Methodists and Israel

by Richard on October 27, 2010

Some of the ‘debate’ that’s come out of the Methodist Conference report ‘Justice for Palestine and Israel’ has become very heated (the phrase ‘more heat than light’ springs to mind). The comment has become very personal. And in the process, the central point is being lost. I’d like to return to it if I may. Because it is really very simple.

This summer, the Methodist Conference received a report and passed resolutions as a result. Methodists and others can argue that the wrong decision was reached. That’s always possible. A conversation can be had. And if Methodists feel strong enough, there are mechanisms by which Conference can be asked to re-visit its decisions. Broadly speaking, they work.

I have no beef with anyone who wants to argue that the church has come to the wrong mind, no matter how robustly they want to do that. But that isn’t what is going on here.

In this case, the argument being put is that Methodism was driven by anti-semitism. The argument is not so much about the decision that the church has reached - though it was a decision that I approve of - so much as it is about what is being claimed about the motivation of the church in reaching it.

What’s worse, to support this claim resort is being made to the very lowest tactics of political debate. Deliberate misrepresentation of others. Falsehood. Smears. In that sort of atmosphere, there is no room for debate. So I’d just like to re-iterate three very simple points:

1. There was no anti-semitism in the preparation of the Conference Report nor in the debate that came from it at Conference. There is no room for any sort of racism in the Methodist Church.

2. Criticism of the state of Israel is not anti-semitism. You don’t have to agree with the criticisms to acknowledge that.

3. The legal challenge that continues to be threatened towards the church is completely baseless and unjustified. I haven’t found any Methodist, even those uncomfortable with the Conference decision, who thinks that the courts are the appropriate place to address this.

{ 183 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Bene D 10.27.10 at 6:27 am

Mr. Hallam is escalating isn’t he?
October 26/10 The Methodist Preacher

“…the anti-Jewish semi-official Methodist blog connexions

Having failed to generate a hate campaign against those of us…

…that connexions has carried comments ridiculing the Holocaust.

For several weeks now Richard has been leading an internat (sic) campaign…

…July 6 I wrote to Richard suggesting that his light hearted comment that “Methodists are lighting the ovens again” was wholly inappropriate. It ridiculed the Holocaust.

Since then we have had a torrent of anti-Israel propaganda.

…the Methodist Church have given him some sort of dispensation.”

Yes, the escalating statements above are political, against a perceived opponent.

You have correctly identified the tactics. I think the latest volley is the technique of demonizing the opponent. In the long run Mr. Hallam’s words and choices become self-defeating.

- centrists are turned off, walk away and fail to engage
- attacks such as these often come from a belief that others can’t be ‘won over’ with facts
- a goal of escalating rhetoric is to appeal to impulse and to provoke
- there is no genuine concern for the emotional and spiritual distress of supporters caught in orchestrated rhetorical escalation because the promoted cause outweighs the supporters well-being
- resorting to the tactic of demonizing opponents shows a lack of respect for recipients, implying readers aren’t interested in facts, discussion

2

Pam 10.27.10 at 7:43 am

Stand strong Richard.

3

Kim 10.27.10 at 7:48 am

Nicely put, mate - and, tonally, at room temperature.

4

Wesleyfan 10.27.10 at 9:15 am

go and do what Wesley was and be a true biblical follower- be a vegetarian

5

Joseph W 10.27.10 at 9:24 am

Here are some other facts:

1) The Methodist working group decided not to accept any alternative opinions in forming its committee on Palestine/Israel.
2) The man who introduced the boycott, Stephen Leah, is more interested in a full boycott of Israel rather than just settlement goods, but he apparently “knows how much he can get away with” in churches.
3) According to this decision, the Methodist decision would in all likelihood exclude the Wesley brothers from being counted as genuine Methodists because of their eschatological belief in the future restoration of ethnic Israel.

6

DaveW 10.27.10 at 9:47 am

Joseph,

To respond to your points.

1. The Working Party report was presented to both the Faith and Order Committee and to Methodist Council in draft forms. Certainly in Methodist Council a variety of views were expressed. The paper did develop between its drafts in response to comments from differing viewpoints.

2. Even if true all your point does is re-inforce the view that the Methodist Church is not anti Israel. Your point just makes it obvious that everyone knows you could not force the Methodist people to be anti-Israel so it was not even tried. Thanks for strengthening the argument that the Methodist Church is not discriminatory and would rejects attempts to make it so.

3. Rubbish. The decision is about illegal settlements not about the restoration of ethnic Israel.

Richard,

Good job. Thanks.

7

Joseph W 10.27.10 at 10:09 am

Hi Richard,

Permit me to quote from the Methodist working group itself, of which Stephen Leah was a leading member:
http://www.methodist.org.uk/downloads/coun-0980-israel-palestine-110909.pdf

Requests have been received that the group should be “balanced” and contain members who are not in agreement with Conference statements. This is not believed to be a constructive approach given the remit of the group.

2) My concern is that, if Methodists do indeed hold different positions to Leah, then why not represent this in a broader and more ecumenical working group on Palestine/Israel?

3) You say: 3. Rubbish. The decision is about illegal settlements not about the restoration of ethnic Israel. Well, not if you ask Rev Nichola Jones, another member of the working group, who specfically linked the current geopolitics with an overarching theology about how God deals with the Jews in covenant.

Surely you must see why Leah and Jones should be challenged by Methodists within the church, otherwise the Methodist decision comes across as if it were founded upon the kind of religious superstition and bigotry that would be more at home in the Dark Ages.

8

Jonathan Hoffman 10.27.10 at 11:02 am

The anti-Israel resolution was supercessionist and therefore antisemitic, see EUMC Definition. It had Ben White’s fingerprints all over it.

All power to David Hallam and those other wonderful Methodists who are trying to get it reversed, they have my full support.

Am Yisroel Chai!

9

PamBG 10.27.10 at 11:17 am

Well, not if you ask Rev Nichola Jones, another member of the working group, who specfically linked the current geopolitics with an overarching theology about how God deals with the Jews in covenant.

Again, and again and again, this theology is about “God gave the covenant to the Jews who misunderstood and thought it was only for them. Then God in Christ fulfilled the old covenant and extended</b? the covenant to Gentiles as was originally intended but never nullified the covenant with the Jews.

That is the theology that Nicola was expounding. It is Methodist theology. It is Wesley’s theology. The core texts of this theology are the core texts of The Covenant Service. The Covenant Service is not just a narcissistic, me-centred rededication of myself to God.

Biblically, if you think that the covenant with the Jewish people is not going to be fulfilled until they are the sole occupiers of Palestine-Israel, then you are saying that Jesus did not fulfill the covenant.

The fact that so many people misunderstood what Nicola said is another reason why we need good theology. Instead of the popular, surface-level stuff that passes for theology today.

10

Joseph W 10.27.10 at 11:33 am

Biblically, if you think that the covenant with the Jewish people is not going to be fulfilled until they are the sole occupiers of Palestine-Israel, then you are saying that Jesus did not fulfill the covenant.

Who thinks like this? Who is being criticised here, Christian Zionists or religious Jewish Zionists? And in either case, why seek to punish the Israeli state because you have a different theology to religious Zionists?

11

Elizabeth 10.27.10 at 11:40 am

Such an unbalanced approach puts the Methodist church to shame. And if you are concentrating on boycotting and delegitimizing only one State in the world - the Jewish State - and ignoring other States which really do have appalling human rights records, such as Libya, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Iran, then I think you might well be seen as anti-Semitic. Israel isn’t perfect, but it’s like us, a real democracy with real human rights for all, and these attacks against it are very unfair and bring Methodists into disrepute with those who are well-informed.

12

pseudonym 10.27.10 at 11:42 am

The writer of this article, is truly mistaken and ill informed.
To be anti-Israel today is simply the 21st Centrury way of being anti-semitic. In these modern times it is not seen to be PC to “moan about Jews having too much money or big noses”, so, what do the anti-semites do? they join the BDS band wagon and “have a go” at de- legitimising The State Of Israel.
Make no mistake, critiscism of Israel IS anti-semitic, as Methodists you should be familiar with the Bible and the Liturgy, throughout, there numerous references to the “return to Zion”, “Israel as the homeland of the Jews”, “Jerusalem the holy city” etc etc.
To “pretend” that one can be “anti-Israel” whilst at the same time not being anti-semitic, is at best naive at worst deliberately misleading.

13

Daphne Anson 10.27.10 at 11:50 am

Of course the Methodist resolution against Israel is antisemitic, for the reason outlined by Jonathan Hoffman above. More power to Mr Hallam, and to the Friends of Israel group within the Methodist Church. I have posted several times on my blog about Christian philosemitism, and I cherish the Christian supporters of Jews and of Israel who comment there. One of my posts was entitled “Why Zionism is integral to Judaism” - it created a lot of interests among those Christians who have not swallowed the Sabeel line and who stand with Israel at this time of existential danger to that country, and always.

14

pseudonym 10.27.10 at 11:50 am

Oh and by the way, let’s not “bang on about illegal setlements”.
There are NO illegal settlements, these are suburbs, towns and villages with substantial populations. Israel fought a DEFENSIVE war in 1967 when the whole Arab world attacked it. As a result of that war Israel liberated territory from Jordan aka “The West Bank”. As the territory was regained under a defensive war, according to the Geneva Conventions Israel is entitled to settle the area.
Where was the ” cry” for a Palestinian State whilst Jordan was occupying this area? There wasn’t one, why? because the idea of Palestinian Nationilism was only developed after the PLO was formed in 1964 - the concept of a separate Palestinian Arab identity never existed before this.

15

methodist preacher 10.27.10 at 11:56 am

Pam, that’s not Methodist theology. Not in our church anyway. And I’ve never heard anyone say that the Covenant service was about Jews not being allowed to live in Israel.

I was hoping that your comment on my blog this morning was meant to be ironic, but it seems it wasn’t meant to be:

“Why don’t those silly people just acknowledge that their property has been permanently stolen, give up hope and disperse around the world?”

16

pseudonym 10.27.10 at 12:01 pm

David Hallam and his colleagues should be commended and supported. The Methodist Church should be no place for anti-semites and their anti-Israel resolutions.
The Methodist Church has a long history of affinity and support for the Jewish people and reversal of the anti-semitic/anti-israel resolution would be a return to normality within the Church.

17

Joseph W 10.27.10 at 12:07 pm

Well said David, I find it both sad and ironic that some are clearly moving away from orthodox Methodist theology in order to try and shoehorn Christian Zionists into the ‘heresy’ category.

18

Matt 10.27.10 at 12:20 pm

This resolution was deeply one sided, morally wrong and hypocritical on every level, and is a stain upon the Methodist Church’s reputation.

Well done David for standing up to these bullying tactics and trying to save the Methodist Church. You have the support of many people across Britain.

19

Avraham Reiss 10.27.10 at 12:32 pm

“”Criticism of the state of Israel is not anti-semitism” (sic)

I am a Jew who has suffered for 2,000 years from Christian anti-semitism. Without the Church (generically) pathing the way for the Nazi Holocaust, Hitler would have been laughed out of his first beer-hall for attacking Jews.. But the Church had prepared Europe for the Holocaust over 2,000 years.

The only difference between the Nazis and the Church was technological - in Spain the Church burned Jews alive. Had the Spanish Inquisition knowledge of 6,000,000 Jews refusing to lose their faith, they also would have created a similar Holocaust. CAn anyone refute that?

Your theological problem now is contention with the problem of the ‘Wandering Jew’, so condemned to eternity for killing Christ. The fact that I sit here in my home in Jerusalem, Israel, typing this post, protected by a Jewish State that has a superb army, intense satellite
communications independance, and according to rumours - nuclear capability - all this is a supreme contradiction to the Christian theory of the ‘Wandering Jew’. Your theology is wonky!

So let’s not play games and deny charges of anti-semitism.

Am Yisrael Chai - the People of Israel Live!

20

Daphne Anson 10.27.10 at 1:37 pm

Thank you for that moving post, Avraham! Extremely well put.

21

methodist preacher 10.27.10 at 1:42 pm

Thank you for the many supportive comments this morning.

Richard (the blogger) and the Methodist Church are very sensitive to the charge of “Antisemitism”. From my experience the Methodist-in-the-pew is not anti-Semitic. This is about a small group of fanatics hi-jacking the good name of British Methodism to ride their own anti-Jewish hobby horse.

Dave W who posts above is a member of the Methodist Council. He says the resolution is purely about the settlements. No it isn’t! If it were then why are the Methodist Church undertaking an examination of Zionism? (Incidentally I offered my expertise to the working party drawing up this report but have been told my services won’t be needed - another one sided report I fear).

One other point Dave W and Richard may like to explain. Why is it that Methodist Conference was prepared to provide a platform for Naim Ateek, who is not a Methodist but denied it to any Jews?

Is it because we are only prepared to listen to “Christians” and don’t think the word of Jews worth hearing? Isn’t this the discrimination that Dave W, Richard and Pam BG regularly come on here and other blogs to deny they are complicit it.

Shalom

What shocked me about the conference was the platform provided to Naim Ateek who denounced the Holocaust as a “Zionist tool”, from which Jews had made money and expressed his appreciation of Hamas (you will know Avraham, these are the people who send suicide bombers onto your school buses and send rockets into your towns).

22

methodist preacher 10.27.10 at 1:43 pm

Oops the copy got a bit mixed up in the comment above.

23

PamBG 10.27.10 at 3:39 pm

“Why don’t those silly people just acknowledge that their property has been permanently stolen, give up hope and disperse around the world?”

Yes, David, the comment was meant to be ironic. And, as you well know, you took it totally out of context. I accuse you of bearing false witness against me, of lying and of doing it deliberately. Do you think that God was joking when this commandant to not bear false witness was made one of the ten central commandments along with not committing adultary and not murdering?

To the other commentators who maintain that this is a campaign to harm the state of israel. The report begins by affirrming the right of Israel to exist in peace. It is a boycott against goods made in the recently acquired illegal territories. We have boycotted other areas (countries, companies) committing injustice. Israel is not being singled out as a target for destruction (as if we could do that anyway); that is hyberbole coming from the dualistic mindset that if you don’t approve of my unjust acts, you want to kill me.

24

Avraham Reiss 10.27.10 at 4:23 pm

Israel does not require the permission of the Methodist - or any other - Church to exist.

Israel holds NO “illegal teritories” (sic). The Wetsern Bank came into Israeli hands as a result of her fighting a defensive war in 1967, forced upon her by Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

Egypt made peace with Israel and got Sinai back; Egypt REFUSED to take Gaza back.

Jordan made peace with Israel, and REFUSED to take back the Western Bank, which therefore by AGREEMENT with Jordan remains in Israeli hands. Before 1967 there was no such thing as a
“Palestinian” nation - it’s a fiction.

So, PamBG, your boycotting of Israel is pure anti-semitism, and your justifications are untrue.

In the end, you are a loser - the fruits and vegetables you refuse to buy are really first-rate! And you leave more for us!

25

Jonathan Hoffman 10.27.10 at 4:26 pm

http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/shame-methodists

Shame on the Methodist Conference. You allowed yourselves to be hijacked by supercessionist antisemites led by Stephen Leah and Ben White.

Have no fear that we are on your case and we will win because G-d and Truth are with us. You want a fight - you have a fight.

The six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust will not be betrayed by my generation. The gloves are off. You sure picked the wrong People to bully.

26

Daphne Anson 10.27.10 at 4:38 pm

The trouble is, Avraham, that so many of these boycotting types have grown up since 1967 - they have been fed a diet of leftist BBC-type propaganda about Israel, and have evidently not investigated the true facts of Zionist and Israeli history and of Arab rejectionism for themselves.

27

Jonathan Hoffman 10.27.10 at 4:41 pm

http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/shame-methodists

Shame on the Methodist Conference. You allowed yourselves to be hijacked by supercessionist antisemites.

Have no fear that we are on your case and we will win because G-d and Truth are with us. You want a fight - you have a fight.

The six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust will not be betrayed by my generation. The gloves are off. You sure picked the wrong People to bully.

28

Avraham Reiss 10.27.10 at 4:44 pm

“they have been fed a diet of leftist BBC-type propaganda about Israel,”

And the result? Look at all the good Land of Israel fruits and vegetables they are missing out on … some diet!

