t support “everything” Israel has done but I’m not going to say they have done worse things than Hamas and Hezbollah like the Methodist Chruch and others here seem to neglect or at the least do not level to the same extent as the statements toward Israel have been done by the “boycotters”.

and no “non-Orthodox Jewish theology” is not anti-Semetic. If one reads the Apostle Paul and the “grafting back in” in reference to the Jews and the special covenent as a people the Jews have in a natural way one can understand.

Here is a sharing the Gospel moment I had with a Jewish person that was special. This Jewish person and I hit it off and we were discussing “Spiritual things”. He ask me “What is being Christian vs. being a Jew all about?” What I told him was that Jews have a special Covenent in the natural way of the Old Covenent. As a Gentile I don’t have that natural way that particular Covenent. However, through Jesus I can be part of the New Covenent with all of its benefits. I also said “you however can experience the fulfillment of the New Covenent and Old Covenent through Jesus. I ended the conversation with him with a hug and asked if he would like a 4 Spiritual Laws tract. He said absolutely and held it with two hands for multiple minutes while I was doing something else at the store we were at. When I walked away from the yelled and waved and smiled from a distance and said “Have a great day, will definitely read your book:.

So what I was saying indirect way is that Salvation is by Faith in Christ alone and that is not anti-Semetic for Jews by Faith in Christ experience the full understanding of both the Old Covenent and New Covenent while a Gentile Christian experiences only the full understanding of the New Covenent. That is not to say one is better than the other but that the Messianic Jew has a special understanding that is unique and even more dynamic.

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Methodist Preacher 07.16.10 at 6:38 pm

Daniel the pdf of the report submitted to conference can be found here:
http://www.methodistconference.org.uk/assets/downloads/confrep-14-justice-for-palestine-israel-170510.pdf

15

PamBG 07.16.10 at 6:41 pm

if one fails to address in any way the terrorist organizations of Hamas and Hezbollah

The church is on record as denouncing Palestinian terrorism. I believe, but can’t specifically remember, whether these and other Palestinian terrorist organizations were specifically named. Maybe someone else knows. We are also on record as saying that we both Jews and Palestinians to live in peace.

It would seem that intending to be even-handed and trying to speak out against wrong actions whilst viewing both Jews and Palestinians as equally beloved in the eyes of God is what is objectionable. Some have told me that to hold that both the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to live in parts of the Holy Land is to be anti-Zionist and therefore to most likely be anti-Semitic. In other words, to fail to be anti-Palestinian is to be anti-Semitic in the eyes of some. (I believe that Palestinians are actually also “Semites” but let’s not go there for the moment.”

Here is a sharing the Gospel moment I had with a Jewish person that was special.

That person asked you about Christianity. That’s not the same thing as wanting the Jewish people to live in Israel so that my God can return to earth and then damn the majority of Jews to hell for not professing Jesus as Lord.

16

dh 07.16.10 at 7:25 pm

God doesn’t damn anyone to hell people choose to go there by their own rejecti0n of Christ.

You mention: “It would seem that intending to be even-handed and trying to speak out against wrong actions whilst viewing both Jews and Palestinians as equally beloved in the eyes of God is what is objectionable. Some have told me that to hold that both the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to live in parts of the Holy Land is to be anti-Zionist and therefore to most likely be anti-Semitic. ”

No one is saying that Jews and Palastinans don’t have rights to live in parts of the land of Israel. It is the whole support for Israel as a nation that is the issue. If one supports Jews and Palastinians right to live in parts of the land with Israel not being a nation that is NOT Biblical and is “anti-Zionist”. To support a divided Jerusalem where part of Jerusalem is not contined within the nation of Israel isalso “anti-Zionist”.

You say: “We are also on record as saying that we both Jews and Palestinians to live in peace.” That I assune, although this is the first time you mentioned it, to be your position and I agree. However, you specifically mention Israel is being the problem without mentioning directly Hamas and/or Hezbollah. We can agree to disagree on our views of Israel but if one s going to condemn Israel specifically then one needs to to the same extent as their condemnation of Israel condemn specifically Hamas and/or Hezbollah.

