Latest posts on Christian Aid

Why 'Christian Hate?'? An introduction to the blog

Places Christians shouldn't go A quick tour of Christian Hate?'s case against Christian Aid

Christians and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Read all my posts on this topic

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One hundred not out

I’d like to mark my hundredth post, which this happens to be, by asking you, dear reader, for feedback. How am I doing? What’s good about this site? What could be better? How could it get its message across more effectively?

I’m more than ever convinced of the importance of the issues I deal with here. What is very hard to gauge is how much impact I’m having. There is evidence of Christian Aid having at least toned down their anti-Israel propaganda, and if they really have sought help from the Chief Rabbi that is a real breakthrough, notwithstanding the reservations I expressed about it. One correspondent has been kind enough to give me the credit for this. Well, even if I had a marginal influence – and there were certainly people at CA spending significant amounts of time here last year – I’d consider it ample return on the time I’ve put in, but there seems no way of knowing for certain. They’re not very likely to admit to it. Meanwhile, whatever happens at CA is not going to leave me twiddling my thumbs, that’s for sure. The Anglican Communion and the Church of Scotland have been giving me plenty to do, and I haven’t even started on the United Reformed Church or the Quakers…

So this is the kind of thing I’d invite you to consider:-

Are my posts too long? Too short?

Are there too many off-topic posts? Are there things I don’t cover and should?

Is the tone right? Do I go over the top?

Are the colour scheme, font etc. OK? Could anything be improved visually?

Do you have any suggestions for increasing traffic to the site?

Please leave a comment, or mail me if you prefer. Feel free to be as critical as you want – I won’t promise not to take it personally, but I’ll get over it!


Anonymous said...


I'd been meaning to drop you a line anyway: Wherever I read you—here or at Engage—you are consistently one of the most articulate and perceptive defenders of Israel, and I thank you. There's nothing I feel the need to have changed (though orange is not my favourite colour) except I would be glad to read more frequent posts from you. If you felt like giving up your day job.

Anonymous said...

Cyrus, you’re doing a great job – so more of the same is fine by me! What’s special about your blog is that it marries a progressive religious and political outlook (e.g. being for gay equality in church and society) with an intelligent defence of Israel against its unthinking - and occasionally malevolent - detractors (who are mostly on the secular liberal-left). This is a rare combination that is close to my own position as a gay member of a Liberal synagogue who feels much progressive opinion – unfortunately including a significant proportion of progressive Judaism - has just lost the plot on Israel and Jews in the modern world. Indeed, most supporters of Israel seem predictably conservative on gay issues in particular (e.g. Melanie Philips who is just so angry about civil partnerships), while most socially and religiously liberal commentators tend to adopt a default position of hostility towards Israel (e.g. most journalists at the Guardian). Even Engage veers towards the latter in endlessly repeating some of the old left tropes about Israel (e.g. Israeli Arabs are banned from the IDF; the state of Israel itself discriminates in law against Arab citizens; centre-right/right politicians in Israel are openly racist), no matter how many times David Hirsch et al are challenged to provide detailed evidence to support such generalised accusations. So keep up the good work!

Jonty Goodson

Cyrus said...

Thanks for your kind words, guys.

Paul, you have the distinctly erratic nature of my day job at present to thank for the fact that I manage to write as much as I do. Chucking it altogether... don't tempt me - do you know anyone who'd pay me to blog, by any chance??

Jonty, you're spot-on about the political space I see myself as occupying, although on one or two issues I may be a little too close to Melanie P for your liking! Once upon a time I used to believe I knew what to think about Israel because the Guardian told me. Not any more. I do get very frustrated by Engage's insistence on fighting with one hand tied behind their back. On the other hand Shalom Lappin's article in the newly-published journal looks promising.