29

Angela Shier-Jones 10.27.10 at 4:48 pm

Can David please explain to me what he means by ‘the Methodist Church’?
Has he renounced his membership?
Is he no longer ‘Methodist’ ?
I suspect not - after all he has managed to slander most of our systems and structures on nothing stronger than the fact that his particular ‘expertise’ is not needed.. Surprise Surprise.. David is not the only white male Methodist with an ‘expert’ opinion on these matters.. And his blog makes it obvious that he can’t approach the task without prejudice.. What self-respecting reference group would choose to work with someone who has gone to such lengths to slander and demean them?

The Methodist Church is the Methodist people - there is no institution - there is no ‘them’ - only a ‘we’. Richard is right in his original post - and I, for one, am fed up with the slander and lack of grace.

If David is so convinced we have got it wrong, he should just put a memorial to the Circuit or the District and see how much support he has.

If this is not acceptable then might I suggest (given that he clearly despises us so much and is so convinced that we are all racists and anti-Semites) that he finds another Church to be a member of to stand from the sidelines and throw stones at - there certainly seems to be something very ‘unbecoming of a Methodist’ in his current comments and proposed actions.

30

Jonathan Hoffman 10.27.10 at 4:51 pm

Why haven’t my comments appeared, are you censoring me?

31

dh 10.27.10 at 4:54 pm

Avraham and Daphne, thanks so much for your insight and comments. They were a breath of fresh air. It seems the left doesn’t know their history and just use the talking points of the Palestinians without digging deeper at what actually occurred in 1967 and after. The REJECTION of land by multiple nations is very telling. Also Jordan offered land to the Palestinians in their own country (the rightful land of the Palestinians) and the PLO rejected on grounds that all of Israel is Palestinian land.

People on the left forget about how terrible the PLO is.

32

methodist preacher 10.27.10 at 4:58 pm

Angela, many a Jewish friend will confirm that in recent weeks I have started my conversation with them by saying that “I do not believe the Methodist church/people are anti-Semitic”.

Incidentally my apologies for being a “white male Methodist”, obviously my views can’t count on that basis.

33

Rolly Downton-Hille 10.27.10 at 5:03 pm

As a life long committed Methodist I am appalled at the misuse and abuse of postion by “Richard Hall”, the Minister from Wales.
His views show a complete disregard for religion, both the Jewish and the Christian/Methodist.
The Chosen people are central to our Judeao/Christian religions, if we believe in the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament then the land of Israel belongs to the Jews - ie The Chosen People; it does not belong to any one else, certainly not a “mythical” notion of a Palestinian people of who before 1967 there was no such concept. After the end of the 6 day war in 1967 Israel was left with the West Bank, Jordan did not want it.
Israel has made the best of it by settling Judea and Samaria with developments and towns that are a credit to it.
David Hallam must be supported by all true Methodists and the anti-semitic, anti-Israel resolution must be recinded.
The Methodist Church is no place for anti-semites like Richard Hall.

34

Matt 10.27.10 at 5:10 pm

@PamBG

“To the other commentators who maintain that this is a campaign to harm the state of israel. The report begins by affirrming the right of Israel to exist in peace.”

I affirm your right to exists as well Pam! Now that we’ve got that over with…

” It is a boycott against goods made in the recently acquired illegal territories.”

Acquired in 1967 in a defensive war when Israel was attacked by three countries who declared their intention to violently cleanse the area of Jews. They tried to slaughter the Jews and they failed. That makes it Israel’s land as far as I’m concerned, unless someone wants to try and take it by force again. But I am aware that the Arabs claim it to be theirs, and whereas most countries would tell them where to stick their claims, Israel indulges them and makes generous offers of return (heaven knows why), which the Arabs consistently reject. Yet still you see fit to punish Israel workers and businesses anyway (as well as Palestinian workers who depend on Israeli businesses, by the way).

Why?

“We have boycotted other areas (countries, companies) committing injustice.”

Which countries? Iran? Saudi Arabia? Jordan? Egypt? The PLO, who are at this very moment persecuting Christians in Bethlehem and Nazareth? Hamas? Name and shame Pam.

“Israel is not being singled out as a target for destruction (as if we could do that anyway); that is hyberbole coming from the dualistic mindset that if you don’t approve of my unjust acts, you want to kill me.”"

There is a huge gap between disapproving of a country’s actions and taking positive and public steps to launch attacks against that country. This is not disapproval, this is economic warfare. Do you seriously wonder why people are upset by this?

Israel is a liberal and peace loving country that has been subjected to continuous military, guerilla, economic and political warfare from external political forces for the last 62 years. In spite of that it has miraculously not only survived but remained a liberal, peace loving country. Israel has lots of enemies, and most of them do want to destroy it. And a great many of them do hate Jews.

What makes you any different?

I’m sorry to be blunt but this resolution is disgusting and reflects very poorly on the Methodist Church. This is no way to treat one of Britain’s most loyal and steadfast allies. I fear that you are being led down a very dangerous path by forces which I don’t think you quite comprehend.

God bless you, and I will pray for you.

35

Rolly Downton-Hille 10.27.10 at 5:15 pm

Excellent sumation of the problem by Matt.
It seems that the Methodist Church has been infiltrated by the trendy-left who’s agenda is the de-legitimisation of Israel.
The problem of course is that many in the Church are too young and do not know the history, being ignorant of the facts, they find it difficult to argue agauinst the likes of Richard Hall.
Thank God we have David Hallam, who with his colleagues will return sanity to the Methodist Church.

36

Rolly Downton-Hille 10.27.10 at 5:19 pm

If people like PamBG want to support a “cause” might I suggest one of the following:-
China
Burma
Iran
Somalia
Ethiopia
Rwanda
Democratic Republic of The Congo
Or is it because there are no Jews in those places means that the likes of PamBG are not interested - dear oh dear, it cannot be anti-semitism again, can it?

37

Rachel 10.27.10 at 5:23 pm

Obviously you don’t have to apologise for being a “white male Methodist” David. Angela just makes the point that, in all areas in which the church seeks expertise, there are relatively more “white males” willing to offer their opinion than any other group.

38

Jonathan Hoffman 10.27.10 at 5:30 pm

Your censorship of me proves you have no confidence in your arguments.

Pathetic.

39

methodist preacher 10.27.10 at 5:35 pm

So Rachel, what point are you trying to make? Is that the reason we did not allow a Jewish representative to address our conference on the same basis as Naim Ateek? I’m sure we could have insisted that they didn’t send a white male

BTW Richard and Kim are curiously silent today.

40

Ray Cook 10.27.10 at 5:43 pm

Why was the ‘report’ commissioned in the first place?
What is the Methodist community’s particular interest in reporting on Israel/Palestine rather than, say Egypt or Lebanon or Iran or Sudan or Zimbabwe or the Congo?

Which other countries have the Methodists chosen to single out for vilification?

You may have noticed a recent BBC report showing Palestinians who were climbing over each other to work on building Jewish homes in Judea/Samaria because they get paid much better than in the Palestinian Authority areas.

Is the Methodists’ simulated moral outrage not moderated by the knowledge that Israeli businesses provide well-paid jobs for Palestinians and are a major factor in the economic advances and rise in living standards of Palestinians in the ‘territories’?

Did the Methodists ask the Palestinians themselves if they wanted produce and products from the area to be boycotted?
In fact, they don’t.

I wrote about this about a year ago here: http://www.raymondcook.net/blog/index.php/2009/11/13/palestinians-dont-support-israel-boycott/

Here’s a quote:

“Listening to people from both communities on the subject of the proposed international trade union boycott, it is evident that all parties oppose this action. In a meeting with the Jerusalem Municipality workers, one view from the Palestinian contingent was that a boycott would be more detrimental to the Arab workforce than any other.
The reason for this was that in the event of economic sanctions, it would cause a detrimental impact on the employment levels of their community.”

So if the Palestinians don’t want a boycott what right do Methodists have to support one?

Clearly the commissioned report didn’t actually ask the people that should matter.

In the war of demonisation of Israel, the Palestinians are always expendable.

41

Jonathan Hoffman 10.27.10 at 5:58 pm

OK - I am not being censored, the comments have appeared

42

Daphne Anson 10.27.10 at 6:11 pm

And another thing … as strange as it may seem, many otherwise well-educated people these days seem to think that there was once a sovereign state of Palestine, which those pesky Jews (aka Zionists) wrested from its owners, when the reality is that, from the second decade of the sixteenth century, Palestine (I’ll go back no further) until Turkey’s defeat in the First World War it was but a backwater of the Ottoman Empire. The Sultan owned the land, and it was from the Sultan that the Herzlian and proto-Herzlian Zionists sought to purchase it. The Arabs were largely “fellaheen” and certainly not autonomous. Jews have every right to be considered “indigenous” to the land, although the term “indigenous” is applied by the ignorant and the antisemitic to the Arabs. During the interwar period “Palestinian” referred as much if not more to Jews as to Arabs, the latter hijacking the term “Palestinian” in the 1960s for propaganda reasons. (And they’ve sure conned the world, haven’t they?!) So many people portray Jewish immigration to “Palestine” as a feature of nineteenth and twentieth century Zionism, when the reality is that the Jewish connection with the ancestral land was never entirely broken, and that - as my most recent blogpost shows - Jews returned there over many centuries. It is in fact the Arabs who are the johnny-come-latelies to the region, not the Jews. The obsession that some people, clerical and lay, religious and secular, have with denying Jews their little sliver of the world - a sliver no bigger than Wales - and harping on about the real or supposed misdeeds of Israel while ignoring the very real abrogations of human rights - including the human rights of Christians - in Islamic countries and other lands around the globe is plainly antisemitic.
Sorry to go on at length, but I feel this needs saying.

43

Angela Shier-Jones 10.27.10 at 6:11 pm

Ray..
the report was asked for by the Methodist people at a previous conference (notice of motion 226 in 2009) but had already expressed concern in 2006 (notice of motion 100)
The Palestinian Kairos document states:
‘Therefore, we call for a response to what the civil and religious institutions have proposed, as mentioned earlier: the beginning of a system of economic sanctions and boycott to be applied against Israel.’

Sounds like a request for a boycott to me…

The report does not demonize Israel - it tries to speak out against ALL unjust practices.
Read the documents, not the overheated rhetoric.

Angie

44

Ray Cook 10.27.10 at 6:24 pm

Angela, the Kairos document is a one-sided historically illiterate polemic against Israel dressed up as Christian love.

45

Kim 10.27.10 at 6:35 pm

Yes, MP, we’re scared and in hiding. Of course my being “curiously silent” has nothing to do with the fact that my mother arrived in Swansea from New York (via London) today - I haven’t seen her in over a year - and it’s my daughter’s wedding on Saturday, so of course things aren’t at all hectic around here. So you must forgive me for slacking (and please don’t tell anybody in my congregation that I’ve been ignoring my ministerial responsibilities).

I do, however, have two comments. One is, “Wow, welcome, visitors!” You’d think (though perish the thought) someone was rallying the troops.

The other pertains to the asseveration that to be critical of the state of Israel is, ipso facto, to be anti-Semitic. Question: what about Jews who are critical of the state of Israel, a not insubstantial number of people? Presumably they are pathological self-loathers? One has only to ask these two questions to see that the stated equivalence is one of the more irrational, irresponsible, intolerant, and quite obnoxious assertions ever to appear on the blog.

Excuse me now while I go stop beating my wife, bandage her up, and then go out for a meal with our family (more slacking, I know - sorry).

46

methodist preacher 10.27.10 at 6:43 pm

Kim I hope you and your family have a good weekend. There have been several other points raised today by other commentators but I notice that you prefer to have a go at a familiar (Christian) target. Discrimination?

Avraham Reiss (comment 19) wrote an interesting item from Jerusalem about Christian Antisemitism. What is your reaction to his words?

47

Daphne Anson 10.27.10 at 6:46 pm

Well said, Ray.
Next, the boycotting lefties among the Methodists will be telling us that Jesus was a Palestinian (if they haven’t done so already).

48

Avraham Reiss 10.27.10 at 6:50 pm

Kim,

1. Mazel Tov!

2. “The other pertains to the asseveration that to be critical of the state of Israel is, ipso facto, to be anti-Semitic. Question: what about Jews who are critical of the state of Israel, a not insubstantial number of people? Presumably they are pathological self-loathers?”

As an Israeli I pay taxes here, served regular military reserve duty here whenever called, now see my sons similarly risking their lives due to the so-called “Palestinians” whose cause the methodist Church is so keen to further, and undergo the inconvenience of security-checks in any public building (and many private ones). I have the right to criticise here as you do in Britain.

However, I hold a British passport but since I don’t live in Britain I don’t exercise my right to criticise the British government .

You, on the other hand, have NO connection with Israel apart from the theological claim that Jews in Israel killed your god, and yet you feel that you have the right to declare economic war against us to appease your terrorist colleagues.

(Incidentally, the Catholics neatly skirted the theological problem in Vatican II’s 1965 schema, when they declared that the Jews alive today aren’t responsible for killing Christ. (Boy, did we then breath a sigh of relief)).

If you want to engage others in discussion, then at least have the decency to knock off the pseudo-crap (its not even real crap) and call a spade a spade.

Jews have 2,000 years experience with anti-semitism, and we smell it when we hear it.

49

Kim 10.27.10 at 6:51 pm

They do not address my point at all. Insofar as Avraham Reiss finds the history of Christian anti-Semitism reprehensible - and more than reprehensible - so do I. Does anyone here not?

50

Kim 10.27.10 at 6:56 pm

I only just got your most recent comment, Avraham. So I guess that’s a yes that to be critical of the state of Israel = to be anti-Semitic. Game, set, and match. (Humpty-Dumpty smiles.)

51

Daphne Anson 10.27.10 at 7:03 pm

Kim, Jewish anti-Zionists self-loathers? Well, first of all, Jewish antisemites do exist; look at Karl Marx. Marx was not only an antisemite, and a racist to boot, he was a “non-Jewish Jew”, like the revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg and - I suspect - many of the present day Jews against Israel. The term was coined by Isaac Deutscher to describe a type of Jewish radical who, deracinated from things Jewish, cares not a fig for the separate welfare and destiny of the Jewish people. I know for a fact that many of the “Jews” who sign anti-Israel statements are “occasional Jews” - to use a description aptly applied to Stephen Fry, the Anglican-raised son of an Anglican father and a Jewish mother; Stevie Krayer is a Quaker; in Australia, where I come from, one of the most vociferous “Jews” against Israel is the child of two hard lefty academics, one of whom is of part-Jewish parentage, the other of whom is not of Jewish extraction. The “Jew” in question would not know a synagogue from a betting shop. In any case, if a Jew excoriates Israel he may (or may not) have Israel’s best interests at heart. If a non-Jew excoriates Israel to the exclusion of all other nations, we are entitled to conclude that he/she is an antisemite.

52

Rolly Downton-Hille 10.27.10 at 7:17 pm

Daphne Anson has it right, a good summary of the history of the region.
It was Yasser Arafat and his lieutenant, the present Mahmoud Abbas who “dreamt up” the concept of the Palestinian and a Palestinian homeland, but this was in 1964 to be further pushed in 1967 after the Arabs LOST the 6 day war. By losing this war they gave up any right to the territory now part of The State Of Israel. But the PLO didn’t give up they started a world wide terrorist campaign, aircraft hijackings, bombings, murder at the Munich Olympics etc etc this has all developed into Hamas shelling Israeli border towns and Hezbollah stockpiling mid to long range Iranian missiles.
Again, I ask what has any of this to do with us Methodists?
Answer - NOTHING, so, please support David Hallam in his efforts to overturn the anti-semitic rantings that have been put forward as policy.
Let’s return Methodism to the Methodists and get rid of the anti-semites from within our midst.
God bless all true Methodists.

53

Daphne Anson 10.27.10 at 7:24 pm

Angela wrote:
“If David is so convinced we have got it wrong, he should just put a memorial to the Circuit or the District and see how much support he has.
If this is not acceptable then might I suggest (given that he clearly despises us so much and is so convinced that we are all racists and anti-Semites) that he finds another Church to be a member of to stand from the sidelines and throw stones at - there certainly seems to be something very ‘unbecoming of a Methodist’ in his current comments and proposed actions.”

Angela, if he has little support, as you appear to imply, that rather emphasises David Hallam’s point, and our perception that the Methodists have been hijacked by people with an unsavoury agenda against Jews and Israel. As a true Christian, Mr Hallam should certainly not walk away from such iniquity - he should do exactly what he is doing, challenging the obnoxious agenda and fighting it with every resource at his disposal.

