David Hallam’s lawsuit against the Methodist Church has been reported in the Jewish Chronicle, albeit under a misleading headline which reads “Church is sued over Israel boycott”. For the article makes clear, nothing has yet appeared at Methodist Church House.
Methodist spokesman Toby Scott said that the Church was confident that it had complied with the law.
“Despite the publicity and the threat of legal action, we have received nothing yet… to make clear what we’re accused of,” he said.
Toby is our director of Communications, so it is reasonable to suppose that he knows what is going on. I’ve been asking David to confirm whether he has taken any action or whether we are still just talking about a threat for days. He hasn’t answered. Ain’t t’interweb wonderful?
I find this strange. The story appeared in the Sunday Telegraph last weekend. I’m no media expert, but I reckon that means David must have been speaking to the journalists last Friday at the earliest. That’s a week ago. I know that the law can be slothful in its movements, but if I ever go to a newspaper and say I going to sue someone, I hope I might wait until I’m actually ready to serve them with something.
Maybe I’m wrong. As I say, I’m no expert. But this does look strange to me.
Update: Apparently it’s in today’s Church Times too, but the online version is behind a paywall. But I understand there’s another quote from Toby in there: “The Methodist Church always complies with the law, and we are confident that we have done so in this case. Despite the publicity and the threat of legal action, we have received nothing yet from either Paul Diamond or David Hallam to make clear what we’re accused of. They have not said when they will bring this action, on what grounds, or in which court of law.
“We have spoken out many times against injustices in many countries, and we see this as a Christian responsibility. Our desire is for a better public understanding of the situation in Israel and Palestine, for the promotion of dialogue, and ultimately, a lasting peace for all peoples in the region.”