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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.


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


The Observer reports
The Co-operative Group has become the first major European supermarket group to end trade with companies that export produce from illegal Israeli settlements.
The UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and its largest mutual business, the Co-op took the step as an extension of its existing policy which had been not to source produce from [...]


In the Huffington Post, Dr Naim Ateek responds to claims of anti-semitism
When I discuss the question of tribalism vs. universalism, I am talking about the lively debate within the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament to Christians). There was a dynamic debate in these Scriptures that moved religious thought from exclusivity to inclusivity, and this phenomenon [...]


Saturday night links

by Richard on December 3, 2011

Why we need more chaplains and fewer leaders
In an increasingly secular, capitalist culture, it’s understandable that so many clergy are fascinated with the idea that they can be leaders and entrepreneurs. These are the people our culture admires most … So who told us that the pastor is primarily a leader/entrepreneur/change agent and anything but [...]


Bargaining chips

by Richard on October 18, 2011

Stephen Sizer: Shalit should have been released 5 years ago
What this conflict needs is radical and unconditional acts of compassion, not bartering, as if human beings were animals to be traded.
Jesus insisted,
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. [...]


“Settlers are terrorising Palestinians”

by Richard on July 19, 2011

A shocking headline, but this doesn’t come from the ‘usual suspects’ and I hope everyone will pause to consider its source before responding. This is not the sentiment of a western bleeding-heart liberal, but the hard-nosed assessment of an Israeli army commander who is no stranger to controversy. According to today’s Independent:
A senior Israeli army [...]


Independence and mourning

by Richard on May 26, 2011

The Velveteen Rabbi on Yom ha-Atzma’ut and Yawm an-Nakba

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