54

Avraham Reiss 10.27.10 at 8:35 pm

The Methodist ‘Justice for Palestine and Israel’ report appears a mere 43 years after the 6 Day War, when Israel first regained Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Where have you people been for the last 43 years?

Your tardiness is akin to your waking up in the year 2031, and raising objections to … the destruction of the Berlin Wall!

Unless of course someone tells the truth and says that in 1967 it wasn’t “Politically Correct” to attack Israel.

55

Richard 10.27.10 at 9:10 pm

I’ve had a busy day ‘hithering and thithering’. I wish there were time now to respond properly to all these comments. But there isn’t. I’m hoping to post something before bed, but I’m not promising.

56

Avraham Reiss 10.27.10 at 9:14 pm

Take your time - by Methodist standards, a decade would be considered superb response time. (see comment #54)

57

methodist preacher 10.27.10 at 10:20 pm

Avraham. In Hackney we danced in the streets when we won the six days war. Some of the lads were packing their bags to go and defend Israel. I offered my blood. Was it really 43 years ago?

58

Angela Shier-Jones 10.27.10 at 10:20 pm

Daphne,
I wish David WOULD issue a real challenge as a Methodist! ie using the systems that already exist in our Church to do so! The fact that he is not prepared to use our systems suggests that he really does not believe he would have the support.

As regards ‘Hijacked’ - what an offensive idea - what an insulting statement - there is no such ‘thing’ as the Methodist Church - there are only the Methodist people. I have not been Hijacked - I am capable of making my own informed decisions - as are others in the Methodist Church. We are not a dogmatic people, but are open to dialogue and debate - read the report - it CALLS FOR DIALOGUE

The Church is about PEOPLE not about Jews or Palestinians. Trying to make this an issue of Antisemitism can be interpreted as just another way to try and deflect the real issue of the necessity for Justice for ALL - yes - even for Jews and Palestinians.
I could not care less what religion or nationality someone is - I DO care that they have the right to life in all its fullness.

59

Avraham Reiss 10.27.10 at 10:31 pm

methodist preacher 10.27.10 at 10:20 pm
“Avraham. In Hackney we danced in the streets when we won the six days war. Some of the lads were packing their bags to go and defend Israel. I offered my blood. Was it really 43 years ago?”

Methodist Preacher, you Sir are what we call a good, decent Christian. And I say that with all sincerity.

At the time of the 6 Day War I was in the center of Jerusalem, volunteering in a hospital, and saw more action than during the Yom Kippur War, when I was in uniform.

When the war was over I telegrammed my parents to let them know I was safe. The telegram read: “Ezekiel Chapter 38 verse 23″ - which expressed everyone’s opinion at the time.

The 6 Day War was the outstanding experience of my life.

60

methodist preacher 10.27.10 at 10:31 pm

Angela, can you identify a few ways in which Methodists can promote justice for Jews in Israel? And if we are so keen on “dialogue” why did we deliberately pack the working party so as to avoid a balanced view? And how do we (you) justify not allowing a Jew to speak to conference. How do we develop that dialogue.

You yourself have complained of being lobbied when your Jewish neighbours have tried to contact you on the issue. A senior member of the Jewish community sent me a link to your blog on 08/10/10 as an example of intransigence among Methodists.

You said:

“As a minister, I have received a variety of emails and letters over this mater. Sadly, not one of them could be considered courteous for all of them began with the presumption that I am anti-Semitic. Many have referred to the Holocaust and several have made direct accusations about a hate campaign against the state of Israel. Some of those who sent the mail have also sent copies of the Jewish Board of Deputies response,. others have written their own responses, and in one case, I was provided with over 40 pages of additional information which it has been suggested I must allow my congregation to read in conjunction with the report in order to offset the presumed bias implicit within it.
All have insulted my Church and presumed that behind the report there is an institutional ‘it’ to blame. None have taken the trouble to ask me what I personally think of the report and what I might be inclined to do as a result.

I suspect the same degree of lobbying (which is beginning to feel like religious bullying) has been happening elsewhere. “

61

Avraham Reiss 10.27.10 at 10:35 pm

Angela S-J, you shoukd be aware that when you discuss anything concerning Jews, that we all see ourselves as graduates of Auschwitz.
Since then we shoot first and then ask questions. And it isn’t going to change - unless we find faster triggers.

62

dh 10.27.10 at 10:43 pm

Avraham Reiss,

I want to personally apologize on behalf of my fellow Christian brothers for their lack of concern and disregard for the entire land of Israel as a whole as opposed to just a portion of it, as they attempt to advocate. Your nation and people have faced many trials and tribulations and I want to personally stand with you in prayer for your nation and people. While you appear to be a Jew and not a Messianic Jew (if I’m wrong don’t be afraid to correct me) and while we may worship a different God (different in the sense of our beliefs on the nature of Jesus), I believe that does not mean we as Christians shouldn’t stand with you. As I told a Jewish/non-Christian friend of mine and I will apply it to you, I can only relate to the New Covenant being grafted into the Old Covenant. However, you have the ability to not only experience the Old Covenant currently as a Jew but to experience the full covenent being grafted into the New Covenant. The opportunity you have as a Jew to experience the fullness of both the Old Covenant and New Covenant is powerful and wonderful and extremely unique. My desire for you as a fellow friend (can I call you a fellow friend) is that you experience the fullness of Yeshua
Ha-Mashiach. Shalom to you and all fellow Jewish people reading and responding to this thread.

In Genesis 12:3, the Lord says in the covenant He makes with Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

25 For I don’t desire you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, so that you won’t be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and so all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written,
“There will come out of Zion the Deliverer,
and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
27 This is my covenant to them,
When I will take away their sins.”
28 Concerning the Good News, they are enemies for your sake. But concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sake. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Rom. 11:25-29

http://www.jackhayford.org/articles1-386/WhyStandWithIsraelToday

63

Avraham Reiss 10.27.10 at 10:58 pm

dh,
thank you for your kind and well-meaning words.

For your information, I am an Orthodox Jew.

I want to put the following as politely and as non-offensively as possible, because your public activities are respected by Jews who know of them.

The New Testament has no meaning for me, since I find fulfillment in the Old Testament alone, together with the Oral Law given on Sinai, as physically manifested as the Mishna and Talmud (which I studied for a number of years in a Talmudic College).

Also you are no doubt aware that the concept of the Jewish Messiah is different from that of Christians, and my belief is in the Jewish Messiah.

I say these things to draw a line between us so that we each know where the other stands - as the saying goes, “good fences make good friends”.

We are all of us on a long journey. You and I each envisage the journey ending differently. But as long as we are travelling together and have not yet reached our destination, we can certainly travel together as friends and assist each other as required.

64

Kim 10.27.10 at 11:31 pm

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
….
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbors.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Robert Frost, “Mending Wall”

65

PamBG 10.27.10 at 11:33 pm

I can’t keep up with this fast-moving conversation.

I work in a “religious” and “spiritual” context with three Rabbis (two of whom are Orthodox) and I “minister” to Jewish patients and my Jewish colleagues to Christian ones. We work in one of the largest hospitals in the region and we deal with the dead every day; I don’t mean “every day” as a figure of speech, I mean it literally. We sit with people as they die. We have Holocaust survivors in the hospital daily. I prayed with one, at her request, as she lay dying.

I know that I have peace in my heart to all people.

You can all make your charges of being a dilettante cute little antisemitic cocktail socialist. Or whatever your accusations are. God knows and I know that this is not true. A person cannot sit with the dying every day and believe that God prefers some of them to others because of the colour of their skin, their ethnicity or their sex.

I understand the mindset of “He who does not wish my enemy dead wishes me dead.” And I believe it is wrong. Hatred breeds hatred. Violence breeds violence. Murder breeds murder. Anyone who knows God understands that. And no, it is not OK to have hatred in your heart and to plot violence just because others do it to you. Not from a Christian perspective, anyway.

Matt, go ahead and pray for me because God wants good for me and for you. Perhaps the prayer will soften your hatred.

66

DaveW 10.27.10 at 11:46 pm

Avraham, You write

“Angela S-J, you shoukd be aware that when you discuss anything concerning Jews, that we all see ourselves as graduates of Auschwitz.
Since then we shoot first and then ask questions. And it isn’t going to change - unless we find faster triggers.”

I cry when I read this.

Auschwitz was one of a horrible number of crimes against Jews that made up the Holocaust.

Although I was born many years after the Holocaust I live with the shame and guilt that Britain did not respond to Hitler quickly and effectively (although as a pacifist maybe the response for me would have been to have millions and millions of British people coming to stand alongside their sisters and brothers who were being persecuted and say take me instead).

Although I was born many years after the Holocaust I live with the shame and guilt that Christians did not stand united against Hitler and that he was able to claim the support of Christians for what he was doing. Christians from all over the world should have stood alongside their sisters and brothers who were being persecuted and said take me instead.

But Avraham I cry when you say “Since then we shoot first and then ask questions” if those who have been persecuted and had great injustices done to them can see no alternative but this then what hope is there? Where does the cycle of injustice, persecution and hatred end?

67

DaveW 10.28.10 at 12:06 am

David Hallam (aka Methodist Preacher),

Some factual corrections:

“then why are the Methodist Church undertaking an examination of Zionism?”

The Methodist Church is not “undertaking an examination of Zionism”. The Faith and Order Committee has been asked to prepare a report about the “Theology of Christian Zionism” which is not the same thing at all.

From the Methodist Church website:

“As previously stated, the Methodist Conference has unequivocally affirmed the right of Israel to exist as an independent state and in peace. Members of the Jewish community use the word Zionism to describe this belief.

However, some Christians have a theological belief that links events in the Middle East to the Second Coming of Christ as foretold in the New Testament. The phrase ‘Christian Zionism’ is often used to describe this theological position. The decision to ask the Church’s Faith and Order Committee to do some further work on Christian Zionism arises from a belief that this theological position is not well enough understood by the Church. The schedule and scope of this work has not yet been determined.”

“One other point Dave W and Richard may like to explain. Why is it that Methodist Conference was prepared to provide a platform for Naim Ateek, who is not a Methodist but denied it to any Jews?”

While I was not there my understanding is that Naim Ateek did not speak to the Methodist Conference. He spoke to the Ministerial Session which happened before the Methodist Conference began.

68

Richard 10.28.10 at 12:40 am

Thanks Pam, DaveW and Kim.

I know that the Methodist Church is not anti-semitic.

I know that I’m not anti-semitic. (And I challenge David Hallam to find anyone who knows me — online or in ‘real life’ — who would argue with that)

There really isn’t anything else to say.

69

Kim 10.28.10 at 12:46 am

At the risk of nightmares, I have just skimmed back over the thread before going to bed. So much hue and cry. So much violent, threatening imagery. So much said with a loud voice and a clenched fist. So much “Down with apostates!”, “Truth will out!”, “God is on our side!” It sounds like a war dance, chief.

70

Avraham Reiss 10.28.10 at 6:34 am

dh,
You place far more blame on Britain for the Holocaust than I do. I was born in 1946 and grew up with post-WWII rationing, and still remember that during my early years I saw many bombed-out
buildings in central London. Britain’s brave stand - at first alone - against the Nazis was what saved the lives of my parents - and thus of mine. Visiting London late in 2003 I saw a film on TV about war-hero pilot Douglas Bader. Britain has a great heritage of bravery from WWII, and should be proud of it.

The chief blame for the Holocaust can be placed on the Church - mostly but not solely the Catholic Church - for 2,000 years of European anti-semitism that made the Holocaust feasable.

Jews have only two problems with Britain from that period: (1) Auschwitz should have been bombed by the Allies - and was not, and (2) the prevention of immigration of Jews escaping Germany, into
what was then Palestine.

The behaviour of the Royal family at that time was infamous;The Guardian is an anti-Israeli newspaper, yet I rely on it for the basic content of the following article:
http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/king-george-vi-tightened-noose-around-german-jewry%E2%80%99s-neck-0

As for shooting first and asking questions afterwards, it is a simple matter of survival.

Auschwitz will never occur again, we will never again rely on others for our survival.

Where and when will it end? Both you and I have Messianic beliefs - it will end when one of them has materialised.

71

Daphne Anson 10.28.10 at 8:43 am

Well, Richard, since you are avowedly not antisemitic, I’m sure you will now hasten to dissociate yourself from the Methodist position on Israel - which for the reasons we have given surely is. I trust you will not be singing Dr Leah’s alternative lyrics to carols and that you will not be lending your assistance to the Methodists’ chutzpadik intention to reassess Zionism.

72

DaveW 10.28.10 at 1:53 pm

Avraham,

I think your last comment was a reply to me not to dh.

Anyway you finish with a number of points that appear to me to be mutually incompatible (or inconsistant):

“As for shooting first and asking questions afterwards, it is a simple matter of survival.”

I believe there is plenty of evidence that “shooting first and asking questions after” does not work as a long term way of preventing persecution, injustice and genocide. It seems to me that it is inevitable that this policy will lead those who are shot to feel they have been treated unjustly, to believe they are being persecuted therefore will frequently lead to violent responses to escalated hate and to long term conflict.

Shoot first and ask questions later may appear to be a short term way of giving security and stability but it does not work long term as the oppressed will always come back. Look at the Balkans, the Former Soviet Union, Northern Ireland.

“Auschwitz will never occur again, we will never again rely on others for our survival.”

While I fully support the idea that Auschwitz should never happen again (and I mean to anyone) the idea that the way to achieve this is through being independent from others, through standing alone is again not long term stable in my opinion. Consider the wars between the English and French that lasted many decades. The be strong and rely on ourselves route failed to stop those wars. Now consider the building bridges and closer links, the integration that has happened through the EU and I believe it is clear that the result of becoming closer, of relying on each other, of interdependence is that war (and the associated atrocities such as Auschwitz) becomes much less likely.

Put simply, building friendships and interdependence is a more reliable route for avoiding Auschwitz ever happening again (something I think we agree about) than separation and standing alone.

This is of course a strong strand in the Christian scriptures and tradition. However, it seems to me that there is also a strong strand of hospitality to the stranger, the foreigner in the Hebrew Scriptures.

“Where and when will it end? Both you and I have Messianic beliefs - it will end when one of them has materialised.”

H’mm that is not how I understand my own faith. In my understanding Christians are called to be very active peacemakers in the world today (don’t get me started on how bad we have been at this for 1,600 years). The belief that we might look forward to war as a sign that Jesus is returning is absolutely not part of my tradition, but it is part of Christian Zionism. That is I guess part of the motivation for the Methodist Church wanting a report on Christian Zionism (not a report on Zionism as David Hallam keeps claiming).

73

dh 10.28.10 at 3:35 pm

Avraham, there is a difference between DH and David Hallam. I’m not David Hallam. I want to say that on behalf of Christians for 2000 years I want to apologize for the Anti-Semetism that has been shown to you. While I personally and many Christians believe that Salvation is by our Faith in Christ through Christ alone that does not mean that we as Christians should not stand with the Jews for their land and their people. I understand that Kim has called me “suppersessionist” but that is not the case. It was the anti-semetism of the catholics prior to WWII that was supperssionist.

I understand you are an Orthodox Jew and see no need for the NT Covenent. I also understand that we also have a difference in the nature of Yeshua as well. All I can say is that I can pray that the real Yeshua will reveal Himself to you. In every case however, I will always be an advocate for your people and your nation to rightfully have the geographical land you deserve indefinately. With regard to your Salvation all I can do is show you the love of Yeshua.

Shalom to you and the Jewish people.

74

dh 10.28.10 at 3:36 pm

Richard, why is my previous post awaiting moderation?

75

Avraham Reiss 10.28.10 at 4:20 pm

Kim,
[quote]
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
[unquote]

While my sources are Isiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, you draw ideas from Robert Frost.

The Jewish experience amongst the nations has been that walls are neccessary - although not always sufficient. Firstly as self-defense, and secondly to prevent assimilation.

If I had a neighbour who was plotting to boycott my business, one of the first things I would do would be to build a wall between us.

76

dh 10.28.10 at 4:38 pm

Avraham, there is a difference between DH and David Hallam. I’m not David Hallam. I want to say that on behalf of Christians for 2000 years I want to apologize for the Anti-Semetism that has been shown to you. While I personally and many Christians believe that Salvation is by our Faith in Christ through Christ alone that does not mean that we as Christians should not stand with the Jews for their land and their people. I understand that Kim has called me “suppersessionist” but that is not the case. It was the anti-semetism of the catholics prior to WWII that was supperssionist.