I can count on only one hand those who are condemning what Israel is doing the number of times Hamas and/or Hezbollah are condemned specifically. For Hamas and Hezbollah are way worse than Israel. In fact if the Palastinians would have supported Fatah and Pres. Clinton and not support Hamas and/or Hezbollah in the mid 90’s, Israel and the world might not be in the situation we are today. (Not that I support 100% Clinton’s position on Israel) However, the situation would be much better than we have today.

17

Kim 07.16.10 at 7:34 pm

Question: What do you call a biblically and theologically illiterate, morally duplicitous, and politically dangerous bunch of American true believers?

Answer: Christian Zionists.

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dh 07.16.10 at 7:40 pm

How can it be politically dangersou, non-biblical and morally duplicitous when Hamas and Hezbollah are not specifically condemned by those who are against the way Israel handles things? Wasn’t it politically dangersous, non-biblical and morally duplicitous for the Palastinians not to support Fatah and support Hamas and Hezbollah and to continue their desire for Israel not to be a nation in anyway?

19

PamBG 07.16.10 at 9:53 pm

You say: “We are also on record as saying that we both Jews and Palestinians to live in peace.” That I assune, although this is the first time you mentioned it, to be your position and I agree. However, you specifically mention Israel is being the problem without mentioning directly Hamas and/or Hezbollah.

Wrong. You and I have had this discussion before and I have said many times that I don’t support Palestinian organisations. As far as the Methodist Church goes, it’s up to the person who intends to make an accusation to do their research first.

As to “Israel being the problem”: No, no, no, no, no!!! And I never said that. This is precisely where you are going wrong when you want to accuse particular groups of being the problem. This whole exercise is about “These specific actions are wrong” and distinguish wrong actions from this victimizing concept of “some people are problem people”.

Wasn’t it politically dangersous, non-biblical and morally duplicitous for the Palastinians not to support Fatah and support Hamas and Hezbollah and to continue their desire for Israel not to be a nation in anyway?

I swear I remember having a conversation with you several years ago in the brief time period when Fatah came to power and I said it was pragmatically the least worst option even if it wasn’t good. And I swear I remember you condeming me for having anything at all positive to say about Fatah because you claimed they were a terrorist organization. I wonder if Richard or Kim remember that conversation? If I recall correctly, it went on for quite some time.

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PamBG 07.16.10 at 9:54 pm

Correction….”I don’t support Palestinian terrorist organizations.”

21

Kim 07.16.10 at 10:15 pm

Do you know the story about the pious old man who for over twenty years had gone daily to the Western Wall in Jerusalem to pray for peace? Asked what it was like, he replied, “It’s like talking to a wall.”

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PamBG 07.16.10 at 11:02 pm

Indeed. :D

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Richard 07.16.10 at 11:25 pm

I can’t find a conversation that exactly matches your recollection Pam, but I’ve been reacquainted with some furious exchanges!

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dh 07.17.10 at 4:04 pm

Pam, I feel nitpick on the “being’ and “actions” bit. Whether it is one or the other, the number of times Israels “actions” are condemned is way more as compared with Palastinian organizations specifically being condemned.

Pam, I never criticized you for supporting Fatah except for the contingent within Fatah which do not support Israel as a nation or at least support a divided Jerusalem. I never said Fatah was a terrorist nation. I do have a problem with the PLO and Arafat.

I have done research and it seems many times Israel is specifically mentioned but Hamas, Hezbollah, etc, are not specifically condemned. They just mention terrorism in general. Why is that? Why the need to specifically mention Israeli actions and not mention specific terrorist organization actions?

Terrorist are not “problem people”? That I totally disagree So I don’t think it is right for people to say it is a wrong excercise for me to mention that Hamas and Hezbollah are “problem organizations.” Nazi;’s were problem people and problem organizations as well. It seems equivilent to me.

Pam, I never said that you supported Palastinian terrorist organizations and don’t really understand how you could see that in my post. I was just pointing out and really wasn’t singling you out specifically but looking at the group, who condemn Israels actions, as a whole and how there seems to be a lack of equality in the condemnation and how one group is specifically mentioned as having problem “actions’ and others are not mentioned specifically. Also it seems the number of times Israeli actions are condmened is lower in number to the times hamas and/or Hezbollah are specifically condemned let alone Palastinian terrorism as a whole.

