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Peacemaking in Israel and Palestine

by Richard on January 16, 2014

A podcast interview in which Methodist President of Conference Ruth Gee reflects on on a recent visit to Israel.


Methodist Church consults on BDS

by Richard on September 30, 2013

The Methodist Church has launched a major consultation on the arguments for and against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The consultation, arising from a request by the annual Methodist Conference, is seeking responses from any interested individuals or organisations, in writing or through an online form.
BDS is a movement that calls on individuals [...]


I’ve just finished reading Mark Thomas’ Extreme Rambling, a fascinating and funny account of the comedian’s attempt to walk the route of Israel’s security barrier. It isn’t a book that is likely to appeal to any of Israel’s apologists, though his route took in both sides of the fence and the effects of terrorism are [...]


Statement on Gaza

by Richard on November 22, 2012

Mark Wakelin, President of the British Methodist Conference, has made the following statement on the crisis in Gaza
“The ceasefire is good news and we will be praying that this will lead to a lasting truce and progress on the political front. One of the most disturbing aspects of the recent round of violence is the [...]


How long?

by Richard on November 21, 2012

Israel, Gaza and the tragic justifications for war
By Binoy Kampmark, RMIT University
Gaza, ostracised, enclosed and pummelled, is being levelled – again. Israel’s case against Hamas, expressed both via air strikes and a social media war, is one of self-defence. Article 51 of the United Nations Charter affirms that right, one accepted in customary international law.
But [...]


When will the madness stop?

by Richard on November 21, 2012

Embrace (formerly BibleLands) has an update from Gaza
“This morning, and for the third time since the beginning of the current war on Gaza on November 14, I have made phone calls to all our partners in Gaza to check on them and show our solidarity with them. The message I received was unanimous. There has [...]


Racism with a democratic face

by Richard on November 20, 2012

ABC Religion: Truth, Lies, and Gaza
In a world that celebrates the onward march of democracy, the Palestinian people have been left behind.
When the first free elections - which were internationally recognised as fair and transparent - were held in the Occupied Territories in 2006, the democratic victory of Hamas rapidly plunged the Palestinians into a [...]


Twitter as weapon

by Richard on November 16, 2012

#IDF v #Hamas: the new Gaza war in 140 characters or less
By Mat Hardy, Deakin University
The hostilities between Israel and Hamas this week are just another sad exchange of munitions of no benefit for anyone, least of all the impoverished residents of Gaza. Rockets go one way, Hellfire missiles go the other. Targeted killing, random [...]


War is not a game

by Richard on November 16, 2012

I couldn’t believe the headline on readwrite social this morning: Unbelievable: The IDF Has Gamified Its War Blog
Yesterday, when I wrote about the social media campaign that Israel was waging alongside its attack on Hamas, I thought it was interesting. I thought it was a straightforward and effective way of presenting the cause behind the [...]


Bits & bobs

by Richard on October 7, 2012

Pretending to be a Preacher says “The church is your neighbour too.”
Mr John Cooper has an attack of the Gilbert and Sullivans, proclaiming himself the very model of a modern methodist. Who’d argue?
The Conversation offers evidence that people are intuitively co-operative.
Did Pulpit Freedom Sunday have much impact where you are? I’d got no idea that [...]

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The General’s Son

by Richard on October 3, 2012

An interview with Miko Peled.


Is Zionism integral to Judaism?

by Richard on October 2, 2012

Religion Dispatches has a review of Judith Butler’s Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism
From its inception Zionism had been always one of a variety of Jewish narratives of identity. Anti- or non-Zionist narratives always existed, both in Europe and the U.S., from Bundists, Yiddishists, German nationalists, universalist and internationalists of various stripes, Marxists, [...]


Romney, Israel and some home truths

by Richard on July 30, 2012

Antony Lowenstein: A one-state solution is the only way forward for Israel and Palestine
But for the Zionist state, the occupation is merely a God-given right to populate land. The lie was proved when Israeli officials, leaders and dutiful Zionist lobbyists in the West spent decades claiming the occupation was temporary and arguing that Palestinian land [...]


Jeremy Moodey, CEO of BibleLands:
“It is a Western conceit that all Arab Christian communities are persecuted minorities and need our help to save them from Islamic fundamentalism. Most Middle East Christians are deeply embedded in their societies, with roots which pre-date even the rise of Islam. Indeed, they are closer to the Oriental origins of [...]


Velveteen Rabbi has been pondering the following Torah passage
God spoke to Moshe on the plains of Moab near the Jordan, and said: speak to the children of Israel and tell them: when you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you will displace all who dwell in the land… and if you do not, [...]


PR perils

by Richard on July 20, 2012

In today’s Church Times >> Andrew Brown: PR Perils of occupation*
I’d rather be an Arab civilian in Israel right now than one in Syria; I would also rather be an exploited Somali refugee in Tel Aviv than one enslaved for ransom by the Bedouin in Sinai. But what does undercut a great deal of pro-Israel [...]


The Methodist Conference today affirmed the following resolution (”Notice of Motion” in Methodist-speak)
In view of the continued building of illegal Israeli settlements on Occupied land, as well as the repeated condemnation this has received from the UK Government, the Conference:

Notes that these settlements are illegal under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as confirmed [...]


An editorial comment

by Richard on July 4, 2012

A rare joint post by Richard & Kim.
Googling around to find out a bit about Edward Kessler, Kim came upon a story about a Jewish guy who travels from Israel to the United States. When he returns, he tells his friend some of the amazing things he has seen. “I met a Jew [...]


There is an excellent article examining “why Israel causes such difficulties in Christian-Jewish relations” in this week’s Church Times (29 June) by Edward Kessler, who is a leading thinker in interfaith relations, primarily Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim Relations, and Founder and Executive Director of the Woolf Institute.
Kessler observes that “Although there have been great changes in [...]


The Independent: UK ready to take on Israel over fate of children clapped in irons
The Foreign Office revealed last night that it would be challenging the Israelis over their treatment of Palestinian children after a report by a delegation of senior British lawyers revealed unconscionable practices, such as hooding and the use of leg irons.
In [...]