I understand you are an Orthodox Jew and see no need for the NT Covenent. I also understand that we also have a difference in the nature of Yeshua as well. All I can say is that I can pray that the real Yeshua will reveal Himself to you. In every case however, I will always be an advocate for your people and your nation to rightfully have the geographical land you deserve indefinately. With regard to your Salvation all I can do is show you the love of Yeshua.

Shalom to you and the Jewish people.

77

dh 10.28.10 at 4:39 pm

Avraham, there is a difference between DH and David Hallam. I’m not David Hallam. I want to say that on behalf of Christians for 2000 years I want to apologize. While I personally and many Christians believe that Salvation is by our Faith in Christ through Christ alone that does not mean that we as Christians should not stand with the Jews for their land and their people. I understand that Kim has called me “suppersessionist” but that is not the case. It was the catholics prior to WWII that was supperssionist.

I understand you are an Orthodox Jew and see no need for the NT Covenent. I also understand that we also have a difference in the nature of Yeshua as well. All I can say is that I can pray that the real Yeshua will reveal Himself to you. In every case however, I will always be an advocate for your people and your nation to rightfully have the geographical land you deserve indefinately. With regard to your Salvation all I can do is show you the love of Yeshua.

Shalom to you and the Jewish people.

78

Avraham Reiss 10.28.10 at 5:50 pm

Brief Bible Quiz:
Where in the New Testament do the names “Palestine” and “Palestinian” appear?

79

dh 10.28.10 at 6:45 pm

Avraham, the answer is nowhere. :) I’m on your side on this one. Love your responses, quotes and questions.

80

Paul F. 10.28.10 at 8:41 pm

It looks like I showed up long after the discussion completely derailed into nonsensical non-points and absurdities. Too bad.

“The chief blame for the Holocaust can be placed on the Church.”

Likewise, the chief blame for 9/11 can be placed on the security personnel at the terminals that day. They obviously were the perpetrators. And they’re free men to this day. Bastards.

Oh, BTW…Kim? Since you’ve been identified as being in cahoots with the terrorists, could you be so kind as to tell us what they’re planning to do next?

81

dh 10.28.10 at 9:16 pm

Security personel? I hope you are being sarcastic. :)

82

Bene D 10.28.10 at 10:35 pm

The victim framing continues. Political framing requires hero, villain, helper and victim. Mr. Hallam is currently choosing victim.

Communication needs: The message, an audience, a messenger, a medium, images, a context, and especially, higher-level moral and conceptual frames. (George Lakoff)

Methodist Preacher Thursday October 30/10

…whereas the likes of Methodist Preacher and others are shunned as being “unbalanced” by the Methodist hierarchy.

I thought it was Mr. Hallam who chose to circumvent Conference and Committee and leap straight to media with an announcement of his proposed lawsuit. Dave W at 42 laid out basic Committee procedures nearly a month ago when this arose, providing direct, fact based information in a morally honest way. (Positive framing)

We have no way of knowing if the Methodist hierarchy is shunning Mr. Hallam. He has stated he has responses to letters. “shunning” “hierachy” Nor does he reference where he has been supposedly called unbalanced by ‘hierarchy’.

Have the goalposts shifted for Mr. Hallam since his public media and blog announcement of a pending lawsuit?

“The question is now whether Methodist leaders will publicly apologise for the current state of affairs and web of lies…”

“web” Lol.
Is the requirement to keep Mr. Hallam from proceeding with legal action a ‘hierarchy’ apology?

This next one is a classic negative framing political tactic.

“Some from the Methodist side were fairly rude about the denomination’s newly appointed bogeyman but I think I will manage.”

“rude, bogeyman” Enforcement of the victim frame.

Mr. Hallam appointing himself bogeyman has a lovely Halloween feel to it, and is quite audacious. I thought his pending lawsuit wasn’t about him.

Negative framing evokes the frame for the reader and when various word constructs are used around it, it is strengthened in the reader every time it is invoked. Mr. Hallam is attempting to make himself the central piece of his political victim message. (system development)

ie: You/they are rude about the bogeyman, but don’t worry, I’ll manage.

Evoke: Bogeyman. Me. The focus shifts off the lawsuit and the reasons for it.

Mr. Hallam has chosen his role. May we with God’s grace chose more wisely.

83

Ian Howarth 10.28.10 at 11:32 pm

Lovely article here http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/28/olive-harvest-west-bank-volunteering

that gives some cause for hope, and gets away from stereotyping.

84

Joseph W 10.28.10 at 11:40 pm

Bene D, I am referring to the fact that Stephen Leah, a layman specialising in secular economic boycotts of Israel, was allowed to steer the Methodist working group in the first place, and also rejected alternative perspectives as being “balanced” (sic) was not in the Methodist group’s interest.

85

Richard 10.29.10 at 8:11 am

What does ‘balanced’ mean in this context? This was not the first time that the Methodist Conference has discussed Israel/Palestine and the working group was set up to build on previous statements. The group was set up as a result of a ‘notice of motion’ to Conference. This is one of the mechanisms by which the Conference can be influenced and is evidence that they work.

I’m away from my computer again today, so the slightly higher-than-usual level of comment moderation remains in place. Don’t take it personally! It isn’t the blanket moderation that some bloggers use, and despite what’s been said elsewhere, isn’t an effort to shut down conversation or limit anyone’s contribution.

86

Joseph W 10.29.10 at 9:01 am

I would assume that ‘balanced’ means what it always means? Ie fair, even-handed, taking on board a variety of opinions on what is clearly a complicated topic, etc etc

I still don’t get why you placed a lay anti-Zionist who wants a full boycott of Israel as head of this working group, if you say the Methodist boycott is just about settlement goods.

87

Avraham Reiss 10.30.10 at 10:12 pm

I apologize for confusing between DH and David Hallam.

During my brief sojourn on this blog, I have met some really decent Christians - men who are a credit to their religion, by any standards.

The decision by Methodists is a one-way street: Israel is not going to launch a retaliation against British Methodists (jet- and tank fuel are too expensive these days :-) ) so if that’s what the Methodist Chruch wants to do - let it have its jollies

But be realistic: do you really think that here in Israel we would in any way even notice a British Methodist boycott?

88

Avraham Reiss 10.30.10 at 10:59 pm

… but for those who still insist on boycotting Israel - at least do it properly!
Here is an educational film that will show you how:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saeky9I5T9c

89

Tony Buglass 10.30.10 at 11:44 pm

Very good, Avraham. I’m sure I saw a similar list of claims a year or two ago, but it wasn’t Israel getting the credit.

Reminds me of a sketch on a UK TV show a few years ago, in which the Indian father claimed so many things were Indian - including Superman. His son was flabbergasted - “How could Superman be Indian?” “He can fly faster than a speeding train, can’t he? Where else can he do that but India?”

90

Richard 10.31.10 at 12:46 am

That sketch is here Tony :)

91

Beth 10.31.10 at 4:41 pm

“Angela S-J, you shoukd be aware that when you discuss anything concerning Jews, that we all see ourselves as graduates of Auschwitz.”

Avraham, you should be ashamed of yourself. You know very well that this is utterly untrue, and that there are plenty of Jews who are repulsed by the idea that the Holocaust is what defines them. You should also know that to categorise an entire people as having one monolithic mindset is dangerous; it’s the first step towards stereotyping, which can only facilitate prejudice. You cannot and should not claim to speak for every Jew. After all, you know the saying: “two Jews, three opinions”.

I am, myself, pro-Israel and Zionist, but that doesn’t mean that I believe Israel can do no wrong. Many of the Israelis I know are equally ambivalent about the actions of their state. One need not be a self-hating Jew to feel that Israel has moved too far in the direction of violence and oppression of others.

I have no interest whatsoever in seeing the legitimation of a Palestinian state governed by Hamas or any other terrorist group. I agree that Israel has more reason than many states to be paranoid about its security. But I do not agree that there is nothing wrong in Israel’s actions. More importantly, I do not agree that any criticism of Israel is automatically anti-Semitic, any more than criticism of the government of Zimbabwe is racist, or criticism of American foreign policy is anti-American.

92

Avraham Reiss 11.01.10 at 12:19 pm

Beth,
“I am, myself, pro-Israel and Zionist” - that’s one of those “some of my best friends are Jews” lines, in your case it means that you’ll do everything in your power for Israel - except live there.

You twisted my words and attributed me with thoughts I never thought or uttered, when you wrote “there are plenty of Jews who are repulsed by the idea that the Holocaust is what defines them” - I never said or thought that the Holocaust defines us. I do not see myself as a beaten Jew. Neither do the people here in general.

You also write “to categorise an entire people as having one monolithic mindset is dangerous” - that’s ok when one lives, as you do, in exile. There each of you can do what you want. Here in Israel there is a national mindset that is determined and refreshed every so often by democratic elections.

In accordance with that mindset, there has never in Israel ever been a doubt - or determination - that Auschwitz will not occur again. We can’t accept responsibility for you and others who chose not to live with us, but here in Israel our IDF Armoured Corps inductees climb Massada and take an oath at their induction ceremony “Massada will not fall again”. Massada - Auschwitz. That is the national mindset, and no diaspora Jew has the right to falsely portray things otherwise.

“I do not agree that any criticism of Israel is automatically anti-Semitic, any more than criticism of the government of Zimbabwe is racist, or criticism of American foreign policy is anti-American.”
- You have a dual problem - of both identity and awareness.

93

Richard 11.01.10 at 3:12 pm

You appear to be jumping to a number of erroneous conclusions here Avraham. Fwiw, Beth has often taken a pro-Israeli stand in the comments here.

I’d pick up other comments, but you seem very hostile and I’m not in the mood for that sort of conversation.

94

Avraham Reiss 11.01.10 at 5:09 pm

Richard,
your point about hostility is well-taken, but a person’s pro-Israeli stand isn’t an automatic get-out-of-jail-free card to justify all possible statements.

The lady’s support of Israel was not in question.

I’d hate to see the day when Auschwitz and associated subjects can be discussed calmly over coffee.

Incidentally, as a Jew I really have no business - or interest - in a Methodist blog; it’s just that like a few others, when your Church reached a decision affecting us, we reacted. This is just one of the results of Auschwitz.

Anyway, were we to enter any kind of discussion it would take on an entirely different tone since you are a Minister, thus a representative of your Church.

Quite frankly I know too little about the Methodist Church to even consider such a discussion. Were I to develope any interest (which isn’t on the cards right now) I would want to know (1) the religious position of the Methodist Church within the Christian world and (2) its past history regarding Israel in particular and its attitude to Jews in general.

Your boycott isn’ going to hurt Israel - but it will hurt you.

95

Avraham Reiss 11.01.10 at 9:13 pm

Another educational film …
… you have to train ‘em young!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBXCYEXxKXA

96

Beth 11.01.10 at 11:52 pm

Actually, Avraham, my ex- boyfriend is Israeli, some of my best friends are Israeli, most of my best friends are Jews, and I spend every Friday evening at shul. I would happily live in Israel, and have been discussing with friends the possibility of finding a visiting position at HUJI. Good enough for ya?

“Here in Israel there is a national mindset…” I have first-hand experience enough to know that that statement is horse manure. There may be majority and minority views; there may be governmental positions. But there is not some overarching mindset to which every Israeli subscribes. If there were, my Friday evenings would be much quieter.

Please note that the Methodist Church has come to no “decision” whatever affecting Jews. It has come to a decision affecting Israelis. As an Israeli, you have every right to speak, but don’t pretend that this is some kind of action against the Jews as a people, because it isn’t. A boycott of a particular state with whose political actions you disagree is in no way comparable to the systematised degradation and attempted slaughter of an entire people; shame on you for suggesting that it is.

97

Avraham Reiss 11.02.10 at 6:41 am

Beth,

you have a very gentle, polite and cultured turn-of-phrase: “that statement is horse manure”. I think Richard would term that ‘hostile’, at least.

It applies well to your hypocritical claim that the Methodist decision re-Israel is not anti-semitism.

After 2,000 years of persecution by the Christian Church, which well paved the way for the Holocaust (yes, that again), you now have a theological problem confronting an indestructable, nuclear Israel. It totally negates the Christian theory of “The Wandering Jew”, so by trying to “illegalise” Israel maybe you can restore your injured theology. Sorry, baby, us Jews, we’s done wandering: we’re to stay this time.

And it’s all based on a lie. The settlements in Judea and Samaria are NOT illegal at all. When King Hussein made peace with Israel, he did NOT take back Judea and Samaria. They remained in Israeli hands, just as Saadat did not want Gaza back.

What a Christian Methodist is doing in a shul (synagogue) on Friday nights, I do not know. But it does serve to prove my previous comment that you have an identity problem.

Keep shovelling!

98

Richard 11.02.10 at 7:01 am

You’re jumping to conclusions again, Avraham. Not everyone you meet here is going to be a Methodist.

But I’m not going to argue. At this point all I can do is repeat myself, and there’s no point.

99

Kim 11.02.10 at 7:55 am

On the contrary, Avraham, perhaps it’s you who have the identity problem. It’s precisely your fierce preoccupation with identity, your xenophobia and hostility to the Other, your offensive-defensive circling of the wagons, your “militarizing memory” (Marc H. Ellis), that make me think so. While Beth, as one working in the laboratory of the spirit - a baptised Christian who yet attends synagogue in Oxford - has a more fluid sense of identity, and as one who feels unthreatened by the Other, she is at ease in crossing boundaries and negotiating what Gillian Rose called the “broken middle”. What we have here is what Rose called “Love’s work”: “For politics does not happen when you act on behalf of your own damaged goods, but when you act, without guarantees, for the good of all - that is to take the risk of the universal interest.” In your attitude and what you say, Avraham - and in the way you say it - I mean you’ve got to be one sad sod to say something like Sorry, baby [addressing Beth], us Jews, we’s done wandering: we’re to stay this time - I find no healing, no hope, no promise - no (to be provocative) Yahweh, only a tribal God, not a God with universal intent.

BTW, I sure am glad that you do not represent all Jews - as much as I am glad that Earl does not represent all Christians. No soul.

100

Joseph W 11.02.10 at 8:13 am

“No soul.”

Bit harsh??

101

Kim 11.02.10 at 9:26 am

Not as in “immortal soul” but as in “soul music” - i.e., no spiritual je ne sais quoi.

102

Joseph W 11.02.10 at 9:41 am

Oh. I’m sure they do have ’soul’, as do you, it’s just you disagree very strongly on this particular issue.

103

Adam 11.02.10 at 12:20 pm

There you have it - apparently if you don’t jump on the Israel bashing bandwagon, or agree with Kim, you “have no soul.”

104

Adam 11.02.10 at 12:21 pm

Beth, the singling out of democratic Israel is antisemitic.

105

Avraham Reiss 11.02.10 at 1:13 pm

Kim and I don’t agree about anything.
But he is happy in his religion, and I in mine.

Out of respect for the hospitality of the blog that is hosting us (Richard’s blog) I would leave the exchange with Kim there.

106

Richard 11.02.10 at 2:04 pm

That’s your call, of course Avraham. It’s one of my deepest beliefs that if people talk for long enough, eventually they’ll find the common ground they share. After all, the scriptures we have in common tell us that we’re made of the same stuff in the image of God. The purpose of the conversation doesn’t have to be about reaching agreement. But understanding is always worth pursuing.

But it takes time and energy, and we don’t always have enough of either.

107

Avraham Reiss 11.02.10 at 5:29 pm

Richard, I’m taking you up on what you have just said. The reason I’m here, as previously stated, is the decision by the Methodist Church to boycott goods from “illegal” (sic) Israeli settlements.

So I put before you a simple question: were someone to bring you proof that said settlements are not in fact “illegal”, would you personally and your Church in general, act to reverse the decision?

108

Richard 11.02.10 at 5:36 pm

If I thought that the church had come to the wrong conclusion, I’d be doing my bit to change it. There’s more to this than the illegality or otherwise of the Settlements though.

109

Kim 11.02.10 at 5:42 pm

Adam, don’t be such a jerk. Disagreement has got nothing to do with it. I’ve been blogging here - and elsewhere - for five years, and I have plenty of diagreements with people who’ve “got soul”. You’ve clearly got some problems with joined-up thinking, and are extremely trigger-happy with the stereotype.