I hope you don’t take this as a “furios exchange’ or an “attack on the person”

Talking to me is like talking to a wall? Come on Does anyone recognize the problem of not mentioning specifically Hamas and Hezbollah as being problem organizations and then to single out the actions of the Israeli government?

The numbers and lack of specific mentioning speak for themselves and no that doesn’t mean that I feel that anybody hear or Methodist church etc. support terrorism. It would be great when people wouldn;t overgeneralize or make hasty generalizations regarding my statements and I’m not saying this harsh. I just wan’t people to understand my position clearly. Especially when I mentioned Clinton in the mid 90’s etc.

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PamBG 07.17.10 at 5:05 pm

Pam, I feel nitpick on the “being’ and “actions” bit.

Ok well then there is a huge difference between us. As far as I’m concerned good moral theology must separate the person from the action.

Not doing so results in exactly the sort of thinking that you are doing where some person or group has to fall entirely into the category of “wrong” or “righteous”. So we end up overlooking the wrongdoings of the people we deem to be righteous and we overlook the good deeds of the people who we deem to be wrongpeople. Then we say that we are “for” this group and “against” that group instead of identifying right and wrong actions clearly.

The State of Israel is a nation with a representation in the UN. It is backed almost uncritically until recently by the world’s only existing superpower. They claim the moral high ground and are therefore held to a higher standard than organizations which claim nothing for themselves but the intent to kill people and create mayhem. And don’t confuse them with the Palestinian people either.

26

Beth 07.17.10 at 5:10 pm

I can tell you why this kind of thing is seen as anti-Semitic by a lot of Jews. It’s not directly about the criticism of Israel - you’re absolutely right that the government has done some pretty terrible and disproportionate things. Rather, it’s the level of focus on Israel as opposed to other countries whose actions and human rights records are so much worse that smacks of anti-Semitism to so many.

For example, when was the last time you saw a furious protest against Zimbabwe on your hight street? When did y0u see plans for a boycott of Chinese goods over China’s treatment of the Tibetans or, more importantly, of its own people? When did you the Methodist Church last release a report condemning the government of North Korea?

By and large, these things don’t happen. And yet the abuses and evils perpetrated by these governments are, I would venture to say, far worse and far more disproportionate than anything the state of Israel has ever done.

So the question a lot of Jews ask is - why Israel? Why, when other, worse governments are off the hook, is the government of Israel so consistently on it? It seems to come down to a number of issues, including - as I mentioned in a comment on another post here - inverse racism and anti-Western snobbery. But there is also the perception of an institutional, even subconscious anti-Semitism - that for the liberal Left in particular this is just a convenient way of bashing the Jews again. You only have to look at the ease with which so many people confuse talking about what “Israel” has done with what “the Jews” have done to see what I mean.

There is also, I think, a sense that Christians see “the holy land” as particularly their business, as some kind of biblical inheritance, and that therefore you have a right to comment and criticize as though it affects you directly.

27

PamBG 07.17.10 at 10:54 pm

There is also, I think, a sense that Christians see “the holy land” as particularly their business, as some kind of biblical inheritance, and that therefore you have a right to comment and criticize as though it affects you directly.

It’s interesting our perceptions. I don’t feel that it’s socially acceptable to criticize Israel in any way and I do feel that to raise any objection to what Israel does is to set oneself up to be called an antisemite. Mainly because most people seem to think in these categories of “If you call me on a wrongdoing, that means you are anti-me.”

And my government (the US government) has historically not only ignored Israel’s wrong-doings but funded them. That’s the difference for me between the other things that you cite: we haven’t funded Robert Mugabe in destroying his country and his people and we haven’t funded North Korea or the Chinese persecution of Tibet although these things are undoubtedly wrong.