110

Avraham Reiss 11.02.10 at 5:45 pm

Richard,
“There’s more to this than the illegality or otherwise of the Settlements though.”

Could you please expand on that? What other reason for boycott?

111

Richard 11.02.10 at 7:36 pm

I don’t think I can do any more than point to the Conference Resolution

112

Avraham Reiss 11.02.10 at 7:42 pm

Richard,
Thank you, 7.4.1 is a perfect clarification of the Methodist Church’s position, and is a total distortion of the facts. The boycott decision is thus based on a lie.

I will elaborate completely when I’ve had my supper.

113

Richard 11.02.10 at 7:49 pm

But if this is the first time you’ve seen that, what have we been talking about all this time? You’re surely not telling me that you’ve been talking to a report without actually having read it?

114

Avraham Reiss 11.02.10 at 8:31 pm

Here is my elaboration:

The Middle Eastern country, center of the “Fertile Crescent”, known for many years as “Palestine” ceased to exist on 15th May, 1948, when the British Mandate ended, the British left Palestine, and the new State of Israel declared its independance. At the end of the bloody war that followed, what is today known as the Western Bank became part of Jordanian territory, Gaza was or became Egyptian territory, and the Golan Heights remained Syrian.

This was the position until 5th June, 1967, when the three afore-mentioned Arab countries jointly attacked Israel.

This was the Six Day War, at the end of which Israel now controlled the Western Bank = Judea and Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights.

Again - these territories were acquired as the result of a defensive war launched against Israel by Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

This at no point in time could Judea/Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights have been termed “Palestinian” at any time after 14th May 1948 - and before that time, the Jews living in Israel were as much “Palestinians” as were the Arabs, both under British rule.

In accordance with the separate peace agreements that Israel reached between Egypt and Jordan respectively, Egypt did not request the return of Gaza to her sovereignty, and ditto with Jordan regarding Judea/Samaria.

There is therefore no justification whatsoever to call the areas acquired by Israel in a defensive war, as “palestinian”; in 1967 there was no Palestine.

That is regarding the lands involved.

As for the people, the populations of Judea and Samarian were Jordanian, and those of Gaza - Egyptian. No “Palestinian”. Neither was there in 1967 - or for any years later - any talk of a “Palestinian” nation.

That began some time in the eighties.

Thus, the Methodist declaration:
[quote]
7.4.1 that the Methodist Church should affirm the following:
In the belief that peace and reconciliation depend upon justice, fairness and mercy, the Methodist Church has
consistently expressed its concern over the illegal Occupation of Palestinian lands by the State of Israel.
[unquote]

- is a total lie. Israel “occupied”Jordanian and Egyptian lands only, and these were relinquished by their previous owners.

[quote - 7.4.1 continued]
That Occupation continues not only compounds the state’s illegal and immoral action …
[unquote]

- The above-quoted distortion of historical facts that were common knowledge and did not require a degree in history to understand, was totally immoral and - until someone proves otherwise - based on anti-semitic bias, which makes use of the word “immoral” total hypocrisy.

As for “illegal occupation” - do the older members here remember back in the late fifties and early sixties Sunday lunchtime BBC broadcasts between Jean Metcalf and Bill Crozier - “Family Favourites”? Where was Bill Crozier at the time of these broadcasts? Serving with the British Army of Occupation in Germany. How did Britain get to Germany? As the result of fighting a defensive war. (The war that ended the Holocaust!).

What was the Methodist Church’s stand regarding that occupation, 15 or more years after the war had ended?

Now try and sell me the proposal that 7.4.1’s origins are not anti-Semitic. Whatever you say, they are certainly based on total historical falsifications.

115

Avraham Reiss 11.02.10 at 8:57 pm

Richard,
“But if this is the first time you’ve seen that, what have we been talking about all this time? You’re surely not telling me that you’ve been talking to a report without actually having read it?”

Even before reading the report we knew it demanded boycotting of Israeli goods. 2,000 years of living with Christians is experience that far exceeds any written words. The report merely added flesh to our claims.

The report was merely an attempt to justify an anti-Semitic decision.

Anyone who calls for Israel to leave the “occupied” territories after we withdrew from Gaza and Hamas shelled us into Cast Lead, as did the report, is asking us to commit suicide.

And talking of suicide, the Wall to which your report also objects, has prevented suicide bombers almost totally.

Regarding the report’s request that we commit collective suicide - it is currently “Awaiting Moderation”.

116

Beth 11.02.10 at 9:18 pm

“you have a very gentle, polite and cultured turn-of-phrase” - good; that expensive education wasn’t entirely wasted.

As Kim said, I am not a Methodist, and if I were I would not support this boycott. I refused to join my professional union, despite the help that it could have been to me with some difficult work issues, because it pursues a policy of boycotting collaboration with Israeli academics. Incidentally, my Israeli ex thought my stance on this was ridiculous and encouraged me to join.

My claim is, therefore, not hypocritical. You will probably still think it is incorrect. That’s your prerogative. I just do not really believe that there is any anti-Semitic intention behind the Methodist boycott, however wrong-headed the boycott may be itself.

“2,000 years of persecution by the Christian Church… paved the way for the Holocaust” - yes, I agree. The Church has never faced up to its responsibility and probably never will - though I think you’ll find it’s the Catholics who are the main problem here, simply through sheer weight of numbers and historical presence.

My theology doesn’t require the conversion of Jews, and I consider any such theology to be proto-genocidal. Jews for Jesus are particularly egregious offenders in this regard.

Your statement that I have an identity problem is, I think, based on the misconception that questioning one’s identity is problematic. Personally, I find it to be necessary in order to live anything like a meaningful existence.

117

Avraham Reiss 11.02.10 at 9:37 pm

Beth,
you made a couple of statements that I agree with.
Let’s leave it there.

118

Richard 11.02.10 at 10:00 pm

My understanding of post-mandate history is somewhat different to yours Avraham. For now, that’ll have to do. I’m out of steam.

119

Avraham Reiss 11.02.10 at 10:27 pm

Sorry Richard,
But what I wrote touched upon the essence of the matter. Take a day or two if you need it, but I’d like to hear the Methodist (or _a_ Methodist) version of post-mandate history that differs from my version.

Point out anything I stated that you think is wrong.

I can’t believe that you have another version that fits the facts.

I still say that anti-Semitism was the motivation for the falsification of history as presented in 7.4.1.

If you think differently, I want to hear it.

120

Kim 11.02.10 at 10:50 pm

Jeez, 119 comments. That’s one helluva thread. It’s gotta be a Connexions record. It’s rather like the peace process (sic) itself - it runs and runs (or limps and limps) - only better: jaw-jaw rather than war-war. How about a cease-fire for another joke? Like the one about the priest telling the rabbi how he can’t stand Jewish funerals - and the rabbi replying that he too prefers Christian funerals.

121

Pam 11.02.10 at 11:03 pm

Or how about Leonard Cohen:

I copied time
I knew I was a fiction
but I could not suspend myself.
Moving back or going forward
I encountered no obstacles.
I carried mountains
Leaves fell inside me.
I surrounded your beauty with applause
and when you wanted to go home
I swept aside the infant dust.

122

Avraham Reiss 11.03.10 at 5:22 am

Regarding your joke, Kim, for once we are in agreement. :-)

But I must receive a reply from Richard as to why he _doesn’t_ think that 7.4.1 was based on falsification of history, and how he reads post-mandate history.

Changing the subject won’t work here.

123

Adam 11.03.10 at 9:34 am

Er Kim, trigger happy? It was you who accused someone with whom you disagree of “having no soul”.

124

PamBG 11.03.10 at 10:16 am

The report was merely an attempt to justify an anti-Semitic decision.

You know what? I’m giving up on this conversation.

There is a difference between saying “this proposal has antisemetic elements or could be seen to be antisemetic” and “this was all just an expression of the pre-existing antisemetic views that were just waiting to be expressed”.

My experience of British Methodism is that people on the ground are Christian Zionists. Even to the point of ignoring their Palestinian brothers and sisters. (I’m not saying there is hatred there, but I think that there is the kind of “mental bracketing” that goes on when people think that “those people” will get along somehow because they are used to their suffering.)

Sure, there are antisemites in the British Methodist Church. This reports may even have unintended antisemetic effects. But it’s simply absurd, in my experience, to characterize the Methodist Church as an institution that has just been itching to express its underlying antisemitism.

However, apparently some people need us to be evil. I’m pretty certain I know what David needs us to be evil - because we won’t bow to his unilateral wisdom and superiority and we won’t jump every time he tells the church to do something. I guess other people need us to be antisemetic because they think that the world won’t believe there is antisemitism unless the finger can be pointed clearly at someone.

So be it.

125

Adam 11.03.10 at 10:34 am

I find it fascinating that people like PamBG expect exclusive and selective boycotts to be perfectely acceptable, yet get terribly indignant when the exclusivity and double standards are exposed. Seems they can dish it out, but can’t take criticism themselves.

126

Richard 11.03.10 at 11:07 am

Avraham - this will have to be brief. I’m on coffee break. Whether the land was acquired in a defensive war or not, my understanding of the Geneva Conventions is that it is forbidden for an occupying power to transfer out existing civilian populations or transfer in its own people. Israel is in breach of this convention. Your comparison with situation of the British army in Germany post WWII is entirely spurious. I have a problem with your suggestion that nobody thought about a Palestinian nation until sometime in the eighties. The plight of the Palestinians was already a feature of student politics when I went to university in 1981. In any case, the PLO was founded much earlier than this. (Early 60s? I’d have to look it up) What’s important is the self-identity of the people in the occupied territories. They call themselves Palestinian. So to dismiss the words of the resolution as a “total lie” is absurd. You justify the Wall because it has prevented suicide bombings. But at what cost, both in terms of suffering and damage to any prospect of long-term peace?
You’ve admitted that you’ve been discussing the Conference Report without actually having read it, an admission which somewhat undermines the authority of your opinions. You claim it demands the boycotting of Israeli goods, which it most clearly does not. It “calls on the Methodist people to support and engage with this boycott of Israeli goods emanating from illegal settlements”. At the same time, the report encourages Methodists to visit Israel. This hardly adds up to boycotting Israeli goods. But I can’t “sell you” the proposal that this Conference report is not antisemitic because you hd already decided that it must be.

127

Richard 11.03.10 at 11:08 am

Adam, you’re just being silly now.

128

Adam 11.03.10 at 11:31 am

Richard

The PLO was founded in 1964 - not with the aim of establishing a new “Palestinian” state in Judea and Samaria and Gaza; rather, the goal was to eliminate Israel. Avraham is indeed right that a separate Palestinian nationalism only began to slowly emerge during the 70’s and 80’s. Arafat was explicit about its aim - he said that establishing a Palestinian state was a means of destroying Israel in stages, as they had been unable to destroy Israel in one fell swoop. When Jordan illegally occupied Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967 (ethnically cleansing every Jew from these areas in the process and systematically destroying the ancient synagogues of Jerusalem with dynamite), there were no calls for an independent “Palestinian” state to be established in these territories. And when Egypt occupied Gaza during the same period, likewise, no calls for a Palestinian Arab state. In other words, Palestinian nationalism is rootless, and grew up directly as a result of Zionism. Now you say these territories are “occupied.” From whom are they occupied? They were never, at any time in history, part of an independent Arab entity, nor was most of the land in private ownership (it still isn’t). I accept that the territories are disputed, but they are not “occupied” - unless of course you can tell me from whom.

And Richard, you still haven’t addressed why Israel is singled out. You say it isn’t, but it is demonstrably true that it is - both in the level of criticism heaped upon Israel, and Israel exclusively, in the report, and the call for a boycott - not advocated for any other place on this planet. This is, by definition, singling out.

129

Richard 11.03.10 at 12:13 pm

Adam, I don’t accept that Israel has been singled out, except in the sense that this report was specifically about Israel. The boycott that you’re so worked up about is a very limited and, I suspect, a largely theoretical exercise. On the other hand, (here I go again) the Methodist Conference is encouraging its people to visit Israel if they are able. What sort of ‘boycott of Israel’ is that? On whether the settlements are on ‘occupied’ or ‘disputed’ land: I’m no expert on international law. But most of the world (ie everyone but Israel) seems to believe that the Geneva Convention applies to the land. That makes it “occupied” in my book. In any case, the Israeli government treats it as occupied. I don’t agree with your interpretation of the historical status of the Palestinians, but right now I don’t have time. And the way this conversation has turned, I can’t see me making time. A pity, because I did think we were making progress on mutual understanding.

130

Adam 11.03.10 at 12:18 pm

Richard

You haven’t replied to my post to you on the other thread, where I spelled out why Israel is being singled out. It simply isn’t intellectually honest to say it isn’t, but then you readily admit there is no boycott advocated anywhere else. As for the discussion being about Israel, that in itself is singling Israel out. Why are the other actors of the conflict ignored? That, by definition, is one-sided. It wasn’t a mere accident that Israel, alone, was debated, someone made that choice. It wasn’t a random happening, was it? And can you point out one inaccuracy in the history I outlined? Just one please - otherwise, you can’t say you disagree, without explaining why.

131

Avraham Reiss 11.03.10 at 1:03 pm

Adam,
please contact me privately at
thejcwatch@gmail.com

Avraham

132

Richard 11.03.10 at 1:12 pm

If you’ve read the report, you’ll know why this debate happened. But this wasn’t singling Israel out. International issues are often discussed at the Methodist Conference.

133

Adam 11.03.10 at 2:14 pm

Richard

You keep on with this mantra, as if saying it enough times makes it true. If Israel wasn’t singled out, then can you tell me which other conflicts were discussed, where only one side of the conflict was “debated” and exclusively criticized, and can you tell me which other countries or entities were boycotted?

Do you understand “singled out”?

134

Adam 11.03.10 at 2:16 pm

Richard

It is alose worth pointing out that the entire spectrum of British Jewry, from the Chief Rabbi to the liberals, have attacked this “report” for its one-sidedness. It does nothing to contribute to peace, and does eveything to blame and vilify. I am glad that interfaith dialogue has been stopped. It’s hard to debate with those who wish you ill.

135

Richard 11.03.10 at 2:35 pm

Adam, for the time being I think we’ve said all that needs to be said. The Methodist Conference debated and received a report about the situation in Israel. I accept that you don’t think much of it. I can only tell what I know to be true of the Methodist Church: there is no home here for antisemitism, and there is no ill-will toward the Jewish community.

136

Adam 11.03.10 at 2:42 pm

Richard

One can judge by words and one can judge by actions. Your words are very nice. The actions of the Methodist Church are nothing short of disgusting racism.

I don’t think you’re even being honest with yourself, as you still haven’t explained why Israel was chosen for debate, alone, of all nations on this planet.

137

Richard 11.03.10 at 2:52 pm

I can’t see a way past this. If you’re determined to identify criticism of Israel as racism, we’re stuck. Personally, I think there is a great deal of evidence of Methodism’s good will towards Jews (and, incidentally, people of other faiths too). I have explained “why Israel was chosen for debate”. And it’s in the report. If you’ve read it, you’ll know. I’m sorry if I keep repeating myself, but I don’t know how many different ways I can say the same thing.

138

Avraham Reiss 11.03.10 at 3:35 pm

Richard,

You are dancing 360 degrees around the subject, without relating directly to it.
7.4.1 says:
“…the Methodist Church has consistently expressed its concern over the illegal Occupation of Palestinian lands by the State of Israel.”

and I have shown you that there never were such “palestinian lands”.

Your report lied and misled when it used the term “palestinian lands”, and you have not refuted this point, which in effect means that you can’t.

Use of a neutral term, such as “illegal Occupation of the Western Bank of the river Jordan” might have opened for discussion the matter of the occupation itself. But “palestinian lands” is a loaded (and untrue) term, designed to express identification with the Arab side. A Christian church falsely labelling the lands in question palestinian” is obviously motived by theological ideology, anti-Semitism being a mere off-shoot or by-product of said ideology.

In point of fact, I think that the term “palestinian lands” can even be labelled an oxymoron …

You claimed to have understood history differently, but have not explained how.

Arafat did in fact start his PLO in January 1965 - but that was nowhere near a start of recognition of a “palestinian” people. (Arafat started as a terrorist and murderer, died of AIDS, and is obviously dear to the Methodist cause.)

I now feel free to publish that a Methodist minister was unable to explain the historical falsification and distortion extant in 7.4.1 - and there are a few other items there that I have not yet fully examined.

139

Adam 11.03.10 at 4:22 pm

Richard

I have never said criticism of Israel constitutes antisemitism. What IS antisemitic is singling out Israel, to he exclusion of every other place on this planet, for criticism, and calling for an exclusive boycott of Jewish settlements.

You say you don’t agree with the history I provided, without saying why. You say you don’t think Israel is singled out, when it is. You do keep saying the same thing - and I’m sorry, but all of it avoids these two points.

140

Beth 11.03.10 at 6:36 pm

Arafat “died of AIDS”? Well, how dare he?! That just goes to prove that he was evil through and through.

141

Avraham Reiss 11.03.10 at 6:39 pm

Beth,
how astute of you to cut thru all the boring historical and theological stuff, and get straight to the very essence of the discussion …

142

Tony Buglass 11.03.10 at 7:12 pm

Arafat “died of AIDS”?

Do you have evidence to support this claim, Avraham? Accordng to Wikipedia, “While the exact cause of his death remains unknown and no autopsy was performed, his doctors spoke of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and cirrhosis.” Now, Wikipedia might not be the most authoritative of sources, but I found nothing else to contradict what it said. And yours is the only allegation of AIDS that I have heard. He was a terrorist, and far from dear to this Methodist, but unless you can substantiate your claim, I’m inclined to dismiss it as propaganda. Or even a lie.

143

Paul Martin 11.03.10 at 7:20 pm

The comment re AIDS is abolutely sick and indicative of Avraham’s unpleasant attitudes generally.

144

Avraham Reiss 11.03.10 at 7:47 pm

If you still want to use the term “palestinian”, here is some brief suggested reading:

Source:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/9790

No Occupied Terrirtories
by Eli E. Hertz

The term ‘Palestine’ applied almost exclusively to Jews and the institutions founded by new Jewish immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, before independence.

A UN coalition sought to rewrite history by labeling the Territories ‘Occupied Territories,’ thus endowing them with an aura of bogus statehood and a false history. They used capital letters for ‘Occupied Territories’ and then shifted to ‘Palestinian Occupied Territories’ and ‘Palestine,’ as if title or ownership could be assigned out of thin air.

No legal binding authority has empowered any UN organ, including the International Court of Justice (ICJ), to decide that the territories of the West Bank, known as Judea and Samaria, and Gaza could be transformed into ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’ or ‘Palestine.’

UN organs’ the EU and the U.S. use of these dishonest, loaded terms empower terrorism and the Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gazawith the right to use all measures to expel Israel . The phrase ‘illegal occupation’ is a “careless language” and “perilous threat to the diplomatic search for peace,” says Professor George Fletcher, an expert in international law: [1]

“The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has been insistent, not least as regards questions of territorial title, that the rules and concepts of interna­tional law have to be interpreted ‘by reference to the law in force’ and ‘the State practice’ at the relevant period.” [2]

The General Assembly’s attempts to legislate changes in the status of the territories against Israel and the rule of international law:

One can easily trace the General Assembly’s attempts to legislate changes in the status of the Territories, doctoring the definition of the status of the Territories, which is well documented on the website of the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations that posts landmark pro-Palestinian decisions.

Examination reveals how over the years in UN General Assembly resolutions and the wording of resolutions by sub-committees moves from “territories” to “occupied territories” to “Occupied Territories” and “Arab territories” to “occupied Palestinian territories” to “Occupied Palestinian Territory” and “occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem”:

? Resolution 3236 (XXIX) passed in November 1974 speaks of “the question of Palestine”;
? Resolution 38/58 in December 1983 speaks of “Arab territories” and “occupied territories”;
? Resolution 43/176 passed in December 1988 expresses sentiments suggesting Palestinian entitlement - speaking of “the Palestinian people['s] right to exercise their sovereignty over their territory occupied since 1967″;
? Resolution 51/133 passed in December 1996 adds Jerusalem in particular - speaking of “occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan…”;
? Resolution 52/250 passed in July 1998 fully “assigns title” - speaking of “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” a designation that is frequently used in subsequent resolutions.

None of these terms have a legal foundation any more than declaring “The world is flat” makes it so. Yet the International Court of Justice cites these terms as if they were legal documents. Even junior jurists know better.

It should be noted:

The coining of the term “Occupied Palestinian Territory” by the General Assembly, and all the more so it’s ‘adoption’ by the International Court of Justice, is contrary to, and totally incompatible with, Article 12 of the UN Charter which states:
“While the Security Council is exercising in respect of any dispute or situation the functions assigned to it in the present Charter, the General Assembly shall not make any recommendation with regard to that dispute or situation unless the Security Council so requests.” (emphasis added)

The artificiality of the historical Palestinian identity

The use of the word ‘Palestine’ was adopted by the Arabs specifically for political gain, to brand Israelis as invaders and to inherit the geographic area called Palestine as exclusively belonging to the Arabs.

The artificiality of a Palestinian identity is reflected in the attitudes and actions of neighboring Arabs who never established a Palestinian state or advocated one prior to the Six-Day War in 1967. What unites Palestinians has been their opposition to Jewish nationalism and the desire to stamp it out, not aspirations for their own state. Local patriotic feelings are generated only when a non-Islamic entity takes charge - such as Israel did in 1967 after the Six-Day War. It dissipates under Arab rule no matter how distant or despotic, as it was under the rule of Jordan prior to 1967.

Culturally, Palestinians are not distinct from other Arabs. The sole contributions Palestinians can take credit for are the invention of skyjacking for political purposes in the 1960s, and lately a special brand of suicidal terrorism that uses their own youth as delivery systems for bombing pizza parlors, discos, and public commuter buses.

Ironically, before local Jews began calling themselves Israelis in 1948 (the name Israel was chosen for the newly established Jewish state), the term ‘Palestine’ applied almost exclusively to Jews and the institutions founded by new Jewish immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, before independence. Some examples include:

? The Jerusalem Post, founded in 1932, was called the Palestine Post until 1948. [3]
? Bank Leumi L’Israel was called the “Anglo-Palestine Bank, a Jewish Company.”
? The Jewish Agency - an arm of the Zionist movement engaged in Jewish settlement since 1929 - was called the Jewish Agency for Palestine.
? The house organ of American Zionism in the 1930s was called New Palestine.
? Today’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1936 by German Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany, was called the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, composed of some 70 Palestinian Jews. [4]
? The United Jewish Appeal (UJA) was established in 1939 as a merger of the United Palestine Appeal and the fundraising arm of the Joint Distribution Committee.

Princeton University professor of Semitic literature Philip Hitti (1886-1978) one of the greatest Arabic historians of the ninth century and author of ‘The History of the Arabs,’ testifying on behalf of the Arab cause, told the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine in 1946: “There is no ‘Palestine ‘ in history, absolutely not.” [5]

Footnotes;

[1] George P. Fletcher is a professor at Columbia University School of Law and author of Romantics at War:
Glory and Guilt in the Age of Terrorism. See: “Annan’s Careless Language,” The New York Times, March 21, 2002, at:
http://www.uscj.org/neweng/worcester/Link_Fletcher020321.htm.
[2] See Professor Stone ” Israel and Palestine”, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1982, p. 75.
The International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) has been insistent, not least as regards questions of territorial title, that the rules and concepts of interna­tional law have to be interpreted “by reference to the law in force” and “the State practice” at the relevant period. (Majority Opinion in the Western Sahara case, I.C.J. Reports, 1975, p. 12, esp. at 38-39). Judge de Castro in his Separate Opinion (ibid 127, at 168 ff.) declared the principle tempus regit factum as a recognized principle of international law. He continued (p. 169): “Consequently, the creation of ties with or titles to a territory must be determined according to the law in force at the time … The rule tempus regit factum must also be applied to ascertain the legal force of new facts and their impact on the existing situation.” He went on to illustrate this influence of “new facts and new law” by reference to the impact on the suppression of the colonial status of Western Sahara by the principles concerning non-self-governing territories emanating from the United Na­tions Charter and the later application to them of the principle of Self de­termination (pp. 169-71). This limiting rider has reference to the appearance of new principles of international law, overriding the different principles on which earlier titles are based. But, of course, it can have no application to vested titles based, as was the very territorial allocation between the Jewish and Arab peoples, on the principle of self-determination itself.
[3] The Palestine Post was founded by Gershon Agron, an American journalist and published its first issue on December 1, 1932. In 1950, the Palestine Post changed its name to The Jerusalem Post.
[4] Ibid.
[5] From the report by The High Commissioner on The Administration of Palestine 1920-1925 to the Right Honorable L. S. Amery, M.P., Secretary of State for the Colonies. Government Offices, Jerusalem, 22nd April, 1925

145

Avraham Reiss 11.03.10 at 8:04 pm

This also, should be perused by those wishing to continue using the bogus term “palestinian lands”:
Source:
http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/occupied-shmockupied

“Occupied”, “Shmockupied”?
By Jon_i_Cohen
February 20, 2010 Share

To truly determine the legal status of the area known as Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza), it is important to understand the different types of UN resolutions. Once you understand the differences it becomes clear there is no such thing as the Israeli-occupied territories.

If anything, they are actually Arab-occupied territories now “liberated”.

“Occupied territories” has become the most widely misused term connected with the Arab-Israeli conflict. People simply do not know the facts or like our trendy-lefty, Guardianesque friends, deliberately misinterpret them thereby completely distorting the real picture of the land distribution between the Arabs and the Jews.

The facts are, according to international law, the Jews have the complete and unquestionable right to settle the territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (collectively known as Yesha, not that we actually want Gaza anymore, but nevertheless). Not a single enforceable international document exists that forbids them from settling these lands.

On the contrary, the only existing enforceable document actually encourages Jewish settlement.

Created on April 24, 1920 at the San Remo Conference, this document has the Principal Allied Powers assigning the Mandate for the territory of Palestine to Great Britain. By doing so the League of Nations “recognized the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and established “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” Article 6 of the Mandate “encouraged … close settlement by Jews on the land,” including the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha).

There is nothing whatsoever in the Mandate that separates Yesha from the rest of the mandated territory. That means that the right of the Jews to settle the land spreads to the whole of the Mandated region of Palestine. It is worth mentioning that the 76% of the territory of Mandated Palestine known today as Jordan, was not permanently exempt from settlement by the Jews either. Article 25 only allowed to “postpone or withhold application of [this] provision.”

When the League of Nations was disbanded, the rights of the Jews to settle the territories of Palestine, including Yesha, was not foregone. When in 1946 the United Nations was created in place of the League of Nations, its Charter included Article 80 specifically to allow the continuation of existing Mandates (including the British Mandate). Article 80 stated that “nothing … shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever … of any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.”

In November 1947 Resolution 181 recommended the Partition of Palestine. Like all UN Resolutions pertaining to the Jewish-Arab conflict it was not enforceable. It was simply a recommendation, and the Arab countries rejected it. As the Syrian representative in the General Assembly stated:

“In the first place the recommendations of the General Assembly are not imperative on those to whom they are addressed…. The General Assembly only gives advice and the parties to whom advice is addressed accept it when it is rightful and just and when it does not impair their fundamental rights”(1).

If the resolution had been implemented maybe it would be possible to argue that it replaced the San Remo Conference resolution, which had legitimized the rights of the Jews to settle in any place in Palestine. However, it was not only rejected by the Arabs, but in violation of the UN Charter they launched a military aggression against the newly reborn Jewish state thus invalidating the resolution.

By the time of the ceasefire at the end of the War of Independence there was still no other enforceable document pertaining to the rights of the Jews to settle Eretz Yisrael - they remained intact.

Now to the most misunderstood aspect of the scope and application of international documents. In order to resolve the term “occupied” territories, one must clearly distinguish between the different types of resolutions passed by the United Nations. Misconceptions about the issue led to the question of a double standard that was constantly raised by the Arabs after the first Gulf War. The Arabs were unable to understand why from Iraq the UN demanded compliance with the decisions of the international body while Israel was not forced to comply with UN resolutions.

On April 3, 1998 Swedish Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen, well known for championing the Arabs’ position, in an interview with the London al-Quds al-’Arabi, gave an explanation of this “paradox.” She was asked, “What about the double standards that the United States and Europe adopt when it comes to Arab issues?” She answered, “I understand this view, which is common in many Arab countries. Nevertheless, the UN resolutions passed on Iraq are different, because they are binding for all nations according to Article 7 of the UN Charter. Meanwhile, the resolutions passed against Israel are not subject to Article 7 of the Charter.”

To understand the way UN resolutions work, it is worth reading an open letter by Uri Lubrani, coordinator of Israeli activities in Lebanon, addressed to Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Faris Buwayz and published on February 27, 1998 in the Paris newspaper al Watan al-’Arabi. Although the letter was written regarding Resolution 425, it talks about all resolutions pertaining to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Uri Lubrani wrote the following,

“… There are two types of resolutions in the Security Council. The first type are resolutions passed on the basis of Chapter Six of the UN charter that relates to the settlement of disputes through peaceful means. Such resolutions are considered recommendations. They are not binding, and they do not require immediate implementation…. The second type of resolutions are based on Chapter Seven of the UN charter…. This chapter grants the UN Security Council resolutions an implementative authority and commits the international community to use force if necessary to implement these resolutions…. None of the UN Security Council resolutions pertaining to the Arab Israeli conflict, including Resolution 425, were passed on the basis of Chapter Seven. They were passed on the basis of Chapter Six of the UN charter, which is the basis also of UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.”

So, NO mandatory UN Resolution exists pertaining to the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are left with the San Remo Conference decision that governs land ownership in the region of Palestine. That means that not a single enforceable internationally valid document exists that prevents or prohibits the Jews from settling anywhere in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and all the rest of Eretz Yisrael. Or, to put it differently, from the standpoint of international law for the Jews it is not “occupied” land. I now view the areas as “liberated” land.

This conclusion was confirmed by an unexpected (for Israel) source. It is hard to argue with the fact that James Baker, former US Secretary of State, was not the best friend of the Jewish state. However, he categorically rejected the mislabelling of the lands of Yesha. This happened at the Middle East Insight Symposium in Washington on May 4, 1998. Hoda Tawfik, from the newspaper Al Ahram asked him, “What do you think is right? That these are occupied Arab territories and not disputed territories?” Baker replied, “They’re clearly disputed territories. That’s what Resolutions 242 and 338 are all about. They are clearly “disputed” territories.” NOT “occupied” territories.

This is NOT semantics, what it means is that when the Jews build settlements in Yesha, they are NOT building them on “occupied” territories. If one wants, one may call them “disputed” territories, as Baker did. However, this will still not change the fact that from the standpoint of international law it is the very land where the Jews were encouraged to settle.

Finally, it should not be surprising that the San Remo Conference plays such an important role in this particular case. The majority of the other players in the conflict: Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, etc. gained sovereignty over their territories based on the decisions of exactly the same conference.

We Jews finally deserve to settle freely on all of our land.

It is time to stop labelling these areas with the trendy-lefty, Guardianesque term “occupied” but use the term “liberated”.

146

Avraham Reiss 11.03.10 at 8:32 pm

Re- Arafat’s AIDS - his aids - sorry, assistants - prevented publication, but the facts were well-known here in Israel. I would not have to make up anything derogatory about a multiple murderer.

And I’m not surprised that it bothered a couple of people here - tarnished their idol, so to speak.

In all seriousness, I take the opportunity of commending Richard’s intellectual integrity in publishing everything I have posted here so far, even when it was obvious that he would strongly oppose the opinions expressed. I, in return, while expressing views that may be unpleasant for others to read, attempt do do so in language that in itself is respectful of the hospitality afforded me here.

I don’t intend to be around for long, I just want a final word on 7.4.1 - or have I already received it?