28

TonyBuglass 07.18.10 at 9:26 am

“when was the last time you saw a furious protest against Zimbabwe on your hight street? When did y0u see plans for a boycott of Chinese goods over China’s treatment of the Tibetans or, more importantly, of its own people? ”

When Mugabe stole the last election, there were protests where I was. When China brutalised Tibet again, there was a local pro-Tibet petition and an internet campaign. Some of us boycotted South African goods for years until apartheid finally collapsed, and are still boycotting Nestle. I was buying Fair Trade coffee 30 years ago (when to be honest it was a bit rough), long before it became as popular a movement as it is now.

My point is that whatever hits the headlines, or gains popular support, some of us are trying by whatever means we have to combat evil, and doing it all the time. We are not doing anything to Israel that we have not done to other repressive regimes. It is neither disproportionate nor inconsistent, save in respect of the extent to which we are trapped by the complex world economic system in which we live.

The Methodist Church is not anti-Semitic. The report happened when it did because of the time it takes for reports to be produced and come to the annual Conference, along with the passage of a certain amount of time since the Gaza campaign and the imposition of the Israeli blockade. For Jews in the UK to accuse the Church of anti-Semitism is just so much special pleading.

I repeat what I have already said: I have been a friend of Israel since 1967, when I was a teenager. Friends should be able to speak honestly and in love. So I deplore the terrorism of Hamas and Hezbollah, but I really can’t understand how Israel cannot see that their disproportionate response is driving many into the Hamas camp, and doing more damage than Hamas has ever done. It does come down to the simple matter of justice and rightness, as Israel’s own prophets said in the 8th C BC.

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Kim 07.18.10 at 12:36 pm

Do I hear an Amen (as well, of course, as a “Well, Toney …”)?
Thanks, Tony. Beautifully measured.
Kim

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Richard 07.18.10 at 4:43 pm

Definitely an amen from me, Kim. Thanks Tony.

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Beth 07.18.10 at 11:12 pm

I’m delighted (genuinely, no sarcasm) that there have been a few protests against Mugabe, China, etc. where you are, Tony. But that’s hardly the point. Yes, “some of you” - and I applaud and support you - have a fair and even approach in your condemnation of evil. Look around, though - do you see that same fair approach in the wider society? My orthodox friends are yelled at in the street - “How many Palestinians did you kill today?” was one offering, to a guy who’s Australian but has the temerity to wear a yarmulke. The Jewish community where I live was advised to stay away from the town centre when anti-Israel protests were going on because it probably wasn’t safe to be there. Anti-Semitic incidents in the UK rose steeply in 2009, apparently as a response to the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

When did you last hear of a Chinese restaurant being attacked by pro-Tibet activists? Or, as a better analogy, of Japanese people being attacked in the street because of China’s human rights abuses? Because most of these attacks are not even on Israelis.

I am absolutely not saying that anyone who opposes some Israeli government policies and actions is also an anti-Semite. But I believe that the anti-Israel cause is, for many people, a convenient and fashionable smokescreen for the anti-Semitism they naturally feel. How you separate the two, I don’t know. But I think it’s disingenuous for anti-Israel protestors to think that they are not sheltering and giving power to a lot of anti-Semites in amongst the genuine activists.

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TonyBuglass 07.19.10 at 9:04 am

Anti-Semitism is real, and in our midst, and evil. I agree with all you say about that. What I object to is the claim that any criticism of Israel is necessarily anti-Semitic.

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Beth 07.19.10 at 2:34 pm

Good - then I think (and hope) that we’re in agreement.

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dh 07.19.10 at 3:02 pm

I still believe that the number of times Hezbollah and Hamas are condemned specifically is less than the number Israels actions are condemned.

I never said that Israel hasn’t done some things wrong but the shear number of wrong things by Hamas and Hezbollah are so much greater that I don’t understand the disproportionate criticism of Israel as opposed to Hamas and Hezbollah. Peopl can say all they want that they support Israel but when one condemns one group more than the other when Hamas and Hezbollah are the sole ones preventing the goals of each party (aka mid-90’s Clinton negotiation) then one can see how anti-Israeli sentiment can appear to be near anti-Semetic even though technically it isn’t.

I agree with Tony’s last statement. However, one must address the lack of equal condemnation toward Hamas and Hezbollah vs. Israel.