147

Rolly Downton-Hille 11.03.10 at 8:42 pm

Richard is mistaken about the Geneva convention. The article he is attempting to refer to references post WWll forced movement of populations. This is a Red Herring and cannot be applied to the situation in Judea and Samaria aka the West Bank, NO ONE has been forcibly settled in these areas. The “settlers” are there of there own free will.
I strongly urge all true Methodists to support David Hallam in overturning these anti-semitic resolutions and restore peace and harmony with our Jewish friends.
These guys, Avraham Reiss,Jonathan Hoffman and Jon_i_Cohen certainly know their facts and are passionate in their beliefs.
As a Methodist I am truly sorry for the upset, we, The Methodist Church, have caused, as I said earlier, we must take steps to rectify the situation.
God bless

148

Richard 11.03.10 at 8:50 pm

@Avraham & Adam:

To be honest, I’m disheartened about the way this ‘conversation’ has turned out. I pursued it on the assumption of a basic goodwill. But it appears that you were merely biding your time. I accept that my explanation may have been unsatisfactory. I did indicate that I was short of time, though. If you think that the inadequacy of my explanation somehow proves that the Methodist Church is riddled with antisemitism, your logic is more than faulty. In any case, once accusations of lying and “disgusting racism” start flying around, the possibility of sensible dialogue decreases dramatically. I suggest that we need at least to pause now.
Arafat is no hero of mine by any means, but I doubt he was any worse than many other of the ‘actors’ in this story. As Andrew White said in a lecture he gave a few years ago

The situation is most dangerous when one side cannot (or will not) hear the story of the other. There is little to be achieved from a “competition of pain”, instead through a process of listening and honesty each side needs to feel the other’s suffering and accept that they are real people loved by God. We cannot refuse to meet those we disapprove of. None of the leaders in this situation have an unblemished past and unbloodied hands. As he put it, “We’re not dealing with your Sunday School teachers here,”

Whether Arafat died of AIDS or not (it sounds like its intended to be a smear) is utterly irrelevant and to introduce it is, frankly, contemptible.

On a practical note, Avraham, there’s little to be gained from leaving very long comments, especially if they’re quotes from elsewhere. In my experience, most people just skip over them. It’s generally best just to give the gist and share a link.

149

Avraham Reiss 11.03.10 at 9:01 pm

Richard,
1. Point about long comments taken - no more.

2. I did not come here with a pre-conceived notion that the Methodist Church is anti-Semitic, and I have no reason to think so now, on the basis of a few opinions I’ve heard here. I came with others regarding the specific decision to boycott certain Israeli goods, and became convinced cheifly thru discussion with you personally, Richard, that use of the term “palestinian lands” in the now-famous 7.4.1 is bot one-sided and also false.

Having grown up in Britain I never heard of Methodist anti-Semitism,
but have heard on this blog that 7.4.1 was lead by one (Dr. Stephen ???) who is regarded as anti-Semitic - or at least anti-Israeli -
certain conclusions are unavoidable.

I accept your suggestion taht this thread has exhausted itself, thank you for your hospitality, and leave you with the unrefuted opinion that the decision to boycott Israel was based on a lie, which I have well documented.

As I said earlier, a Methodist boycott of Israeli goods won’t even be noticed by Israel, but ot will harm you both spiritually - because it is based on a falsehood - and practically, because you have provided no proof that the falsehood was not a result of anti-Semitism, adn are thus open to this charge by others.

For myself, I feel that the falsehood was motivated by theology.

I wish you peace.

150

Avraham Reiss 11.03.10 at 9:05 pm

P.S.
Rolly Downton-Hille 11.03.10 at 8:42 pm
” NO ONE has been forcibly settled in these areas. The “settlers” are there of there own free will.”

Well said, Rolly!
- not only there of their own free will, but in many cases had to FIGHT the government in order to be allowed to live there!

151

Richard 11.03.10 at 9:14 pm

Avraham: How does “I did not come here with a preconceived notion” square with “Even before reading the report we knew it demanded boycotting of Israeli goods. 2,000 years of living with Christians is experience that far exceeds any written words. The report merely added flesh to our claims. The report was merely an attempt to justify an anti-Semitic decision.” That sounds like a preconceived notion to me

Rolly: Thank you for obliging me to check what I’d remembered about the Geneva Convention. Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention reads “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” So I think I’m right, though as I said, I’m not an expert on international law. A quick trawl of the internet suggests though that everyone believes this applies to the occupied territories — evryone except Israel, that is.

152

Avraham Reiss 11.03.10 at 9:27 pm

Richard,
do you really expect a Jew to talk to a Christian sans all pre-conceived notions, after 2K years of history that included being burned alive at the stake by the Church??

What I said - and repeat now - was that I had no pre-conceived notion of general anti-Semitism re- the Methodist Church when I came here, and that I came here because of the boycott decision which in itself was regarded as anti-Semitic. Call it a ‘one-time anti-Semitism’ if you wish.

So: Methodist Church in general - not known by me to be anti-Semitic.
Specific boycot decision: appeared to be motivated by anti-Semitism.

Regarding ” A quick trawl of the internet suggests though that everyone believes this applies to the occupied territories — evryone except Israel, that is.”

- you didn’t see “everyone” there, “a quick trawl suggests” is no proof.

BUT, as a Minister, you will be aware of Ezekiel 38 and Zacharia (don’t remember off-hand which chapter) discussing Gog and Magog, in which 70 nations will invade and try to destroy Israel - at which time G-d will appear openly.

We are slowly leading to this. It’s very apocalyptic - but it’s there in the Holy Books.

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Richard 11.03.10 at 9:57 pm

Of course, I accept that the Jews have been badly abused by the church. And, whether you believe it or not, I take that history very seriously.

I suggest that the extremely limited boycott commended by the Conference, set alongside the encouragement to visit Israel is very poor evidence of antisemitism. I’m not aware that my supermarket shopping has changed at all, but I am in conversation with others about the possibility of a group trip to Israel next year.

I accept what you say about “a quick trawl…”, but that wasn’t an entirely serious comment. But it is clear that there is heavyweight legal opinion aroun the world that the 4th GC does apply to the Settlements. So it can’t be as straightforward as you suggest.

I’m aware of Ezekiel of course, but if you’d known me longer you’d know that I’m not a fundamentalist and have very little truck with “End Times” theology. But that’s a whole other conversation.

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PamBG 11.03.10 at 10:35 pm

I find it fascinating that people like PamBG expect exclusive and selective boycotts to be perfectely acceptable, yet get terribly indignant when the exclusivity and double standards are exposed. Seems they can dish it out, but can’t take criticism themselves.

Actually, your comment is totally inaccurate on a number of fronts.

I think that the boycott is silly and that it will help absolutely no one. My preference is always to help people and never to hurt them.

My standard is not a double standard at all. My standard is help all who need help (Christian, Jew, Muslim or other), name wrongdoing no matter who does it (Christian, Jew, Muslim or other), harm no one and kill no one (Christian, Jew, Muslim or other).

I actually have no interest in defending the boycott. My point, as I have said all along, is that I don’t believe that this report was born out of latent antisemitism. If the Methodist Church were as antisemitic as you suggest, I think that Methodists up and down the UK would have screamed blue murder when we forbade our members from joining the BNP. Instead, the overwhelming reaction on the ground was “Quite right!”

Maybe it’s because you have hatred in your heart that you assume the rest of us do too? Just an idea. Projection can be a powerful thing.

155

Adam 11.03.10 at 11:16 pm

Beth

Arafat was evil through and through because he pioneered modern terrorism, including the use of civilian airliners for hijacking. He peresonally ordered scores of terror attacks on israeli civilians over 3 decades, including the attack on Israeli children at a kindergarten in Maalot. He also stole several hundred million dollars (some estimates put it at a billion dollars) in aid money. Oh, and he was a jihadist Jew hater.

156

Kim 11.03.10 at 11:17 pm

It is true that there has never been a formally constituted national entity Palestine, and thus Palestinian identity lacks a conventional reference, but that does not mean that there is no Palestinian people with a distinctive Palestinian sense of identity. Only one who surveys the scene with a hammer and sees nails everywhere, even when, in fact, they are people, could think otherwise.

There is no future for either Israeli or Palestinian if they position themselves on the bais of “what is ours”. And that has been a leitmotif in this thread. Hence it has been long on a pitiless passive-aggressive attitude of do-it-to-them-before-they-do-it-to-us, and short on - well, humanity and hope. Let it end.

157

Adam 11.03.10 at 11:32 pm

Richard,

I appreciate that you have tried to engage. But I think it is somewhat disingenuous to pretend that somehow we haven’t understood you. You have been presented with history with which you say you disagree, and when invited to explain precisely what you disagreed with, you went quiet. In addition, you have repeatedly ducked the question of singling out Israel, merely denying it. But you can’t deny that Israel, alone of all nations on this planet, has indeed been singled out by the Methodist Church for a level of attack especially reserved just for her - no other country is attacked in the same way. And by way of action, the Church has advocated a boycott of Jewish settlements - again, alone, of all places on this earth. This singling out, this exclusive criticism, indeed the singling out of Israel for discussion, is indeed antisemitism. This is not the same as criticism. It is selective. And meanwhile, the Church ignores the other actors in the conflict such as the wonderful tyrannies in Tehran (think of children hanged in public, women buried to their waists and stoned to death in front of a baying mob, officially sanctioned rape of political prisoners - indeed, women who are sentenced to death are raped before their execution by the basiji because, by law, a virgin cannot be put to death, and of course an official policy of Holocaust denial and antsemitism) and Damascus (think of dictatorship, secret police, torture chambers, political prisoners and funding for jihadist terror groups), and Hamas, (which advocates in its charter the extermination of every Jew on earth - please read it) Fatah and Hizbollah (which also advocates genocide openly) - none of these are worthy of boycott, or even criticism. Nor apparently are any of these actors responsible even in part for the conflict. All the blame gets laid at Israel’s door instead.

It is rank hypocrisy, and it is a very sad state of affairs. What do you expect the Jewish community to do - just put up with this endless demonisation? It must stop.

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Adam 11.03.10 at 11:39 pm

PamBG, how then do you explain Israel being singled out?

Antisemitism takes many shapes and forms, and has morphed over the centuries to fit the “needs” and interests of the times. Holding Israel and the Jews to a different standard to other peoples and nations is, by the EU’s own definition, antisemitism.

Sadly, that is precisely what the Methodist Church has done with its boycott call (as well as its other ill informed criticisms which it does not bestow on others). Everyone on this blog denies that the Church has any antisemitism in it (and I fully appreciate that many, of course, are not - thank you Rolly), but what other explanation is there for the exclusivity of the attacks?

159

Avraham Reiss 11.04.10 at 5:35 am

For those who didn’t like what I wrote about Arafat’s dying from AIDS:

Arafat died of AIDS, confirms Palestinian leader
- Google on
+arafat +aids
for about 250,000 hits!

Arafat died of AIDS, confirms Palestinian leader
Thursday, July 12, 2007 | by Staff Writer

A leading Palestinian “resistance” figure has confirmed what many suspected all along: Yasser Arafat died of AIDS.

In an interview with Hizballah’s Al-Manar TV earlier this month, Ahmad Jibril, founder and leader of the Damascus-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, revealed a shocking conversation he recently had with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his staff.

Said Jibril: “When [Abbas] came to Damascus with his team, I asked them: ‘What happened to the investigation into the death of [Arafat]? Is it conceivable that when [former Lebanese prime minister] Rafiq Hariri was killed, all hell broke loose, but the death of Yasser Arafat, is not investigate?”

Jibril, like many Palestinians, readily accepted the notion that Israel had assassinated Arafat, and wanted the Palestinian Authority to conduct an official investigation concluding as much. The response from Abbas’ aides changed in an instant Jibril’s view of his deceased mentor.

“They were silent, and then one of them said to me: ‘To be honest, the French gave us the medical report, that stated that the cause of [Arafat's] death was AIDS.’”

Arafat eventually died in a Paris hospital after being airlifted out of Ramallah. Many speculated that the Palestinian leader, who was said to have had numerous homosexual relationships, had in fact contracted AIDS.

A clearly angered Jibril said that Abbas and every other member of Arafat’s Fatah faction “should be happy that we got rid of the plague, which had been imposed upon them and upon the Palestinian people. The Fatah movement now has an opportunity to renew itself.”

Source:
http://www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=13412
===============================

Confirmed: Arafat Died of AIDS
by Ezra HaLevi

Arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat’s doctor has confirmed the long-circulating rumors that the PLO chairman had AIDS – though the doctor insists Israel poisoned Arafat as well, causing his death.

Rumors have long circulated in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority that Arafat’s symptoms prior to his death were caused by AIDS. Within the PA, Israel has always been accused of poisoning the PLO chairman.

Now, Arafat’s private doctor has joined other PLO officials in acknowledging that Arafat had the HIV virus, but is holding on to the claim that Israel was responsible for his ultimate demise, in a French hospital.

Dr. Ashraf al-Kurdi told the Jordanian Amman News Agency that Arafat did, in fact, have AIDS – but insisted that the HIV virus was injected into the chairman’s bloodstream, and not the result of illicit sexual activity.

Al-Jazeera interrupted an interview with al-Kurdi due to his mention of Arafat’s having had AIDS.

French doctors who treated Arafat insisted after his death that he had died of a massive stroke after suffering intestinal inflammation, jaundice and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a blood condition.

Another Arafat aide, Bassam Abu Sharif, accused former French President Jacques Chirac of withholding knowledge that Israel killed Arafat with a substance that destroys red blood cells.

Even before Arafat died, US author and intelligence expert John Loftus said on the John Batchelor Show on WABC radio on October 26 that it was widely known in CIA circles that Arafat was dying from AIDS. Loftus further said that was the reason the US kept preventing Israel from killing Arafat – to allow him to be discredited by the ailment.

A 1987 book by Lt.-Gen. Ion Pacepa, the deputy chief of Romania’s intelligence service under Communist dictator Nicola Ceausescu, may explain how Arafat contracted the sexually transmitted disease.

In his memoirs “Red Horizons,” Pacepa relates a 1978 conversation with the general assigned to teach Arafat and the PLO techniques to deceive the West into granting the organization recognition. The general told him about Arafat’s nightly relations with his young male bodyguards and multiple partners. “Beginning with his teacher when he was a teen-ager and ending with his current bodyguards. After reading the report, I felt a compulsion to take a shower whenever I had been kissed by Arafat, or even just shaken his hand,” Pacepa wrote.

Senior US intelligence official James J. Welsh, the National Security Agency’s former PA analyst, told WorldNetDaily, “One of the things we looked for when we were intercepting Fatah communications were messages about Ashbal [Lion cub] members who would be called to Beirut from bases outside of Beirut. The Ashbal were often orphaned or abandoned boys who were brought into the organization, ostensibly to train for later entry into Fedayeen fighter units. Arafat always had several of these 13-15 year old boys in his entourage. We figured out that he would often recall several of these boys to Beirut just before he would leave for a trip outside Lebanon. It proved to be a good indicator of Arafat’s travel plans. While Arafat did have a regular security detail, many of those thought to be security personnel - the teenage boys - were actually there for other purposes.”
(IsraelNationalNews.com)

Source:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/123347
==========================

Arafat and AIDS

When I speculated in November 2004 here at NRO and in my column in Canada’s National Post that Yasser Arafat had died of AIDS, I was widely scolded for my bad manners The British MP George Galloway wrote in The Mail on Sunday that I had provoked “blood-spitting fury” in the Arab world. (Not available online.) Norman Spector, a former Canadian ambassador to Israel, termed my speculation “repugnant.” And when Canadian MP Stockwell Day - then foreign affairs critic, now minister for public security - circulated my column, he was denounccd in the Canadian media and criticized in Parliament.

You can decide for yourself how appalling my words were:

Here’s a link to the post in which I first raised the possibility (Oct. 29, 2004 - second item)

Here’s the newspaper column in which I discussed the matter at greater length (Nov. 2, 2004).

And here’s a post in which I weighed that the evidence pointing to an AIDS diagnosis might be circulated by Arafat’s enemies within the Palestinian government in order to discredit him (Nov. 6, 2004).

Now Palestinian sources are themselves confirming the truth of my speculation. And indeed three years later, AIDS remains the most plausible diagnosis of Arafat’s cause of death at a comparatively young age. As I wrote at the time:

“We know he has a blood disease that is depressing his immune system. We know that he has suddenly dropped considerable weight — possibly as much as one-third of all his body weight. We know that he is suffering intermittent mental dysfunction. What does this sound like?”

The secrecy in which Arafat’s condition was treated, the refusal of either the French medical authorities or Palestinian sources to release final medical reports, all indicate that Arafat died in a way that his friends and supporters expected would cause political embarrassment for the old murderer. They wrapped his financial arrangements in secret for the same reason: to conceal how much money he had stolen, how he had stashed funds in personal accounts, and the size of the payoff that had to be tendered his widow to persuade her to release her matrimonial rights to public funds that Arafat treated as personal wealth.

So how was my speculation offensive? Let one of Stockwell Day’s critics explain :

Stockwell Day, the man who once admitted that he believed humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, has once again revealed that he is not fit to hold public office. Then it was sort of funny (remember the “Doris” Day petition?) but this time it is just appalling. Press reports revealed recently that Mr. Day, who is the Conservative Party’s foreign affairs critic, refused to send condolences to the Palestinian people on the death of President Yassir Arafat. Why? Because of Mr. Arafat’s support for armed struggle against Israel? No. Because he might have died of AIDS.

In a November 16 email to his Conservative colleagues Mr. Day stated: “Some of you have asked why I have not released a statement of condolence or sympathy. As you know, there are two sides to the Arafat story. You pick….” He then included in the email an article by David Frum, former speech writer for George W. Bush, indulging in unfounded speculation about the cause of Arafat’s death. Frum suggested that Arafat’s symptoms “sounded AIDS-like.”

Clearly, for both these men, anyone who dies of AIDS is to be shunned, not only while they are alive but even after they are dead.

As audacious lies go, this is quite a doozy. The journalist in question had the offending column in front of him on paper. He knew it was readily available to his readers online. He knew both Stockwell Day’s views and my own. And yet he still found it possible to declare that Day and I were unbothered by Arafat’s “support for armed struggle against Israel” (nice euphemism!) - and only objected to his cause of death.

So let’s go to the videotape. Why exactly did I think important to air this piece of truth about Arafat? Here are my own words:

A TERRORIST AT TWILIGHT

As Yasser Arafat reviews his life from his Paris hospital bed, what do you think he thinks? Does he regard himself as a success or not?

In some senses, he must feel he has failed. He has been waging war on Israel for four decades, and yet Israel is still there, richer and stronger than ever. He has personified Palestinian Arab nationalism — and he has led the Palestinian Arabs from one disaster to another.

Yet the old murderer surely also has abundant cause to feel successful. Once a pariah, a killer, a terrorist, he is now a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a billionaire. His agents hijacked planes, massacred civilians, organized the murder of schoolchildren and Olympic athletes — and even the assassinations of American diplomats. Yet he forced the world to recognize him as a legitimate head of government, and hundreds of millions of people worldwide regard him as the leader of a righteous cause. President Bill Clinton met with Yasser Arafat 24 times in eight years, more often than with any other international political figure. And though recent months have gone badly for him, Arafat has good reason to feel confident that he and his movement will in time recover.

Consider just this one fact: the world media’s astonishing lack of curiosity about the nature of the disease for which he has sought treatment in France. He has suffered a dramatic weight loss, memory loss and periods of disorientation, loss of muscle control and recurring nausea. His doctors tell us that his blood platelet count has dropped dramatically, but that he does not have leukemia. These symptoms sound remarkably AIDS-like, don’t they? An AIDS diagnosis would certainly accord with what is widely known about Arafat’s personal way of life. (Some of the lurid, homoerotic details can be found in the memoirs of Lt.-Gen. Ion Pacepa, former head of Romanian intelligence under Nicolae Ceausescu. See page 36.)

And yet, even as the international media reports on Arafat’s condition with the kind of attention normally reserved for ailing popes, unwelcome possibilities like an AIDS diagnosis go unmentioned.

Thus Arafat’s number one reason for confidence: his command of the world press. Israel may win battle after battle on the ground, but it is losing the battle for global public opinion outside the United States. From the silence concealing Arafat’s own personal corruption to the suppression of unwanted images like those of Palestinians celebrating on 9/11, Arafat has cajoled and intimidated much of the world media into covering the Middle East as he wishes it covered.

Likewise, Arafat has enjoyed amazing success in persuading the world’s governments to draw a distinction between al-Qaeda terrorism and his own supposedly more acceptable brand. After the 9/11 attacks, the United Nations adopted Resolution 1373 calling on all member states to suppress terrorism. Yet European governments have acquiesced in the demands of Islamic states to exempt terrorist acts carried out during an “armed struggle for liberation and self-determination.”

Arafat’s diplomatic success has had important and — for him — positive political consequences. Thirty years of Palestinian terrorism have dulled the world’s moral outrage. At Nuremberg, the victorious Allies hanged German generals for atrocities against civilian populations. But atrocities against civilians are the only kind of war Arafat knows. Arafat’s forces have rarely if ever taken the field against the Israeli military. They have instead waged a war of kidnappings and random murder, very similar to that practiced by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. Yet this record has not isolated Arafat. To the contrary, the world has accepted Arafat’s terrorism — an acceptance symbolized by the fact that Arafat was allowed to wear a gun on to the rostrum of the United Nations in 1974, the only world leader ever to do so or try to do so.

So will he die content? That depends on how he defines success. To the extent that he was ever concerned about the plight of the Palestinians, ever wished to build institutions to help them, ever cared about their prosperity and freedom — then no, he must be regarded as one of history’s pre-eminent losers.

But if one sees him as a man motivated by the spirit of destruction — as someone who hated his enemies without ever much loving his own people — who measured his success in the grief he inflicted on others without much caring what his supporters suffered in return: In that case, Arafat scored success after success.

In the words of his fairest and best informed biographers, Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin: “This was the ultimate irony of his life: Arafat, the man who did more than anyone else to champion and advance the Palestinian cause, also inflicted years of unnecessary suffering on his people, delaying any beneficial redress of their grievances or solutions to their problems.”

For those people — for us all — the world will be a better place if he had never lived and will be a cleaner place after he is gone.

-National Post, Nov. 2, 2004.

Through his long life of violence and crime, Arafat cajoled and coerced many of the world’s governments and much of the world’s press into complicity with his lies. Here was one more. Was it not long past time to refuse to go along?

07/19 06:19 AM

Source:
http://frum.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZTQ2MWQ3M2I4ZTU1OTM3MjE3Zjc0NzkzMDQ3MmZhMzk=

================

160

Richard 11.04.10 at 6:57 am

Adam, I explained my position as best i could in the time available. If it wasn’t good enough, for the time being it will have to do. In any case, I should have realised when the accusations of racism started that there wasn’t anywhere this conversation should go. I invited a pause, if you recall.

Avraham, those long comments… I don’t think anyone will read them.
Whether Arafat died of AIDS or not is supremely irrelevant.

[edited by admin]

161

Kim 11.04.10 at 7:18 am

I thought I’d logged on to a Wikipedia.

I think, Avraham, that Richard used the word “contemptible” not because he is a fan of Arafat (indeed most, and probably all, here would be extremely critical of Arafat - though there is the little matter that, with Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 “for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East”, even if, with you, we might think that perverse too); or because he denies the diagnosis of AIDS, a moot point; but because, as Paul Martin succintly put it, “the comment re AIDS is abolutely sick and indicative of Avraham’s unpleasant attitudes generally.” In fact, Avraham, in speaking of Arafat as if he were a filthy dog, do you not realise that you are deploying the language of the Nazis? Thus do you embody one of the more tragic and monstrous ironies of the conflict - and one that ensures its irresolution.

Having heard it all, I am now truly finished.

162

Methodist Preacher 11.04.10 at 8:17 am

Avraham,
You ought to know that Kim speaks with some expertise when he says:
“do you not realise that you are deploying the language of the Nazis?”

See my post:
http://methodistpreacher.blogspot.com/2007/06/i-understand-language-of-that-nasty.html

God bless you and Adam,

David

[Slightly edited by admin]

163

Daphne Anson 11.04.10 at 9:11 am

Kim, your last point is nonsense! Avraham is talking about a man who wanted to exterminate the Jewish State and its inhahibants - and you compare what Avraham is saying to the Nazis. Shameful. Paul Martin, with that trite, invalid and offensive jibe at Avraham, is evidently rattled by the robust and compelling way in which Avraham has argued his just case.
It was well-known, incidentally, that Arafat had a penchant for young male teenagers - I heard of it first in Australia during the 1980s. (It was also an open secret that King Hussein of Jordan used to cross regularly into Israel in quest of female pulchritude.)
Kol haKavod, Avraham, on that stupendous post that exposes the lie that there was an Arab Palestine “stolen” by those pesky Jews. Since so much of the anti-Israel movement is based on ignorance of that fact, that message must be hammered home. Hopefully, there are still minds unpoisoned and open enough to receive the message.
Amber, Rolly, you are stars!

164

Daphne Anson 11.04.10 at 9:12 am

Whoops - I meant “inhabitants”!

165

Paul Martin 11.04.10 at 9:56 am

Well if we care going to enter unsubstantiatedstuff which is frnkly irrelevant so be it. Let’s get the Daily Star in!

I looked at Avraham’s link and they were not so much pro Israel as anti two state solution. In other words they contribute nothing to the search for peace and justice.

166

Avraham Reiss 11.04.10 at 10:20 am

Kim,
“In fact, Avraham, in speaking of Arafat as if he were a filthy dog, do you not realise that you are deploying the language of the Nazis?”

- all I said was that Arafat had AIDS. what I actually said was:
“(Arafat started as a terrorist and murderer, died of AIDS, and is obviously dear to the Methodist cause.)”

“filthy dog” is your terminology, Kim, not mine, as is ” you are deploying the language of the Nazis”. I stated facts, none of which have so far been refuted. And you have just proven in spades my last point: arafat is obviously dear to the Methodist cause (or to some members of it, I wouldn’t generalise), as evidenced by your verbal hysteria.

167

PamBG 11.04.10 at 10:21 am

PamBG, how then do you explain Israel being singled out?

I don’t actually know how this proposal came to Conference. I’m not some kind of Methodist Conference insider. I’m just telling you what I observed on the ground during 10 years of membership in the church.

You asked what “singling out” consists of. We have a long history of talking about world affairs and international and public life. As I’ve said ad nauseum, we have focused on many areas of the world in the past.

You say that the Israeli government was “singled out”. So why do you think that the Zimbabwe government was “singled out”? Why do you think the Sudan was “singled out”? Why do you think that Fiji was “singled out”? Why do you think Hamas was “singled out”? Why do you think that the BNP was “singled out”? When Sir Leslie Griffiths - as I know is a big part of his ministry - helps the individuals with refugee status not to be deported, why does he “single out” those people and not help every other refugee in the United Kingdom?

Your criteria for “singled out” seems to mean that every year we need to speak out on the totality of every single policy issue that is a concern which is just ridiculous.

Why do you “single out” the next restaurant you will visit and not visit all other restaurants?

You might have a case for antisemitism if we had never spoken out on any other policy issue. But the fact is that we do have a very strong history of speaking out on policy issues. And we have spoken out against Hamas terrorism, the BNP and condemned racism. Which rather weakens your case.

168

Adam 11.04.10 at 10:27 am

Richard

When did I call you a racist? And it seems you have time to deny, but when we get into details, there is suddenly no time available.

Why not reply now? Which part of the history do you disagree with, and how do you explain the singling out of Israel?

169

Adam 11.04.10 at 10:29 am

Richard People asked for evidence aboutArafat and Aids. Avraham has provided it. Then you chastise him for providing it.

Don’t ask for the evidence then.

170

Avraham Reiss 11.04.10 at 10:34 am

Paul Martin,
“The comment re AIDS is abolutely sick and indicative of Avraham’s unpleasant attitudes generally.”

Obviously the truth sickens you, so live a lie.
And I well understand that you have a problem with the new Jew who knows how to defend himself, and to attack when neccessary. Prototypes have to be scratched and rebuilt.

171

Richard 11.04.10 at 10:39 am

Adam, I’m not doing this. I given you what answers I’m able to. So have others. If they’re not good enough, for the time being I’ll have to live with that.
I suggest that the sudden interest in the manner of Arafat’s death on this thread suggests we have gone with this as far as we can.

Avraham - Paul is right. Whether Arafat had AIDS or not is completely and utterly irrelevant. The only reasons I can think of for introducing here are indeed sickening. Let’s leave it there.

172

Avraham Reiss 11.04.10 at 10:40 am

Paul Martin:
“I looked at Avraham’s link and they were not so much pro Israel as anti two state solution. In other words they contribute nothing to the search for peace and justice”

I was not in this thread looking for Peace OR justice. I don’t expect to find it here, when even after the truth has been proven to have been distorted, nobody has expressed an intention to put things right.

I was replying to your hatred-full comment by providing proofs of Arafat’s AIDS.

173

Adam 11.04.10 at 10:45 am

PamBG

Nice to know that you lump Israel together with Sudan, Zimbabwe, the BNP…says it all really.

As you well know, the Methodist Church has not attacked these other entities with such venomous language as it has democratic Israel. Nor has it called for boycotts elsewhere. In discussing the Middle east conflict, the Church has chosen to lay ALL blame at Israel’s door. It has done precisely nothing about Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hizbollah, and fatah - who are all driving the conflict. Are you advocating a boycott of the antisemitic terror group Hamas? No, you are not. Indeed, why was Israel alone chosen for debate? This wasn’t some random event, someone in the Church decided that Israel, and Israel only, should be scrutinized and attacked. This is singling out - and it is disgusting. Are you truly unaware that Israel is facing a global campaign of hatred and vilification, a campaign to delegitimize the whole country, in order to eradicate it? It is highly disingenuous to pretend that this is a chance happening, that it is not part of a wider boycott campaign. And your restaurant analogy doesn’t work. A better anaolgy would be if the health and safety body of a council regularly visited one restaurant for scrutiny, but ignored every other. That is what the Church has done - and it is shameful. Believe me, it takes somethig to unite Jewish opinion, yet the Methodist Church’s boycott call, and wider attacks on the Jewish state, have led to a unanimous condemnation from British Jewish bodies from across the religious spectrum, from the strictly Orthodox to themost lax liberal. And rightly so. All contact should be suspended until this invidious decision is reversed.

174

Adam 11.04.10 at 10:48 am

Richard, you haven’t given a substantive response to any of the points put to you. It simply isn’t enough to deny without any coherent argument to back your case. You say “you’re not doing this.” I don’t want to do it either. But nor will I stand by and watch the Methodist Church vilify and single out the Jewish nation for opprobrium and hatred.

175

Adam 11.04.10 at 10:49 am

And Richard, when did I call you a racist? Kindly withdraw that remark.

176

Adam 11.04.10 at 10:52 am

Kim, you accused Avraham of using language he did not employ. Also, a nice touch comparing it to the Nazis. How sensitive to accuse a Jew of being like a Nazi. Is the terrorist Arafat now a victim?

177

Richard 11.04.10 at 11:06 am

I’ve edited the comment. I’m glad to know that you’re keen that people should know you don’t think I’m racist.

It really is time to stop this. The conversation is going nowhere.

178

Avraham Reiss 11.04.10 at 11:06 am

Adam,
Arafat obviously has plenty of aids on this forum ….

179

Adam 11.04.10 at 11:12 am

Thank you Richard. Of course I don’t think such a thing - you have tried to hold your hand out.

It’s the position of the Church that is, sadly, antisemitic.

180

Paul Martin 11.04.10 at 11:18 am

“I was not in this thread looking for Peace OR justice.” - Avaram.

Well the only point in having such a discusiion is peace and justice. Otherwise we waste our time.

181

Avraham Reiss 11.04.10 at 11:18 am

Richard,
the reason the conversation is going nowhere, is that having been shown that the wording of 7.4.1
“…the Methodist Church has consistently expressed its concern over the illegal Occupation of Palestinian lands by the State of Israel.”
- is a lie, nobody has got up and said: that is correct, we will act to cancel the boycott decision accordingly.

There is no point in discussion when people won’t accept inevitable conclusions.

Methodists will boycott Israel because it is Israel, and not for any action it has done.

Meanwhile, Israel will go from strength to strength, continue to absorb new immigrants, reach even greater technological heights, and the land of Israel will bloom in places where for 2,000 years there were deserts.

It’s a great time to be alive in Israel.

182

Richard 11.04.10 at 11:36 am

Avraham - I don’t accept that 7.4.1 is a lie. Methodists are not boycotting Israel. The Methodist Church is not antisemitic. End of.

I’ve been glad to receive and publish the various opinions on this thread, many of them extremely offensive to me. Many other bloggers would have deleted them instantly. But enough is enough. It’s time to stop. This is my blog, and I get the final word.

183

terre 05.26.11 at 1:17 pm

[comment deleted by admin. See the comment policy]

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