Destroying Hamas and Hezbollah and funding their destruction are not wrong. Helping the Palastinians to not support these groups and funding in such a way to help Palastinians to not support these groups is not wrong. Promoting an undivided Jerusalem and supporting Israel as a nation as opposed to the opposite of these is not wrong.

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dh 07.19.10 at 3:07 pm

If Israel was not support by the US government in 1967 and 1973 then the situation would be way more worse than we have today. Also, Israelvis surrounded by nations and groups who desire their complete destruction as a nation. I see nothing wrong for Israel being funded by the US. Have a certain few actions by Israel been wrong? yes and they have been addressed. However to go to the extreme and not support Israel in eliminating Hamas and Hezbollah from its nation I feel causes more destruction than otherwise. It also gets difficult when terrorists house themselves around women and children where those are the places where the missiles are rockets are being fired from.

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dh 07.19.10 at 3:08 pm

Then to bring up the theological thing of actions vs. people when the discussions where the disproporationate criticism of Israel to me is a double standard. You can’t have it both ways.

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Tony Buglass 07.20.10 at 10:47 pm

DH: “If Israel was not support by the US government in 1967 and 1973 then the situation would be way more worse than we have today. ”

I agree. I have read extensively about the Arab-Israeli wars, and I agree.

DH: “Israel is surrounded by nations and groups who desire their complete destruction as a nation.”

Well, that used to be true, but I’m not sure that it is still the case. Jordan, Syria, and Egypt all arrived at peace treaties with Israel. As I recall, only Iraq (pre Gulf War) was still in a state of war with Israel. The last I heard, even Hamas accepted Israel’s right to exist.

DH: “Have a certain few actions by Israel been wrong? yes and they have been addressed.”

You reckon? I’m not so sure.

The problem of disproportionate criticism of Israel is that Israel has caused disproportionate damage to Palestinian communities. They have killed far more Palestinians than the number of Israelis who have been killed. However, that is not the point: this is not about keeping score, is it? It’s about justice and rightness, and neither side is concerned with that - hence my continued reference to the prophets. Until both sides are willing to deal with the other in justice and rightness in a search for a common peace, the current disaster will continue. And get worse.

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Tony Buglass 07.21.10 at 10:09 pm

Further to yesterday’s comment - please read today’s Ha’aretz article on the latest theft of Palestinian land by the Israeli authorities: http://networkedblogs.com/64yzV

As a comment notes, this is in breach of the 4th Geneva Convention, Article 53. Far from Israeli wrong actions being addressed, they appear to have been aggravated. This was a cynical piece of exploitation to drive people off their own land. Unfortunately, it appears to be typical of Israeli policy in recent years.

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dh 07.26.10 at 5:55 pm

Other than the disproportionate thing and your Hamas supporting Israel comments which I don’t agree with, I see your point. I’m really addressing the lack of amount of condemnation of Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, etc. as compared with Israel. It seems the amount of times Israel is condemned is many times more than the others are condemned. Also, when the those against Israel are condemned it always used in terms of blanket terms (terrorism, terrorist organizations, etc.) as opposed to mentioning the organizations by name. It seems Israel can be used specifically by name but when those against Israel are condemned by name then the PC’ers come out and say “how dare you condemn specific Palastinian organizations by name.” To me at the worst is a double standard and at the least “beggs the question” as to ones “balance” on the issue. I’m not saying these people aren’t balanced but that it makes one wonder it.

Well Syria might have had a peace treaty but they are clearly getting weapons from a known terrorist nation in Iran. It sounds to me there is some violation of treaties going on. Just because there is some “treaty” or (for the sake of argument) agreement by Hamas doesn’t mean it is true. Treaties are violated or the fruit of potential violation of treaties can be evident.

When one adds Al Quida and Iran to the mix then one can see how Israel IS surronded by nations and groups who desire their destruction as a nation. I know Egypt and Jordan and maybe some other Arab nations have had more “positive terms” toward Israel. However, Israel still must be careful for violation of treaties can take place at anytime especially when minority groups within those nations support Israels destruction as a nation.

Tony, I will say that coming to agreement about 1967 and 1973 is incredible. While we disagree in balance on the past 10 years, at least you don’t let your disagreeing view cloud the positive of Israel and Israel as a nation like so many who hold your view do. :)

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